Read: II Peter 3
“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” (II Peter 3:11)
There are quite a few of us believers who live like Planet Earth is our forever home. We set our priorities, plan our activities, and spend our money like this is all there is. We’re investing pretty much all we’ve got in this world.
Over the past seven years, I have made sixteen trips to poverty stricken regions in Ethiopia to plant churches, train leaders, and do humanitarian work. In these previously unreached areas, the churches we have planted, now over 1,800 of them, are thriving beyond our expectations. Over 80,000 new believers gather each week for worship and the kingdom of God is advancing much like we read about in the book of Acts.
And individually, these poor African believers are thriving as well! By watching their lives, you quickly come to realize that they who have so little have so much more joy that we who have so much, yet have so little joy. By comparison, they are the far richer people
Why? Because they have put their hope in the Lord. They are looking forward to a city whose architect and builder is God. They have very little by the world’s standards, and even what they do have, they hold loosely. They have invested everything—sometimes they even have given their lives as an investment—in the eternal kingdom of our God. They have made good investments that will produce ever-increasing returns throughout all eternity.
We need to take stock in the kinds of investments we are making. Ask somebody who knows you well what they have observed your priorities to be. What does the way you spend money or plan your calendar or live your life in general tell them about you and the things you value?
If your life is like mine, others might very well conclude that we are making far too big of an investment in a world that is soon going to come to a fiery end. And truthfully, that’s a very bad investment.
Peter asks the question that given the fact of Planet Earth’s soon coming fiery demise, what kind of people then should we be? How then should we live? Since everything we see, every material possession we own, every physical thing we’ve worked so hard to get will one day go up in smoke, what kind of attitude toward those things and this life should Christians hold? Then Peter gives the answer:
- We should make every effort to live holy and blameless lives: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives…since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (II Peter 3:11,14).
- We ought to be anticipating God’s promises rather than promoting the things of this earth: “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (II Peter 3:13)
- We ought to be focusing on Christ’s return more than the remainder of our days on earth: “Look forward to the day of God and speed its coming…we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth.” (II Peter 3:12,13)
- We ought to be at peace with God and keep pure in our faith: “Since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (II Peter 3:14).
- We ought to be giving every effort to our spiritual growth: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:18)
To live any other way shows that we are still investing in the ephemeral stuff of earth rather than the everlasting stuff of heaven.
Take a look around. Whatever you see is going to vanish soon. Only what is done by faith will carry over to and count toward the next life.
Today is a great day to begin a new trend of making much better investments.
Lord, my hope is in you and not in the things of this earth. I will hold them loosely, but cling tightly to you. Enable me to live the kind of life today that will show on that final day that I have been rich toward the things of God.