Monday, March 31, 2014

I exhort the pastors among you, as a fellow pastor....


But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10, ESV)

 “I worked harder than any of them”

The Lord said that the harvest is plenty but the labourers are few. This remains our problem even to this day there is so many gospel opportunities. There is much work to be done in the preaching of the gospel. We know that we cannot afford to keep quiet when we have been entrusted with the gospel. But for whatever reason, you will admit that you have not given diligence and undivided attention to the work of the gospel as you ought.
Brethren the Lord said that what is needed for the work are labourers – people who work hard and those are willing to spend and be spent for the course of the gospel. And as I say this I am not supposing that I have given myself more than you have – I am also preaching to myself so that I can give myself more than I have.
The Lord Jesus is our example in the labour of the gospel. He was ever willing to serve… Look at how His days were spent. He was ever preaching, ever talking with one or another person, never turning anyone away because he was tired, he was in constant communion with Father in prayer. This should be our example of what our respective ministries should look like if indeed were are closely following in the footsteps of our Master.
Can we say like Paul that “I worked harder than any of them” without lying or boasting?
Yes, if our consciences can allow us to utter this after an honest evaluation and assessment. Yes, because we are what we are by God’s grace! God is at work in us by His Son and Spirit. His Word has been entrusted to us. The Holy Spirit has entrusted us with spiritual gifts. He has endowed us with people who sit under our ministries. He has kept us and provided for our basic needs. So there is no reason why we should not be able to say that “I worked harder than any of them!”
Brethren the gospel is at stake… We have been entrusted with the gospel by God. We are stewards of God’s varied grace and the only faithful thing to do is to labour hard in the gospel. How do we spend time in our respective ministries? I want to preach to myself as much as I want to preach to you. As I see things, the Reformed Faith is not doing so well in Kenya – Why?
1)  Because we make excuses – we do not have the resources, the family, limited education, etc.
2)  Because we are not working as hard as we ought
3)  Because the gospel is not being preached faithfully

Three areas that will show hard work and diligence in the ministry:
1.  Devotion to prayer
One of the specific tasks we have for to the church is to pray. The Apostles appointed the Deacons so that they could devote themselves to pray and preach. The church that you lead, need you to always pray for them as much, maybe even more than they need you to preach to them… yes they need you to preach the gospel of God without apologies, but preach prayerfully!
Brethren, I personally believe that prayer is a neglected discipline in our circles! We do not pray as we ought we talk about prayer and we have the right doctrine about prayer but we do not pray as we ought. Is it because we have learned prayer in our theology class more than we have been taught of God on our knees? You should evaluate and know the truth yourself.
Without God you and I can do nothing. We have to recognize that without the grace of God, we are helpless and unfruitful and unproductive. Paul said, “… by the grace of God I am what I am…” before saying that he worked harder than anyone else. He understood that his arm of flesh was weak, his mind was unyielding, his plans were accomplished by God’s will. Therefore he was ardent and fervent, and regular in prayer. His prayer life is described by such phrases as all times, every prayer and supplication, always, without ceasing, etc.
Let us for a minute evaluate Paul’s prayer life as shown in his letters.
1)  1 Corinthians 1:4
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…”
Paul gave thanks always for such a wicked church as Corinth! Why? Because of the grace of God given them in Christ Jesus! This should tell you that he was depending on God to help him in all his endeavors and he knew that this church could not be a church without the grace of God. Yet he addresses them later as unspiritual and immature because of the divisions in the church! Cf.3:1ff… but he prayed for them always more than he prayed for the Romans – in fact he requested the Romans to pray for him – I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive with me in your prayers to God on my behalf… (Romans 15:30)
2)  Ephesians 1:16
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…”
Paul prayed for the Ephesians so that he never ceased! He is not lying – he is speaking the truth. This is a church that he had labored for three and a half years. When he left them for the last time, it was with tears (Acts 20). He indeed loved these people. Do you love the people that you minister to as much… I remember a certain lady in the church I serve accusing us, the Elders of the church, of loving the members “too much!” and for this I thanked the Lord!

