We Have The Mind Of Christ

1 Corinthians 2 is a great chapter with marvelous truths. Verse 16 says, “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which also in Christ Jesus.” As I was thinking about this my mind went back to 2 Peter 1:4. Through God’s exceedingly and great promises, it says, “…that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…”

Our thoughts precede our actions. Our actions reveal the depth of character that resides in our heart. We are created in Christ to be His fragrant witnesses. However, the enemy of our soul wants to use us as his instrument through sin. What does Romans 6 say? We are dead to sin. Dead things cannot be stimulated. Verse 13 says, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin…”

How are we supposed to walk in the newness of faith? Verse 13-14 goes on, “…but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you. For you are not under law but under grace.” Our mind is a member of our body.

We are saved by grace, and we live to the glory of the Lord through His grace. As in salvation, it is as we continue to yield to the Holy Spirit, that we are empowered to be all that He has called us to be. What has He called us to? 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”

A holy calling requires holy living. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” All that we need to live in His holiness is given to us through His word. It is His hidden word that filtrates through our thought processes to keep us free. If we don’t have His word hidden, we have nothing to fight with against the enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 indicates that he is always roaming around to see who is weak in their faith. He is looking for one he can isolate and destroy.

1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” Hebrews 10:24-25 is about the function of His body’s members. It says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We are called to walk with others in like precious faith. We are His army. We need to have each other’s back. Are you accountable to someone? If not, you are satan’s target. He whispers lies in your ears through his fiery darts. He sets trails of unseen sin-traps. God told Cain an important truth for us to remember. Genesis 4:7 says, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Accountability is our mind’s sentinel. It gives us that extra edge for warding off and crushing satan’s advances.

The Right Response To Suffering

This is my newspaper article in today’s paper

No one likes to suffer, but it is a part of life. It is easy to become angry and lash out. However, there is a better way. Jesus is our example. In 1 Peter 2:21-22, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps: Who committed no sin, and there was no deceit in His mouth.”

Suffering comes in myriad forms. We cannot consign it to one category. I was thinking about this. When I was younger, and I was asked how I was, my answer would be ‘fine’ because it was an easy cop out.

I began my healing journey in 1983. At that point I was learning how to forgive those who had hurt me. If someone asked me how I was, my reply would be that I was pressing into Jesus. If that opened a conversation, I could explain what I was wrestling with at that time. It is so easy to hide behind cliches or facades. 

Psalm 15:2 is a great example of a right response in our suffering. It says, “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.” The next time someone asks you how you are, you might like to open your heart a bit, and say, “I’m glad you asked. Do you have a minute?” That will give them an out if they don’t. If they say ‘yes’ then you can begin with, “Yesterday I heard discouraging news. How do you handle times when you feel discouraged?”

Our suffering is an opportunity to reach out in a deeper way. The Lord set that up for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that He is the God of all comfort. Verse 4 is the established pattern that He designed and desires. It says, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

We can also ask “Is there a specific way I could pray for you today?” That would be an enactment of Galatians 6:2 to bear one another’s burdens. Prayer is coming alongside someone, partnering with them in their suffering. It gives us an opportunity to ask and receive.

So much verbal exchange is just surface. There is no depth because it is not a heart-to-heart conversation. Paul admonished the Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians 6:11 he told them, “…our heart is wide open.” Then he disclosed their hearts in verse 12. “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.” When we keep our emotional pain buried, we miss God’s way to rightly respond to our suffering.

Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” This is a great truth that we need to keep in the forefront of our minds.

1 Peter 2:20 says, “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.”

Jesus is our example. Verse 23 says, “Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” 

In Isaiah 53:7 it says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”

Jesus did not verbally react, nor was there even a thought of revenge. He knew He was right, but He didn’t fight for His rights. We do well to remember our words come from our thoughts when we are insulted, treated wrongfully, or slandered. 

The key is trust. Jeremiah 17:5 warns us “…Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.” When we take vengeance into our own hands, we depart from God’s way. It is not ours to solve, only to trust and obey.

If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, now is the perfect opportunity. Jesus died for you. He paid the full penalty of your sins: past, present, and future. I encourage you to confess that you are a sinner and receive His gift of eternal life.

Hidden Invasions

I sold my house and bought an older mobile in a senior mobile park. The owner’s son let me move in on the 19th of December. Escrow closed on Friday the 28th. I had full intentions of replacing things and having the water leaks taken care of as soon as I took ownership. On Monday, January 2, I had a brain injury that stopped me in my tracks.

