SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
2 Peter 3
Key Verses: So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (NIV) -- 2 Peter 3:14, 15
When our boys were growing up, I made many promises to them that I did not keep. Gradually I began to realize how important it is to keep promises we make to our children. Promises broken by those we love can wound our souls deeply. I am thankful that my sons have forgiven me.
As for the promises of our Lord Jesus, we need not worry. He will keep all his promises. Growing in faith as believers, we learn to trust Jesus. Once we surrender to his Lordship, we experience the fulfillment of his promises in our personal lives.
He promised us his presence. I have known his presence in my life. I have had the joyous sense of knowing that he has made my heart his home. I cannot count the number of times fear has been conquered by his presence in my mind and heart.
He promised to guide us. I have been sure of his guidance. Many times I have known a sense of “divine appointment.” I knew I was where he wanted me to be, there to serve or to love in his name.
He promised us joy. What joy he has given me, repeatedly! I know now that much of life’s sadness could not be endured were it not for the joy the Lord gives us in the midst of affliction. Surely his light shines brightest in the darkest hours of our lives. What comfort his joy has been in every time of sadness!
He promised us that he would teach us. Oh, how he has taught me! I was ignorant, naive, and stubborn, and he gently guided me to his truth and away from error. Thank God a disciple is “a learner,” for I am still learning in my old age!
He promised that his word would never perish. In my lifetime, I have seen many things perish, but his precious words remain, alive and well. How blessed we are because the holy scriptures endure, always available to give us hope for the future.
He promised us the Father’s forgiveness when we repent of our sins. What great joy fills my heart to know that I have been saved by grace, that my salvation has nothing to do with my achievements! Oh, that every soul on earth might know the incredible joy of our loving Father’s forgiveness!
He promised us trouble and trials, and we all have them. Yet in the midst of our difficulties he assured us that because he has “overcome the world,” we could have victory also. Therefore, we can sing “Victory in Jesus” because we know that none of our troubles can thwart his eternal purpose for our lives!
He promised us that we could walk in the light. Though we have sometimes chosen the darkness, we have found that an unwise choice. When we have trusted his light, our pathway has been plain. Walking in his light, we have found that there is no better way to travel this life than “the way of the Lord.” That way alone is the way of fruitfulness, joy, and peace. Glory!
He promised to comfort us. He has and he does! When one of our sons was struggling with alcoholism, he put his arms around us and that son, and eventually gave him victory! When our marriage was falling apart, he comforted us, holding our hands until on our knees we made a new start! When our son died, his comforting love saved us from despair and gave us hope of a heavenly reunion!
He promised us there would be scoffers, and there are in every age. The scoffers say we are foolish to trust an invisible God, or to believe that the Bible is anything more than “just another book.” Scoffers say, “Two thousand years have come and gone, and your Jesus has not returned. How can you possibly believe that Jesus is coming back?”
We have a choice. We can believe Jesus or we can believe the scoffers. Peter believed the promises of Jesus. We can also, and we should.
One day the scoffers will be cursed and condemned to outer darkness, while believers will be blessed and received with joy into the Father’s eternal kingdom.
Peter saw no better option. He encouraged believers to remain faithful, trusting the promises of Jesus until he returns. Let us heed his advice and “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” until he returns, or until he receives us into the Father’s House. Let us pray that we will not fall away from the “steadfastness” of faith that pleases God!
When I think of how my life has been blessed because Jesus keeps all his promises, I want to shout with Peter: “To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen”!
+ + + +