Jun 20, 2012

Wednesday SHINE...

Good morning SHINE! This is Rebekah Vepraskas, I am thrilled to dive into 2 Peter with you! :)  On this Wednesday morning, we are finishing up 2 Peter 3. Let's crack our Bibles open and take a little peak at Peter. What is he all about?  I know one thing, Peter made a really good friend in Jesus Christ and likewise. Imagine, being a great friend to Jesus. Wow. :)

Today's Reading: 2 Peter 3

Faith Like Peter 

Y'all, I love Peter. I love that the SHINE girls have a chance to sit with him here in 2nd Peter and revel in his faith and love for Christ. When we have a new author, isn't it fun to get a sense of the author and his background?

Peter is faithful to his friend, Jesus. Peter isn't perfect and he fails miserably, just like we do. He may be a very unlikely leader, you know? Yet, God uses Peter to further the Kingdom of God, just like He uses us today. I was looking back and wanted to share these observations with my SHINE friends.
  • Peter was bold. 
Even as a young man, (the oldest disciple of Christ, but a young man, at just 19 years of age) Peter boldly followed Him to step out and walk on the Sea of Galilee. Matthew 14 tells of this account.

Was Peter's faith perfect? Not by a long shot, he begins to sink, just as he begins walking, but I am struck by Peter's willingness to walk and Christ's grace as He tells Peter to "Come."
  • Peter was fiercely devoted to Christ. 
It was Peter who stepped forward with his own sword and struck the Roman solider who was threatening to take his Lord. John 18.
Did Jesus Christ need a body guard? He had God, what else did he need? I love Peter because he doesn't take time to think, he steps forward and inserts himself to protect what he loves with all of his heart. Jesus Christ. Peter really is bold.
  • Peter was human.
It was also Peter who assured Jesus that he could never deny Him. Matthew 26. Peter argues with Christ, telling Christ that he would die with him instead. Peter fulfills Christ's prophecy by denying Him 3 times. After denying he knew Christ, Peter instinctively knows he blew it. Yet,
  • the Lord lights Peter on fire to do His work. 
Without Peter, we may not know the gospel the way we do today.  (God would have found other means, but He did not have to because Peter took God's message everywhere he could.) Peter devoted his entire life to "telling the good news."  Not only did Peter "tell," but he "told" with reckless abandon. He was beaten, imprisoned and eventually martyred, just like Jesus.

Matthew 16:18 is incredible to me. Christ calls this all into being as He tells Peter, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it."

Christ's prophesy was fulfilled as we read Peter's words today. God used Peter and Peter was faithful.  OK, so here we are, in Wednesday's reading:

This one chapter is filled with reminders from Peter to "keep on keepin' on." Specifically, Peter is speaking of God's promises... The part of this passage that really speaks to me is the part about the promises of God related to my prayers. How often are we praying and we remind God of how long we have been waiting, wanting to hear from Him. I know our family has a prayer that we've prayed for over 20 years. It's a heart cringing prayer, one that we desperately want "answered." There have been some tiny wins, but no major answer(s) to our prayers and today it feels like we are back at square one.

Beginning in verse 8 and continuing through this chapter, Peter explains that when God seems slow to keeping His promises, He is actually showing His patience to us. WOW. I think that is true and yet, I almost drop my Bible reading these words. You mean no news really is good news?

Perhaps, if we don't think of ourselves and we think of the person who we are praying for, God is definitely showing His patience to them. Giving those individuals ample time to "Come." Giving us ample time to show grace, trust Him, live the Christian life without judgment and with the faith in Christ that HE IS ABLE, Ephesians 3:20. He is showing patience to us as we learn how to pray and how to fall within His will.

We all know that we are, by nature, impatient as human beings. Guess what? We have to assume that God created us this way. How else could it happen??? Consequently, it creates this tension in our lives. A tension that is in desperate need of God and a tension that is only satisfied by faith in Him. This all reminds us of how God views time so differently than we do.

Psalms 90:4 echos 2 Peter 3:8:
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
       or like a watch in the night.

