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Friday, August 11, 2017

2 Peter 3:9-18 The Waiting Sort

What sort of people ought we be?

I wonder how we might answer if Peter had not already clued us in? We might say things like genuinely good people, full of kindness, loving, faithful, truth-minded and forgiving. While these are all true, the full Biblical answer is a bit more unorthodox.

Peter commands us to be the sort of people who wait.

We are to be like little kids on the lookout for guests to arrive, faces pressed to the window straining to see what’s coming. We are to be people who await the Day of God, the return of Christ, when the victory already accomplished on the cross will be fully applied. Sin and evil will be destroyed forever. What God did for Jesus in the middle of time, namely resurrection, is what God will do for all of us in Christ at the end of time. This will lead to a surprising newness in the very structure of heaven and earth. The old order will be melted, tested, refined and out of the furnace will come new creation: the new heavens and new earth God has promised. We are a people who have good things to wait for. So we wait for God to have His day, and in so doing, we speed its coming.

You see, in Christ, we are people of the new creation already. We are to bring that new kind of life of God’s new world backwards into the old one. We wait for God to do new creation by inviting Him to begin with us. In the new creation we will be people with holy conduct, lives lived in awe and wonder in intimate friendship with God. When we focus our lives on the Lord by waiting on God, the Holy Spirit fills us full of wonder, holiness, and new life right here and now.

While we wait for God’s coming we are to zealously pursue a life at peace with God and unblemished by sin. We do this by imbibing as much of God’s word as can each day. What we focus on will affect how we think and how we live. Let us feast our minds on the things of God, resting in all God’s promises so that ever-prevalent lies and distortions will not carry us away. Instead we pursue growth by relying on God’s grace and purposefully deepening our relationship with Jesus. What you wait for is what you want. When you wait for Jesus you begin to want not only to know Him more, but to be like Him. As we zealously pursue Christ on the outside, the Holy Spirit makes us like Him on the inside.

What sort of people ought we to be? The waiting sort, who look expectantly to God’s future while living in it already in the present.

Dear Lord, conform us to the image of Christ. Work in us to will and to do according to your good pleasure. Show us what is not of you, lead us to repentance and transform us to live new creation life today. Give us zeal for Jesus, make us holy and keep us from evil. Make us the waiting sort. We wait for your and long for your coming. In Jesus’ name, Amen.