Not knowing anything about a hidden invader, my health went into a rapid decline. Two and one half months later the Lord revealed that it was mold. My handy man took out several panels in my bathroom where the leak was. One was permeated with mottled colors of dark grey, deep blue, browns, and ochre. Another panel had light grey fuzzy mold on it.

Once the mold was removed my health began to improve. What hidden invaders line the paneling of your heart, that are causing your spiritual sickness? In the military, they will enter an area to subjugate it. We just saw this happen in another country. We have an enemy that wants to infiltrate our hearts to destroy our faith in Jesus.

This is a very brief version of an illustration. I was at a counseling conference in another state. I had met with a counselor and two ladies who were praying as he was questioning me. During one of the speaking sessions about MPD (multiple personality disorder) I had an invasive thought. “Oh, no! I am MPD and no one will know what to do with me when I get back!” That thought caused a negative chain reaction. My heart started racing, I was shaking, and losing strength rapidly. I was literally sliding out of my seat. 

During the break, I raced downstairs to talk to my counselor. I said, “Rus” and repeated my thought. He looked straight into my eyes and softly said, “Marilyn, you are not MPD. I believe that you are a whole person.” Instantly my body began to return to normal. What had happened? The invasive thought was a fiery dart lie. I received it and owned it. Rus spoke truth to me that countered the lie.

Our thoughts control our brain. When that frantic thought hit my brain, it told my body that there was danger. I went into a full on fight or flight mode. The brain does not differentiate between real and perceived danger. I learned at that conference that not all my thoughts were of my own origin. That began an incredible healing journey. The Holy Spirit would reveal a lie that I had believed. I would acknowledge the lie and renounce it.

2 Corinthians 4:2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Renounce means to disown. What fiery dart-lies have you received that are controlling your life?

When ants invade my space, I follow their trail. Once I find their entrance point, I work diligently to wipe out all traces of it. Bringing the truths of God’s word into our heart will set us free. When that truth is worked into the fabric of our thought processes, it will wipe out the trails from the lies we believed.

Heart Husbandry 

In John 15 we read how our Father tends to our branches. He cares for each one of us with His excellent and strategic pruning. Verse 2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Years ago I sawed off a huge branch that was crowding out another plant. I left for an hour. When I came back I was startled to see that the leaves had already withered. It was a great spiritual lesson that I vividly remember. Since Jesus is the Vine, the life-source for our branch is abiding in His word.

Verse 5 in the Amplified says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me (cut off from vital union with Me) you can do nothing.” The branch that I sawed off, lost its vital union with the tree. Anything we do in our own strength, is literally sawed off from Him. There is no connection.

There is a vivid illustration of what happens when one does not take care of his vineyard in Proverbs 24:30-34. Verse 31 says, “And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.” How are you doing with your heart husbandry?

Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Little foxes can be rogue thoughts. Rogue as a verb means: to remove inferior or defective plants or seedlings. What thoughts are you having that are knocking off fruit that is in blossom?

We are the ones that are responsible for our thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul instructed his readers to bring every thought captive. If you think about it, you will realize that it is a full time job. However, we have the Holy Spirit within us. He will direct our thoughts when we are submitted to Him.

I fall back on this verse a lot for myself, and when I am counseling others. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Our thoughts determine our actions. We have been called to walk in holiness. Yet, if our conduct does not reflect that call, it is because of our rogue thoughts. They need to be weeded out, or they will choke off God’s word, or put a stranglehold on it.

Song of Solomon 1:6 has a phrase that I use on myself. The Shulamite woman’s statement can also be our reality. She said, “…but my own vineyard I have not kept.” Are there chores that you don’t like and so you put them off? It is far too easy to procrastinate than to do them. Yet, when it comes to our heart husbandry, we need to be diligent. Proverbs 4:23 says that unresolved issues will spring up when we least expect them.

What is hidden in your heart that you hope no one will ever find out? Unresolved issues are usually from interpersonal relationships. The greatest is unforgiveness. That leads to ingrained bitterness that chokes our spirit. Yesterday I read Leviticus 14. Here is an illustration for leprosy (mold). Verse 37 says “…if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the wall…” Tomorrow I will deep dive into hidden invasions.