"Dear Lord, please help us to rest in this truth today and trust You with the details of our lives. Give us faith in the moments, days and years that it takes for Your promises to be fulfilled. Help us to have peace in You and not in our circumstances. Give us Your peace to know that all of our prayers are answered even though we do not yet know what the answers are. Help us to have faith in your will and that even more passage of time will only leverage answered prayer for Your Glory."

With much love, 
Bek

9 comments:

Lisa said...

Incredibly written Rebekah. I could hear your voice as I read.

And the reminders about our prayers that seem to go unanswered...but He hears them, and He loves us.

Much love to you friend.

Anonymous said...

i love Peter's story too!! What a great way to show us daily that God can use each and every one of us! I love your teaching! Powerful--thank you for sharing with us! Stepping out of the boat daily keeping my eyes on God. No idea how the day will unfold. No plan, but seeking His will!
love to you always!
erin spinks:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the patience reminder Rebekah! Beautifully written. You gave a wonderful outline of Peter and his character. I sometimes have a hard time learning about people in the Bible and how they devoted their lives to God, and what I should draw from their example, but you layed that one out there for me! :) Love, Sarah

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bek,for sharing with us your insight on a Bible hero, who is also a very real human being with many attributes and many faults. What an encouragement for us to keep on keeping on; to get up when we fall, confess our faults trusting the blood of Jesus to cleanse us and the Holy Spirit to enable us to follow Jesus where ever he leads us; to keep on trusting and keep on praying and never give up. Thanks for sharing. It blesses your mom very much and I know it is blessing many others. gloria hudgins

kh7572 said...

Bek -

I oouldn't agree with the prior posters any more! Thank you for your insight today. I love your heart for sharing the word!

Love - Kel

Jill Hill said...

beka,

i love you.

and peter.

a lot.

:)

Mary Hudgins Balicki said...

What Jill said! Well-written and full of treasures about our ro Peter!
Thank you for such an amazing teaching. :)

Women Who Pray said...

Running behind and only reading this today...after we talked dear prayer partner and niece. Whew! Peter...the one that said, Lord, You know I love You...and the LORD said Feed My sheep. The one who He said, On this rock I will build my Church...not on Peter himself the human...on that Truth in Him that recognized that Jesus was and is the Christ...the Anointed...the one who was and is and is to come. With Jesus and John on the Mt. when Jesus and Elijah and Moses appeared...With Jesus in the Garden...with John and James as they slept instead of tarrying an hour in prayer...and yes, cut off the soldier's ear. With Jesus when Jesus said he would be sifted like wheat. And, Peter, who after letting down His best friend and LORD...said I go fishing...and Jesus coming to him and his total abandonment to meet him...shucking his clothes...I also love Peter Bek. I've identified more with him than any of the disciples because of his boldness...and his mistakes...and his getting up and dusting himself off...and going again...each time flying higher ....soaring with Jesus!!!! Woo Hoo!!! Saying all this, I believe that the warning in this chapter is to us...that we be so full of the Word that we not be deceived...

Who am I talking to? Us...we, shinegirls...we the Church of Jesus Christ!! We the end times Church. 2 Peter 2:18 speaks to us...that it is possible to be allured through the lusts of the flesh...we who have escaped from those who live in error...that we can be snared. We have to arm ourselves daily...early...in order not to be lured off...verse 20...says that it is worse for those who have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the LORD and Savior Jesus Christ...but are again entangled and overcome...the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. Better not to have known the way of righteousness, then, having known it...turn from the holy commandment...comapares to a dog returning to his own vomit...or a sow returning having been washed to wallowing in the mire...Chapter 3 shows that Peter was saying, as we are reminded today, yes, it's taking awhile for the LORD not only to answer our individual prayers...but the cry of the Church "to come quickly"...
Our LORD is not willing for any to perish...and this waiting...this long-suffering...this patience that we are being called to will leave us complete and wanting nothing...James 1.

Thanks Beka!!! I love this!!! I love readying...I love this call to train us to wait...I love the LORD ...and I gladly call Him friend!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Molli Brown said...

Thank you so much for this message! I needed this so much "Giving those individuals ample time to "Come." Giving us ample time to show grace, trust Him". I to am impatiently waiting on Him to answer that one Big prayer that I pray everyday. I need to start looking at it from a different perspective!

God's Blessing!