Nine years ago I wrote a blog containing a prayer based on the Epistle for the coming Sunday, the Second Sunday of Advent. [NOTE 1] Seeing the same reading is set again for Sunday 6th of December 2020, I thought I would revise the blog and the prayer.
In this passage from verses 8 to 14, St Peter outlines a number of important truths.
The Coming Day Of God May Appear To Humans To Be Delayed
One great truth is that the “apparent” delay in the second coming of Jesus means that God is giving people a chance to repent of their sins and turn back to Him, “The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”3:9. One of the truths you learn as you grow older in the Christian faith is that God’s timetable is not the same as ours. God’s delays [according to our timetable] are part of His eternal purpose in His grace and love. His desire is that all should come to repentance and miss out on perishing for their sins.
The Coming Day Of God Is Certain To Come
Another truth is that the second coming is sure to come, and people need to be prepared for it. “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness. 3:11. “Lives” is [anastrophē; ἀναστροφή] meaning a manner of life or behaviour and such lives are to be based on holiness [hagios; ἅγιος ] meaning being set apart for God. “Godliness” is [eusebeia; εὐσέβεια which has the sense of being godly, like God in character.
As they prepare for His coming His people need to be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. All these characteristics require a closeness of walk with God as they are not natural human characteristics.
The Coming Day Of God Can Be Hastened As Believers Live As They Should.
There is also a surprising truth in these verses. “Waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 3:12. How can we as believers ‘hasten’ the coming of the King? The word for hasten is [speúdō; σπεύδω] which mean to hasten in time, to come more quickly, to come sooner or to hasten towards some objective, such as in this verse, the coming day of God.
If all believers were to live as they should, it could have a greater impact of the unbelieving world and more of God’s elect could come into His kingdom sooner than otherwise might have been the case. However God being omnipotent knows the exact day and hour of His coming. Nothing takes Him by surprise.
How can we play our part in becoming more holy and godly? How can we become more without spot or blemish and at peace? By asking God in prayer to make us more like that, and cooperating with His Holy Spirit as He seeks to make the necessary changes within us. One verse which helps us to understand what is involved in this inner transformation to become more like God is this from 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” This means getting our focus right in life by focusing on the Lord Himself and beginning to reflect in our own lives, the object of our adoration and praise. As we do so, God Himself by His Spirit, begins to transform us more and more into Christ’s likeness. As Jesus was transfigured on the mountain before His disciples, so we can know an ongoing transformation by the Holy Spirit for the same word [metamorphóō; μεταμορφόω ] is used for transfiguration and for transformation.
The final part of the verse [For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.] reminds us that to accomplish the will of God in our lives and to live for Him, requires that we allow His Holy Spirit to do His transforming work in our hearts as we open them wide to Him.
A Prayer To Pray
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that at His first coming, Jesus came and died, so that I might have forgiveness and eternal life by receiving Him. As I prepare for His second coming in power and glory, enable me to become the person You want me to be.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, so that I might become more holy, more godly, more at peace with You as I live for You in Your world.
Fill me with Your love, so that I might be motivated and empowered by Your Spirit to live the life, to talk the talk and to walk the walk You want me to.
Enable me by Your Spirit to help others come to repentance and faith in You, so that they too might be ready for His coming in glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN”
NOTE 1. Blog No.052. Posted on Saturday 17th December 2011
Blog No.374 posted on Friday 06 December 2020.