2.  Devotion to preaching
Look at how he begins chapter 15:1-2a -  I would remind you of the gospel I preached to you which you received, in which you stand and by which you have been saved… his purpose then is to remind them the gospel, to remind them that they received it and that they were saved. He goes on to say that he has faithfully delivered to them the same gospel that he received from Christ – that Christ died for our sins… that he was buried, that he was raised in accordance to the Scriptures (v.3) The gospel is that Christ came and died for our sins! As it has already been pointed out to us, the most important thing is proclaiming Christ and Christ crucified.
a)   Consider how he preached in his missionary journeys – he said that a wide door for effective work has been opened to him, but there were many adversaries (16:9). He took this  work very seriously. Luke records how they went from place to place proclaiming the gospel in spite of the many adversaries – for they were rejected and even suffered many things in the hands of both Jews and Gentiles who opposed them. Yet the Lord led Paul to be an effective gospel preacher and propagator as an apostle to the Gentiles.
b)  Consider his letters – look at the many letters he wrote to the various churches. When he could not visit he sent letters with the message of the gospel so that the gospel was not hindered. Even when he was put in prison, he still was able to preach by a way writing letters.
c)   Consider his advice – from the pastoral letters to his trainees, we can see how close to his heart preaching was to Paul. He told Timothy,
ü I charge you … wage the good warfare (1 Tim 1:18)
ü For this I was appointed a preacher (1Tim. 2:7)
ü If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task (1Tim. 3:1)
ü Command and teach these things… until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you… practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Persist in in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers (1Tim. 4:11-16)
ü Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching (1Tim.5:17)
ü Teach and urge these things (1 Tim.6:2b)
ü Fan into flame the gift of God…  (2Tim.1:6)

3.  Devotion to pastoral care
Consider Acts 18 & 20: Ministry in Corinth and Ephesus, where he served with the gospel by proclaiming it day and night, publically as well as house to house.
Consider his letter to Philemon

1)  1 Cor. 9:14
The Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living from the gospel. He appreciated that those who preach the gospel must live and eat from the gospel as the Lord commanded. But we must recognize that the church will only give in proportion to our labour! They will not be more faithful in giving than you are in serving them because the labourer is worthy is wages. If you are unfaithful, the church will be unfaithful and the only way to break this is by you giving yourself fully to the ministry.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prayer 1

Romans 1:8-12

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.

Paul constantly praying for others, even those he had never met (1 Thess.1:2-3, 2:13), and  exhorting Christians to pray for him (Rm.15:30ff.) this is an example for us to follow, because we are commanded, but also sincerely we want God’s blessings for them.
Following facts are revealed about Paul’s praying:
(1)   We pray not to a God who is distant.  “My” God, possesses God in covenant relationship “I will be your God and you shall be my people” is great blessing of covenant. To Paul God not some distant authority on 20th. floor, nor personal relationship, but love and trust. How is this possible?  God is so great and so holy!
(2)   Only through Jesus Christ.  Gospel centred in God’s Son (v.3), brings us into union with Him (v.6), all things received from Him (v.7), our prayers acceptable only through Christ. Paul can never cease to mention Him (see also Eph.5:20, Heb.13:15, and Jn.14:13-14). It should be obvious that in Christianity there is nothing without Christ, yet many only talk about ‘God’. Do you come to God through own efforts, another mediator, or consciously through Christ?
(3)   With thanksgiving.  Importance of thanksgiving, even in your own children. Paul’s constant practice (e.g. 1 Cor.1:4), commanded in Phil.4:6, 1 Thess.5:18. If there are believers, do not thank them for believing, but thank God who is author of faith! For example if someone brings gift of food from home, you say “Thank them” when you return, sometimes even forget to thank who brought them! Are you able to look at fellow believers as objects of God’s love, and so thank God for them? How can we keep on asking yet never thanking God for very great work already done?
(4)   Without ceasing.  Regularly, disciplined remembrance, knowing all depends on God is the meaning of praying without ceasing. Paul’s constant praying should be such a rebuke to us who pray once then forget, spend such little time in prayer. This should especially be a rebuke to your elders whose specific responsibility it is (Acts 6:4). But also it is a rebuke to you who think that preachers can do it by themselves and do not constantly pray for ministry of word in the church to be used of God to save! It is  true that, “To pray without labour mocks God,” but “to labour without prayer robs God of glory”

One of reasons we should make every effort to pray with God’s people at prayer meetings. It is a good sign if convicts us, knowing no excuse of busyness – are ever too busy to eat? If it happens then you suffer physically! In the same way it you suffer spiritually if you are slothful in prayer.  I love my fellow believers and know they depend on my prayers, as I do on theirs. What about you who do not see need, who never pray for others?
Paul had often planned to go to Rome (vv.10, 13).  Naturally, at heart of Roman Empire. But this was impossible for many years because called to other labours to evangelize where Christ was not known and now accomplished in Eastern area (15:22-23, see Acts 19:21). Perhaps this letter was to prepare them for his soon coming. So he had been making this desire a matter of continuing prayer to show hoe he was determined to get to Rome. We know he eventually arrived in Rome – but as a prisoner!!
(5)   He submitted his desires to the will of God (v.10).  Clear example of how guidance was received:
§  Make plans, taking into account God’s revealed will & God’s purpose for your life, and  make sure there are Biblical goals that will be accomplished (see 2)
§  Pray constantly that such plans might be fulfilled even when hindered from coming to pass. For example, plans to visit home with gospel, having been converted – do not be put off.

§  Willing to submit fulfilment to providential will of God, wholehearted, unconditionally. So able to accept delay without frustration; God has other things for present (Acts 16:6-10). Is it wrong to pray “If it is your will”? because it seems to lack faith in prayer. Rather, wrong not to do so (Acts 18:21, 1 Cor.4:19, 16:7, see Jas.4:13-17). Expresses true faith for recognizes God as sovereign disposer of all events, will unknown. No “naming and claiming” as if whatever we desire now must be fulfilled now. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pornography Addiction!


FLEE FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY – 1 CORINTHIANS 6:18
1.    Tell someone you trust about the addiction. The power of sin is in its darkness. Furthermore, he who conceals his sins cannot prosper – except who confesses and renounces who will obtain mercy (Prov. 28:13). The best idea is to enlist an accountability partner with whom you will promise to be honest – confess your sins to one another (James 5:16). If you are married, you need to make confession to your spouse. If you are a minor, you need to confess to your parents. Whoever has been wronged by your actions needs a confession. But most importantly go to God in repentance and seek His forgiveness for you have first of all sinned against the infinitely Holy God. Why not make your pastor your accountability partner?
2.  Realize that you are a victim of pornography. The addict is the first victim. Spouses are victims. If married, you have left the sanctity of the marital vows (Hebrews 13:4). If unmarried, you have already cheated your future spouse! There will be consequences – guilt and defilement. Just like in an athletic game, staying within the boundaries allows you to not only keep playing, but to win. Those who continually go out of bounds either get side-lined or lose. They will never be happy or find any joy in it. Love is not a feeling, but a daily act of commitment and devotion first to God and then to His creation - to the well-being of the beloved. By it's very nature addiction to porn is a self-centred, self-absorbed way of life. Such selfishness is not and cannot be love – love does not insist on its own way (1Cor. 13:5). Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good (Romans 12:9.
3.  Pornography is based purely on fantasy. Reality can never match the fantasy. Again, one is living against reality here. There will be an escalating desire for the fantasy to become reality. Eventually escalation becomes necessary. Pornography is almost like heroin on the brain. The viewer may start off with very mild porn, but that will cease to excite. They will slowly move into harder forms. When that ceases to excite, some form of acting out will happen. It's all about choosing reality over fantasy. Porn addicts are inordinately affected with this issue because the fantasy has become an alternative reality that can and will never be true. God has told us in His word, Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality (literally pornography) and sensuality, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Romans 13:13-14).
4.  Think your way to health. The problem is not in your hormones or your body, but YOUR HEART. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." Mar 7:21-23.
It is the heart has the control of your mind and the mind controls the rest of the organs in its perversity. This interferes with your perspective so that view other human beings as objects and sex toys instead of an individual who is in the image of God, this enslaves you both. The actors and producers of pornography are all enslaved to this sin. While fornication and adultery is done in secret by two individuals, pornography is immorality that has multiple accomplices including the consumer! This in no way reduces or excuses the sin of fornication and adultery, but it illustrate how you make yourself a consumer of a poison that has killed so many others.
There is only one way to disentangle yourself from this terrible vicious circle – by calling on Jesus Christ who is the only One who is able to save sinners from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Thankfully, Christ calls out for sinners to come to Him for mercy and pardon of their sins. He says,Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” Mat 11:28. Though your sins be as red as crimson, He will make you as white as snow …. "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isa 1:18.

