DEVOTION: The Ladder of Faith (2 Peter 1:1-11)
The letter we know as 2 Peter is hardly ever read in church. It is also hard to get a decent commentary on it either. And the reason for that, is that over the years people have expressed doubts about its place in the New Testament. Indeed, there has even been doubt over whether the Apostle Peter wrote it.
Nevertheless, the letter is in the bible. And I’m pleased it is so, because the letter has much to tells us. Not least of which is that faith is not the end of the Christian journey, but only the beginning.
Because, according to the letter, Jesus may attract people, and he may give his power to enable people to respond, but people need to give the appropriate response too. And that means not only responding by accepting Jesus by faith, but by committing themselves to continue the journey of faith too.
In short, the passage suggests that faith is like a ladder, with faith beginning at the bottom rung. So, on that ladder, there will be those who willingly climb the rungs and grow in their faith. These are the truly fruitful Christians. But there will also be others who get stuck at a particular level, who resist growing further in the faith, and who hold on to some worldly ways of doing things. These are the barren Christians and they can be very counterproductive to the life of the church.
Now it doesn’t really matter what level people are on—which rung they’ve reached. The different levels don’t make some people better than others. What matters is that people who have believed have gone on with their faith. That they are not stagnant—stuck on a particular rung—but they are committed to the process of climbing the ladder.
And for a church to be truly healthy, it needs to have a great number of fruitful Christians, and it needs to encourage all Christians to climb the ladder. It needs to encourage those who are stuck, to rejoin the climb too. Because, if the church is going to grow, it needs great number to not only climb the ladder themselves, but to help and encourage those who are stuck on the rungs too.
Posted: 3rd August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
DEVOTION: Life Is a Journey (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Life is a journey, and on that journey, we are constantly asked to leave things behind. And sometimes that can be very hard, and other times it can be very easy. The idea, however, is that if we move on, we can grow, develop, and expand our horizons and experience. And that is true from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective.
The trouble is, if we don’t, we can get stuck in the past, and become staid and stale. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t fondly remember the things that have happened. All it means, is that we shouldn’t get stuck there.
Having said that, we need to be very careful. The world can be a minefield. And one of the tricks we need to master is to be able to distinguish between good growth and bad growth; things that are helpful, and things that can lead us into trouble.
And that’s why these two verses from Peter are so important. Because, they were written to a group of people who were on a journey. And Peter knew that the only sure way to avoid life’s pitfalls was to depend upon divine help. And that’s advice worth remembering as we move on in life, and as we all travel along life’s journey.
Posted: 30th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis