In order to live a purposeful, intentional life, there are specific things Scripture teaches you need to do. Regularly. God made people in His image. He crowned people “with glory and honor.” He made them to rule the earth. And He made people for Himself. Yes, God made you for Himself. He wants relationship with you. So – what kind of person should you be?
Peter recommends 4 things in Scripture:
- Engage in daily, wholesome thinking.
- Remember what you already know.
- Stay away from scoffers.
- Stay away from people who live for their own pleasure.
Peter reminds – the world was once destroyed by water. (People deliberately forget.) The world will one day be destroyed by fire. (People deliberately ignore.) Into this mix, Peter adds – Jesus will return and create a new heavens and earth. Wow.
So – why think about the end of things?
First, when it happens, it will be too late. Those split seconds when Jesus returns will be like a slo mo movie happening all around you – but you will have no “say” about the outcome. All your “say” is NOW. Daily.
Second, live out the 4 points above. Every day. Don’t become discouraged as you work each day to be the kind of person Scripture teaches you to be. God is never slow. He is always patiently strategizing how to save people!
- How do you engage daily wholesome thinking?
First, make up your mind to do it. Walk away from negative, critical, angry thinking. Put thoughts through the Philippians 4 “Thinking Grid.” [Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praise-worthy] Those kinds of thoughts come from God.
Second, ask good questions:
- What movies do I watch?
- What friends have I picked?
- What books am I reading?
- Where do I surf on my device?
- What do I let into my head?
- What attitudes do I choose?
- Do I insist on replacing negative, critical, angry attitudes with ones that please God?
- How much time do I spend reading Scripture? Memorizing it? Praying it into my heart?
- Who do I invite to “speak into” my life? Whose influence should I “boot out?”
- Remember what you already know.
Where did you learn what you know? Attitudes? Ideas?
If you learned guilt and shame, you need to forget. Jesus doesn’t think like that. If you learned pride, you need to forget. Jesus doesn’t think like that.
Use the Thinking Grid (above). If thoughts pass through unscathed, keep thinking that way. If not, throw those thoughts in the trash can outside your mind – SLAM the lid!
- God loves you.
- Jesus became a human like you.
- He lived without sin and died to take punishment for sin onto Himself and away from you!
- Jesus rose from the dead, accomplishing everything He intended.
- He went into Heaven and rules all creation.
- Jesus sent His Spirit – as promised – to live inside every believer.
- He is coming back – as promised.
Remember: these critical things keep you on track!
3. Stay away from scoffers
I know you have your friends. But you need to look long and hard at this. I’ve heard the argument – be friends with sinners to win them to Jesus. Not Scriptural! Scripture says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” (Ps. 1:1) OR “The righteous choose their friends carefully.” (Prov. 12:26) It’s more accurate to say – be friendly with sinners to win them to Jesus. Friends have direct influence over you. Carefully choose your influencers. Jesus modeled these principles.
Jesus had a carefully selected inner circle of friends. Yet He invited all people into His life for the right reasons. Jesus loves sinners! He is on a mission, taking back every person who will respond – from the enemy who tricked them away from Him. He leaves scoffers with their free will to choose. They do not make it into His inner circle – never will!
- Stay away from people who live for their own pleasure
People want what they want.
It boils down to a profound idea: After trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord, give up personal rights to Him. Prefer His interests over your own. (Phil. 2:21) Living sacrifice: DONE living for self. Surrender.
If you step away from living for pleasure (and others who do that) and delight yourself in the Lord – well – maybe you should read what will happen: Ps. 37:4. Check it out. You will like it.
This is the kind of person you should be.
Article developed from: 2 Pet. 3:1-9.
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