5.  Begin by hearing the gospel truth! This can only happen where God has worked – where He has given a new heart replacing the stony heart. This will be a reality in a person who has experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. You do not have the strength to work yourself to the point of cleansing – only God can. Only the blood of Christ is able to cleanse from all unrighteous, for He has said, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9). Then work towards a solid relationship with God, which includes fidelity, faithfulness, love and respect for God and His people. Only this will be satisfying.
6.  Improve your self-image and perspective.  
You worldview must be informed by God’s word. God created you in His own image and you must bear this image when you are Christian. Remember For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Rom 8:29.
You are not an animal (no matter what nonsense they teach at school about evolution). I can assure you that you are not at the mercy of your hormones and physical sensations. You have the ability to think and to reason. In making ourselves to be slaves of the physical, we put all reason aside and become as animals. This is not how we were created. Not only are you not an animal without reason, the person you are looking at is not an animal. At this point, this is how you are treating them. The pleasure (which is God’s displeasure, but wrath) you are getting here and now is going to have future repercussions, may be eternal implications!
7.   Understand the difference between the immediate and the eternal. Every word, every deed, indeed, every thought has consequences. You will one day stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account… For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Rom 14:10-12.
Once you get a grip on that reality, you are more willing to reassess what you are thinking. One of the best quotes I have ever read said that, "wisdom is knowing reality and adjusting yourself to it.

Books recommended:

1.    Porn Again – Mark Driscol
2.  Escape from the Addiction to Pornography: A WAY OUT – Anonymous
George Collins MA
Paperback
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Ph.D. Kevin B. Skinner
Paperback
$12.62

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$14.44

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$13.84

Michael Leahy
Paperback
$3.59


Link:  www.raanetwork.org/men-use-porn/

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of Our Lord

15th March 2014         2 Peter 3:14–18         
A Christian life should be marked by a steady growth. If you had a garden that you have planted vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and turnips, then you make sure that you provide all the necessities of growth and high production. Then you make sure that the soil is good, the water supply is consistent, weeds and pests are kept away and diseases are prevented. But what if after you have done everything, you still find that the crops are stunted in growth, and no yield is forthcoming? Will you continue to provide water, pay workers to weed and spray more chemicals? Most people will simply go and uproot these useless crops and plant something else, won’t you? This is the most natural thing to do. In the same manner the Lord has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them we become partakers of divine nature and show a steady growth in grace and his knowledge. The growth must be seen in our making effort to supplement our faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2Peter 1:5-8)
This is what he is talking about when he says that we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in closing this letter. In this letter the Lord has explained what is needed of us to grow as Christians and we have to grow because of the divine investments made in us by the Sovereign God. How do we show this steady growth? So he says, “Therefore, beloved…”

1.      We should regard the time in which we live as a time of salvation (vv.14, 15)
The expected growth can only happen where there is a certain attitude towards the time and age we live in. Because we are waiting for the great revelation of Christ in great glory, we are called to a life of diligence spiritual things. More than anything else we ought to concern ourselves with diligence in spirituality. When we put our minds and hearts into pursuing anything else, we show that we are not waiting for the great day, when the heavens and the earth will be set on fire and dissolved. When you do not live in view of that Great Day, you fall into the same category of scoffers who continue with scoffing overlooking various facts about God, about men and about created order and the God appointed time frame of all things.
Talking about time, we are told that we have to labour in diligence and working hard to be found by Christ without spot or blemish, and at peace (v.14). If you are spotted by various blemishes of sin – evil thoughts, covetousness because of the materialism of our day, malice, gossip, financial impropriety, bad conscience, etc. then be sure that you are not at peace. But more than anything else you are called upon to count the patience of our Lord, in delaying to come for His people, as salvation. As long as the Lord has not come, it means that we can pray for our friends and relatives to be saved. It means that we can bring to them the gospel and we can call them to repentance and to come to Christ. As long as we are in this side of eternity, we can go on missions.
Going on missions means that you wake up to the service of God than to make money. You look at your colleagues at work as your God-appointed mission than as just people whom you happen to work with. This is the way we are to look at our children… as the mission place where we are to spread the glories of Christ. We are to consider how we spend time in school, and ask how is the time spent an indication that you are counting the patience of the Lord as salvation for yourself and for others?  The only history of eternal significance is the story of salvation by Christ. It is about the gospel preaching and missions and its off-shoots in sound doctrine and holy living.
2.      Paul taught the same with the same authority as the inspired Old Testament Scriptures.
See, Romans 2:4 (vv.15, 16). Peter is not teaching a new teaching about Christian living – he is reiterating what God has already said through the Apostle Paul in His letters. Both Paul and Peter teach that God's withholding judgment is an act of forbearance that should be regarded as giving added time for repentance and salvation. And in Romans 2:4, Paul says, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” and again, 2 Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Clearly in appealing to Paul, Peter is showing such respect for Paul’s writing. The following century Polycarp wrote of Paul’s writing with greater admiration.
You notice that this is so important that the Lord has to say it by two of His apostles – two witnesses are necessary! It is so important that it has to be repeated because you must not miss it. This is what Peter is affirming when he writes, “our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you. This shows such warmth and Christian affection for Paul, who many theologians have sought to disparage and misrepresent – to their own damnation. Paul himself wrote a number of times in his letters when he speaks in them of this same matters. Notice how Peter emphasizes the content of Paul’s letters, something he also now writing about! But it is also comforting to see that Peter also found Paul’s letters hard to understand. Of course we also struggle in understanding some of the things in the Bible, but this must not stop us from reading or recommending others to read them. As we read and study, the Lord is pleased to bring us to an understanding.
Paul’s letters are more than letters – they are equal to Scriptures. In every respect of Paul’s letters Peter is affirming that Paul wrote his letters … according to the wisdom given him. Who gave Paul this wisdom? It is God, Peter is Jew and as much as he can he uses pronoun for God’s name, hence the passive voice used here. Therefore, as these letters are the wisdom of God, there are ignorant, unstable and perverse sinful men who cannot stand the truth and so they are bent on twisting them to suit their own intention. They do this because they cannot stand God’s word, the Scriptures. But when people reject God’s wisdom, given for their salvation, they destroy themselves. Peter says that when they twist the Scriptures, they destroy themselves in effect.
Paul Himself claims that what is writing is Scriptures: “For I received from the Lord what I delivered to you(1 Cor. 11:23)If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:37). It is for this reason he starts his letters by introducing himself as an apostle and servant of Christ expecting you to very seriously take His word as coming from the Lord. When you take it less serious than that, then it is to the detriment of your soul.
I want you to very clearly notice that the misinterpretation of Scripture can lead to destruction. The interpretation of Scripture is a matter of life and death and all teachers and preachers of God’s Word should take heed. James said (in 3:1): "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness." Why? Because the eternal destiny of the people hangs on how they interpret the Scripture. Unfaithfulness to God’s Word is both detrimental to the teachers and to the hearers, neither should be complacent because it is a matter of eternal life and death.
3.      The inspiration of Paul's letters, nevertheless, does not mean they are all easy to understand (v.16). 
NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
a)      Being inspired, the Scriptures reveal the mind and the infinite wisdom of God.
b)      The mind of God is vastly greater than our mind and will often be perceived by us as strange and complex, not familiar and simple. We should not make it palatable to the human mind.
c)      Therefore, the Scriptures will sometimes be strange and complex and hard to understand, and we should only accept them as the Lord has given them to us and not welcome human wisdom instead. Our finite minds fails to fully grasp the Trinity, or the Sovereignty of God and the human responsibility, yet we are to learn to accept these truths as God-given for our edification.
d)      The continued selection only of what is simple in the Bible would be a sin in the regular preaching of the church, because Hebrews 5:13 says, "Everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness; for he is a child."
e)      Therefore, preaching which aims to deliver the whole counsel of God in Scripture (and which does not presume to be wiser than the apostles) will sometimes be complex and will demand from God's people the utmost in humility and mental effort. This is the way God has appointed for your spiritual growth. Peter in his first letter says, “Like newborn infants long for the pure spiritual milk (of the word) that by it you may grow up into salvation (1Peter 2:2)

4.      Therefore, guard yourself by growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (v.17-18). 
There is only one remedy to the deception and destruction in the world. There is only one way to guard yourself from error and destruction of the ungodly, whoever they are. It is a steady growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ, when there is no growth in grace and knowledge of Christ, one will soon be swept away by sinful desires, by the deception of the many false teachers and be destabilized so that it is so easy to fall away. Peter's great desire for these people, which is the same desire that I have in preaching this to you, is that you might experience lots and lots of God's grace.  I care for your spiritual growth more than anything else – this is my responsibility to you. I pray that you will be fully committed to this and so soak it in like sunshine through our leaves and grow by it. Grace is what we must have when we come to die. Grace is our only ray of hope when the future darkens over with storm clouds of fear.
And how shall we receive this grace? Where shall we send our roots down? To what sunshine shall we turn up our leaves? To the knowledge of God which is based on the promises given to us when the Master bought us by his death (2:1). . I pray that you may experience this grace day by day and so I preach to you so that you may grow in the knowledge of Christ. When I look at you I pray that you might learn to suck grace and knowledge up through your roots and grow by it .The best fertilizer for our hope and godliness is the knowledge of our future in God's grace.
What I am encouraging you here is that you will appreciate the word of God that we labour to bring to you day by day. That you will spend more time with your Bible, listening to God speak to you. That you will look for sound Christian books and websites and immerse yourself into the knowledge of God’s word. You make use of the good sermons being produced every day. What happens when you come across good fruits or a good pair of cloth? You immediately want to spend your money, sometimes even unplanned so that you may get what you want, right? My generation is so obsessed with good phones and gadgets, and people are willing to spend 150K for computer, 100K for a tablet, 80K for a phone, yet has a salary of only 50K! Yet unwilling to spend time seeking God, His Kingdom and its righteousness! People spend 5hours a day on social media and at most 10minutes in prayer, 5minutes in reading God’s Word. Brethren this is unacceptable. You have got to have your priorities right.
5.      The great goal of God in your life is His glory! (v.18b)
The number one purpose for your existence is the glory of God and so Peter concludes this letter by signing off with the words that he would like us to take home with us - "To him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." This is what must possess us and this is what we must got hold off and live in a manner to glorify God. When we fully grasp this we will fully then walk and live as men and women who are concerned for eternity. Everything is designed to bring glory to God through His Son to whom He has given a name that is above every other name so that at His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
The message of 2 Peter is that the joy of hope is the power of godliness; this can only be true when God is genuinely glorified. We can only have the full delight when God is our number 1.  The knowledge of God's promises is the pathway to the delight drawn from God. When he have this knowledge of God we also share in the might of his power (1:3, 4). And the promises, the power, the hope, and the godliness are all because of his grace. And so the book ends—and with these words we take our leave: "To him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."