Praying Your Way Through
Many of us, while we are devoted to Christ, do not consciously depend upon Him and upon the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit day after day and moment by moment.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again my dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Oh, I’m fine. For many of you, you’ll be hearing this on my birthday. (Laughs) How about that? I feel great and so glad to be alive and to have you on the listening end. That makes it just fine. Thanks for being there.
Well you and I are looking at 2 Peter 3 and we’re pretty near done. The last time we got together, we were in verse 14. He said, “Beloved seeing you look for such things. Be diligent that you may be found by Him in peace without spot and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” He said, “In the light of the second coming,” now how do you get ready for it? First of all, he says, “Be found by Him in peace.” There’s three areas of that concept of peace: Peace with God, when you stop fighting Him and accept His pardon in Jesus Christ. The Peace of God that comes when you commit everything to Him in prayer and Peace with People. Paul says in Romans, “It would be possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Found in peace, specialize in that and you’ll be getting ready for the second coming of Christ.
Without spot has to do with the moment by moment cleansing of the precious blood of Christ as you live moment by moment for your Lord. If we walk in the light as He is in the light. We have fellowship, one with another in the blood of Jesus Christ, His son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin. And then they were blameless and I pointed out that it’s not a matter of looking narrowly at everything to be sure that nobody can blame you for anything. If you do that on your job, you’ll soon be demoted. That’s a good way to fail on your job is to be — try to get out of responsibility for anything or be blamed for anything. ‘It’s not my fault,’ you know, ‘don’t blame me.’ Now, that’s not what this is driving at. Rather Paul says in Romans, “Judge this rather that no man put an occasion to fall or a stumbling block in his brother’s way.” That’s what you’re looking for. You don’t want to be the cause of somebody else’s stumbling or being hindered. Blameless in that sense means ‘You’re going to live your life so that the well-being of others is the main consideration. “Look not every man on his own things only,” Paul said in Philippians, ‘but every man also on the things of others. Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ.”
So that’s what we were talking about the last time we got together. Then he said, remember that the only reason God delays the second coming is that He wants to see more people saved. “God is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, “this is verse 9, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” And so He said, while you’re getting ready for the second coming of Christ, he said, just remember, God is longsuffering and the only reason He waits is so that more people could be saved.
And so then He had some reference to Paul. It’s interesting that human nature comes in here. “Paul, according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” He had to get in that little jibe.
Human nature does come in. Don’t expect Christians to be not human. You’ll find that human faults and foils show up in saved people and you must not expect that because they became Christians, they’re going to wear a halo and be perfect. And Peter had this little jibe there and the Holy Spirit of God left it in just to remind us that Simon Peter was a very human, human being even after the years had past.
Now look at verse 17. He said, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware, lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” Now, it’s not what you don’t know but what you do know that forms the basis of your responsibility. Although ignorance of the law is no excuse as they say, in this verse, we’re talking about what you do know. You do know the plan of salvation that there’s only one way to be saved and that’s through the Lord Jesus Christ. You do know that He promised He would come again. “If I go away, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also.” You do know that there are prophecies to be fulfilled before He comes back and that most, if not, all, if not, most, if not all, have been fulfilled. All the major prophecies that need to be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ would appear to have now been fulfilled.
Israel is back in the land. There’s talk of one world, one religion, one currency, all of that. All of these monumental changes that have been going on during the last couple of decades have been forerunners of the end of the age and so it’s possible that our Lord Jesus Christ could come back any time. So it’s what we know that we’re responsible for and not what you don’t know. He says, “You know these things beforehand.
Well, beware then,” said He, “lest ye being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” Now what are the errors of the wicked? Go back to what He was talking about. The covetousness verse 3 of Chapter 2, feigned words, using people, making merchandise of people. Go down a little farther and it says walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, people that are living on the basis of their old sinful flesh instead of in the power of the Holy Spirit. They are willful, they despise government, they’re presumptuous self-willed, not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries — dignities, and their spots and blemishes. They have eyes full of adultery. They cannot cease from sin. They are addicted to sinning. Their heart is based on covetous practices. They have loved the wages of unrighteousness, wells without water, they don’t have any refreshment in them — spiritual refreshment. They speak great words of vanity. They allure through the desires of the flesh. They promise liberty but they themselves are the servants of corruption.
