For today’s worship, let?s cry out to God with a plea that we would be able to hear what He is saying to us. Do you hear words of peace, comfort, salvation? Listen during worship today.
Psalm 85:8-9 Common English Bible (CEB)
8 Let me hear what the Lord God says,
because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
Don’t let them return to foolish ways.
9 God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him
so that his glory can live in our land.
- What are you bringing to this prayerful time with God today (worries, hopes, fears, etc.)?
- Now midway through our second week, what are you sensing about your biggest desire? What are you most hoping for when He comes? Why do you desire this? What does God think about it?
Allow yourself whatever time is necessary here in prayer to get in touch with this deep longing of your soul while allowing God to speak.
2 Peter 3:11-15a
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming day of God. Because of that day, the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt away in the flames.13 But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Preparing for Christ’s coming in judgment
14 Therefore, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found by him in peace, pure and faultless. 15 Consider the patience of our Lord to be salvation, just as our dear friend and brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.
What will you be doing?
Depending on where you are in your journey, thinking about what you will be doing when Jesus comes again can be a fun exercise, or one fraught with anxiety.
Will I be ironing clothes? Goodness I hope not! He wouldn’t exactly find me smiling.
Will I be driving? Gosh, I sure hope not. He wouldn’t exactly find me smiling.
Will I be cheering on my favorite football team? Whelp, I sure hope not. This year He wouldn’t exactly find me smiling.
Ok, let’s move on from this section of today’s blog post, shall we? This is depressing.
Will I be found in peace?
What Jesus hopes to find when He comes is for us to be at peace.
Whether He finds us driving in rush hour traffic with a bunch of very poor drivers making us later by the minute or catches us celebrating loudly our football team’s victory, when He comes, He wants to find us at peace.
I don’t often find myself at peace. You?
God is patient
It’s fascinating that after Peter ambushes us with all this peace talk, he immediately talks again about God’s patience toward us. And surprisingly, he tethers that patience to salvation.
God’s patience is intermingled with, and is an operative agent in, God’s salvation.
God’s salvation brings about our purity. We are already blameless and pure. God’s patience merely waits for us to figure out that we are. God’s patience waits for us to live out who He made us to be and who He ongoingly empowers us to be. That’s all part of His saving plan.
If when He comes He finds us living lives oriented toward peace – even peace toward those we disagree with politically, religiously, and otherwise, it must be said in our day! – He’ll know we are getting what the whole dang plan was from the get-go.
This is how He wants to find us – living a with-God life.
We CAN live in peace
When we understand who we are in Christ, that we’ve been given everything for life and godliness, we can live lives of peace, even today.
Earlier in this passage, Peter said that when He comes, it will be like a “thief in the night.”
It’s striking to me to again encounter this nighttime imagery, a time when most people sleep.
We began these Advent reflections with a call to wake up! Most of us are asleep. In broad swaths of our lives, it is nighttime and we are snoring, unaware that we are about to be startled awake.
But when we aren’t living who God designed us to be, God is patiently saving us until we finally discover our true selves in Him.
Here, we find Peter saying that when God comes, to be awake means to be at peace. And Peter gives us the key to being at peace with God, ourselves and others: God’s patient Salvation.
- Today, what do you need to do to be at peace with God?
- Today, what do you need to do to be at peace with yourself?
- Today, what do you need to do to adopt a lifestyle posture of peace toward others?
Pray for one person today who is not at peace with you.
A Closing Prayer
Every single time I encounter a challenging place in scripture where I think there’s no possible way for me to measure up, I also encounter your patience. Lord, thank you for being patient with me. Help me to see all that I am in you so that others can encounter all of you in me.
This Evening and Tomorrow Morning
- This evening, continue again to worship through Psalm 80:3 as a personal prayer. Return to this often over this Advent season.
- What would it look like to begin your day tomorrow morning in peace and to carry that peace with you throughout your day?
Scriptures from Our Advent Series
Texts for First Advent Week:?Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Texts for Second Advent Week: Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-8