Thriving 101

The word thrive means to prosper and flourish. Think of these verses. Joshua 1:8. When we implement this, we will prosper. It says, “The Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Psalm 92:12 says, “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree…” Verses 13-15 are progressive. “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

I have noticed something. I think it would be termed a character flaw. We get excited about something, but unless we implement and embrace it wholeheartedly, there is no completion. The parable of the sower is an excellent example of this. Mark 4:16-17 says, “These likewise are ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately stumble.”

The condition for our spiritual roots to thrive is the quality of our heart’s soil. Weeds, thorns, and thistles will grow anywhere. I can attest to this from my former backyard. It never got watered, unless the Lord watered it. It was not cultivated. The only fruit was weed seeds!

When we observe to do what God has written for our learning, then it is the implementation of the truth that will set us free. It is reading all of His words for understanding. 2 Timothy 3:16 Amplified says, “Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, (and) for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).”

Right now I am reading the book of Leviticus. What I am understanding is that God set forth conditions for His holiness to be implemented in the hearts of the children of Israel. He is Holy. He has called us with a holy calling. 1 Peter 1:15 says, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” 

Here is the essential key to thriving. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” How does He do it? When we yield to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to direct our way, He will lead us onto paths of righteousness. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. He asked God to remove it. Paul’s lesson is for us as well.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “…My strength is made perfect in weakness…” When we revert back to our fleshly comfort zone, we mask our true weakness. When we acknowledge our weakness, His grace-strength rushes in. Truth: we have no strength apart from Christ. We forget so quickly. When we draw back into our own strength, our roots starve. Leaning hard on His grace empowers us to thrive.

The Prayer Of Relinquishment

Hard trials are hardships. Period. Paul encouraged Timothy to endure. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 says, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” Paul not only encouraged him, but he gave him an example of how to endure. 

Our example is Jesus. As I thought about this, my mind went back to Isaiah 53:10. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin…” Consider this: Jesus bore every sin of all mankind. Then the wrath of His Father fell on Him, with the penalty of our sin ~ death.

Jesus prayed the prayer of relinquishment in the garden. Matthew 26:39 says, “…O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Verse 42  says, “…O My Father; if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Jesus faced inexpressible emotional pain, as well as tortuous physical pain. Yet, He yielded everything for us. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed.”

This morning the Holy Spirit gave me profound insight. Endurance is not coping, it is thriving! Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him. He is always our excellent example. When we make Him our focus we will not shrink back. Hebrews 10:36 says, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God…” Our trials are His divinely orchestrated will. The verse continues, “…you may receive the promise.” Verse 38 says, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

What pleased the Father? Jesus embraced the cross. We will thrive in our hardships when we keep His cross before us. James 3:17 says that one part of wisdom from above is the willingness to yield. Romans 6:11 says that we are dead to sin. James 1:21 says to lay aside the passions of our flesh.

Philippians 2:2 says, “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” To walk in this verse means that we have to relinquish our will, our way, or our opinion. One accord means to have one purpose. Though this is talking about interpersonal relationships, think of it as your thoughts. To thrive in our endurance journey, we need to bring every thought captive. We also need to have one focus ~ the Lord. 

Psalm 63:8 Amplified says, “My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Endurance is not drawing back into self-protective coping measures. Nor is it just getting by, existing, or gutting it out. We thrive in our hardship-trials when our gaze is upon the Lord. That is His way to help us relinquish all fleshly pressings. Hebrews 11:27 says of Moses, “…for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.”

Praying Through Hope

I love Romans 4:18 about Abraham, “Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations…” How did he do that? Verse 19 says that he did not consider (ponder, think about) the impossibility of his and Sarah’s inability to bear children because of their old age. Verse 21 says that he was fully convinced that God was able. 

Verse 20 in the Amplified says, “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith AS he gave praise and glory to God.” He kept his hope strong through praising the Lord, and proclaiming God’s glory through his impossible situation.

Our hope is eternal. Our circumstances are temporary and ever changing. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” Jeremiah was in an impossible circumstance. His nation was in abject distress. He personally was feeling the effects. Verse 1 says, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.” The first 20 verses recorded his downward spiral into depression.

Verse 21 was his turning point. He brought hope back into his thoughts. It says, “This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.” He recalled God’s mercy and His compassions, how they will not fail, and they were new every morning. Then he said what we can also say. “The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!”

Psalm 42:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 62:5 says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 71:5 says, “For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth.”