Oh, what a list! Now that is what He’s talking about here, being led away with the error of the wicked. These are the things that lead people into destruction. Theses are the errors that we need to be aware of so he says, “Beware of this. Jesus is coming again and don’t fall into these different traps.” Well, that’s pretty good advice, isn’t it?
Well now, what’s the alternative? Verse 18 is the alternative. You see, whenever there’s a negative in Scripture, you’ll also find a positive. Whenever there’s a warning, you’ll also find something that you can do to obey that warning. Then here you have the same thing. “Beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness.” Okay, alright I’m aware of it now. Now what? Well he says, “Grow in grace.” Now why does he say grace? Well because that’s the basis for dealing with God. “By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” And to everyone He has given grace according to the measure, the gift of Christ. You have the grace of salvation and the grace of Christian living and the grace of giving.
Paul talks about that in 1 Corinthians. “See that you excel in this grace,” also he talks about the grace of giving. There’s grace to suffer and grace to die and so he says, “Grow in grace.” What is that? Absolute reliance upon the Lord that saved you to do what you need in the moment that you’re living through. See, you can’t do anything about the past, it’s gone and you can’t do anything about the future, it isn’t here yet. You’re living in the moment. You’re living in this moment. Your heart is existing beat by beat and your body is being nourished, oxygen wise, breath by breath and so growing in grace means absolute dependence upon your Heavenly Father through faith in Jesus for exactly what you need this minute by God’s gracious provision because Jesus died and rose again for you. Grow in grace. How do you grow in grace? You grow in becoming more and more dependent upon your living Lord.
Tell the truth. Many of us, while we are devoted to Christ, do not consciously depend upon Him and upon the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit day after day and moment by moment. We get caught up in the activities of every moment. Business and education and home tasks and matters in the community and other things, we get caught up in that and our Lord Jesus spoke about the cares of this world and the lusts and desires of other things entering in choke the Word and becometh unfruitful. We get caught up with other ideas and other concepts and other needs and other desires.
Now to grow in grace means that I am going to increase in my conscious commitment to the will of God in everything. Pray your way through the day, I always told the students at the college, a very good piece of advice. Pray your way through the day, commit every step, every decision, every conversation to God so that His grace will be operating in your life.
Adoniram Judson gathered young men around him when he lay dying and he said, “Make much of the grace of God. Never let a day pass but that you are aware of God’s grace in your life. Grow,” said he, “in grace.” Then there’s a companion phrase there and he said, “in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” The knowledge of Christ. Now this is more, of course, than head knowledge as you realize. This has to do with an experiential knowledge which is even more important. Grow in grace and in the knowledge. Now that’s from the verb “genosko” which means to know by personal experience. That’s what that is.
To know by personal experience, our Lord and our Savior. And your relationship with Christ always is based on that two-fold approach. Your Lord, He is your Lord. “That if thou shall confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shall to believe that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Lord and Savior.
Paul the Apostle, then Saul of Tarsus was his name and struck down there on the road to Damascus, blinded by the atomic explosion light of the very glory of the Risen Christ and his first question was, as the voice came from heaven, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And He said, “Who art thou Lord?” And the voice came back, “I’m Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for you to kick against the ox goads.” And the second question had the same name in it. He said, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?” Saul of Tarsus got saved there on the road to Damascus and the first relationship that obtained between him and the Christ whom he had been persecuting was that he recognized Jesus as Lord.
And so to grow in grace means that the Lordship of Christ is going to become real in more and more areas of your life. You’ll be asking God’s control and God’s leadership, God’s guidance and God’s advice on more and more things. If you grow in grace, that means in the knowledge of our Lord. You’ll be asking for His guidance and depending upon His saving grace.
Dear Heavenly Father, today–only the grace of God be real in each of our lives. I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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