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Our Spiritual Wake-up Call
2 Peter 1 8-18
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 17, 2013
*Peter has been talking about the wonderful things God has done and can do in our lives.
Now starting in vs. 8, Peter gives us a spiritual wake-up call from God. Let's begin by reading 2 Peter 1:8-18.
*Sometimes people get sleepy in church.
We've all been there.
I read about a preacher named Jim Dunn, who sometimes forgot when to stop preaching.
One Sunday the sermon seemed to go on forever, and many in the congregation fell asleep.
*Well, Jim's wife is named Gladys, -- Gladys Dunn.
And she is a lot like my wife: energetic and friendly to everybody.
Gladys loved to greet visitors after church.
That Sunday, she walked up to a sleepy, new guest, stuck out her hand and said, "Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn."
*That sleepy man looked back at her and replied: "You're not the only one!" (1)
*Sometimes we're going to get sleepy in church, but a much bigger problem is Christians falling asleep spiritually in life.
That's why in vs. 13 Peter said: "Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you."
*The word picture behind "stir you up" is someone who keeps trying to wake us up.
God wants His people to wake up!
And in these verses He helps us see what this means.
1. First: God wants us to wake up, to the great responsibility of His riches.
*Think back on the wonderful things God has done in our lives:
-Back in vs. 1 Peter says that we "have obtained like precious faith with" them "by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ."
-In vs. 2, God's "grace and peace are being multiplied to" us "in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
-In vs. 3, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue."
-And in vs. 4 we see the "exceedingly great and precious promises" that have been given to us.
*Then in vs. 5-7 Peter listed 7 divine qualities that can be added to our lives because we are born again with the nature of Jesus Christ: Virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, Godliness, brotherly kindness and God's kind of agape love.
All of these fruitful things can grow in us because of our relationship with Jesus.
*And since so much has been given to us, we have the responsibility to live Godly, fruitful lives in this world.
God wants us to be fruitful!
-- Adding new virtues to our lives, and adding new people to His Kingdom.
*This is why in vs. 8 Peter said: "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
*Then in vs. 12&13:
12. Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth.
Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
*Peter wanted to wake us up to the great responsibility that comes to us because so much has been given to us.
God's riches bring great responsibility.
As Jesus said in Luke 12:48, "Everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required."
*We can be inspired by a Christian girl who lives in India.
Her name is Namrata Nayak.
Namrata is about 15 years old today.
But when she was 10, Hindu extremists bombed her home trying to kill Christians.
Namrata's face was badly burned and she had shrapnel wounds on 40 percent of her body.
*At the time Elizabeth Scalia wrote: "I am struck by her power and beauty, which is transmitted through her eyes.
One does not see the scars for the steadiness and fullness of Namrata Nayak's eyes.
Her eyes are fearless.
She is unintimidated.
*She looks directly at you, with a collectedness and assurance that only comes from deep interior knowledge.
Namrata knows who she is.
At ten years of age, she understands the world in ways many of us never will, no matter how long we tread the stony paths."
*Here are the little girl's own heroic words: "The world has seen my face destroyed by the fire, now it must come to know my smile full of love and peace.
I want to dedicate my life to spreading the Gospel.
We forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes.
They were out of their minds.
They do not know the love of Jesus.
For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us.
This is my future."
*Thankfully, Namrata almost completely recovered from her burns.
But haven't we been given so much more than her? Surely we have in many ways.
And so we have the responsibility to be like her.
-God wants us to wake up to the great responsibility of His riches.
He also wants us to wake up to the treasure of our time.
*Peter reminds us of this treasure in vs. 12-14, where he says:
I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth.
Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
14. knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.
*Peter was talking about that walk on the beach he took with the Lord after Jesus rose from the dead.
Three times Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?"
*Then in John 21:18 Jesus told Peter, "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish."
Jesus was talking about Peter dying on a cross.
And by the time Peter wrote this letter, that time was near.
*Even at the best, our time in this world is short.
James 4:14 asks, "What is your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."
*Our time in this world is a treasure.
It's too precious to waste.
The life we live in this world is much shorter than we think.
Abraham Lincoln died almost 148 years ago.
It was on April 14th, 1865, and that seems like a long, long time ago.
But one of Mary's grandfathers was born that same year!
And we were born just 86 years after Lincoln died.
*One time our daughter Katie and I were on the way to school, and we started talking about an old song I was singing.
I told her I thought it was from back in the late 50's.
And in amazement she asked: "You were alive in the 50's?"
*The 50's may seem like forever ago, but it's not.
Our time in this world is short.
And we should treat it like a treasure.
-God wants us to wake up to the treasure of our time.
He also wants us to wake up to the legacy we can leave.
*Peter was thinking about his legacy in vs. 15 when he said: "Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease."
*Peter wanted to have a long and lasting legacy.
Peter wanted his life to count for Christ long after he had joined the Lord in Heaven.
What kind of legacy will we leave for the cause of Christ?
*One of the great blessings God has given me was the privilege of 5 mission trips to Ukraine.
I still have some contacts over there, and this week I heard from a Youth Pastor named Roman Bevz.
Roman is coming back to the States in May.
And Lord willing, I would like our church to hear about and help his work with students in Ukraine.
*The last time I got to go there was in 2005.
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