I want to pick up Hebrews 11:3. It says that they died in hope. They saw the fulfillment of the promises afar off. Yet they did not waver. It says that they, “…were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Their example is one of faith holding on through hope. 1 John 3:3 says that kind of hope purifies us.

Our hope is eternal and comes from the foundation of Jesus’ resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”

Romans 8:23-25 says, “…eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope…But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” All promises will be fulfilled because they were given by the Lord who cannot lie. We persevere through faith in His word, praying through the hope that is set before us. His word (promise) will not return to Him void.

Praying Through Faith

It is important to review that God always hears our prayers. It doesn’t matter when or where they come from. He is Ever Present. He knows our hearts. He knows our thoughts before we think them. Praying can be silent or out loud. He hears us either way. In Psalm 17:6 David wrote, “I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.”

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” One way to pray through faith then is praying Scripture. I love how Paul prayed for others. We can imitate him in this practice. It is especially helpful when we don’t know how to pray for someone.

Ephesians 1:15-16 says that when he heard of their faith, “…do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.” Making mention seems an odd choice of words to me, because he doesn’t just say their name. He has a full on, purposeful, and hearty prayer for their spiritual growth and understanding.  

Verse 17 says, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” This is a great prayer. As I pray these words for myself or others, faith arises. It is a prayer that God answers. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Verse 7 says that He stores up wisdom for the upright.

In Ephesians 1:18-19 we read how Paul prayed for the eyes of their understanding to be enlightened in order to grasp what God had called them to. Also that they would understand the incredible great power that resided in them. Then connected that power to be the same as God raising Jesus from the dead.

Colossians 1:9-11 recorded another of Paul’s prayers. In 1983 a friend asked me to pray for her and her husband. Then said that it is unmentionable. That threw me. I had no clue. Now when that happens I pray whatever Scripture the Holy Spirit brings to mind. The Lord knows and He answers His word.

I love to peer into Jeremiah 33:3. It says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” The Lord loves to reveal the inner depth of His word to us. There are hidden meanings that He wants us to mine out. It isn’t just printed words on a page. He wants to illuminate our heart with truths that will set us free. He wants to deep dive with us into the marvelous wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of what He has called us to.

God’s word is His heart in written form. We know from Isaiah 55:8-11 that His thoughts and ways are far higher than ours. We know that His word will never return to Him void. Verse 11 says, “…it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Jeremiah 1:12 says that He is ready to perform His word. As we pray His word in faith, He stands ready to fulfill it.

How Do You Pray?

I was captured by the way Habakkuk prayed. It is a great model for us. Habakkuk 3:1 Amplified says, “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to wild, enthusiastic, and triumphal music.” Verse 2 captures that prayer. It says, “O Lord, I have heard the report of You and was afraid. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make (Yourself) known! In wrath (earnestly) remember love, pity, and mercy.”

Let’s stop right now and pray this verse for our nation. Mercy, according to Psalm 103:10, is not getting what we deserve. It says, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.” The iniquities of this nation are piled high. The key to unlocking the stronghold is prayer.

Verse 13-14 says, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” We believers need to heed this verse. The fear of the Lord is our pathway. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Habakkuk asked the Lord to make Himself known. John 14:21 can be applied to our hearts right now. It says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Manifest means to make known. 

1 Corinthians 2:7 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of the law.”

The condition that the Lord reveals Himself though is obedience to His word. We need to ask the Lord: what part of Your word have I not obeyed? I think of 2 Chronicles 7:14. The condition is: humility in prayer as we seek His face, and then turn from our wicked ways. I am seeing this as when we humble our heart, then the Lord will reveal the hidden that is blocking His grace.

Joel 2:13 Amplified says, “Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil (when His conditions are met).” Ask: what conditions have I not met? When He reveals your hidden, repent. It is only hidden that it might be exposed. O Lord, revive Your work in our day! May our nation fulfill Your purpose and design, without further delay on the part of all Your children!

What Would Your Last Words Be?

2 Peter 3 contains Peter’s last words to his readers. We can gain much instruction if we peer into his admonition. He highlighted God’s longsuffering. It is a part of His nature that He invites us to share with Him. Longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. We bear it when we  submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to control our lives.

2 Peter 3:15 says, “And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you.” God’s longsuffering takes on many characteristics. Here is one of them ~ salvation. Verse 14 started out with a word that causes us to go back to the previous verses.

It says, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things…” What things? We need to go back and pick up what he was saying in verses 9-13. Verse 9 clearly highlights another aspect of God’s longsuffering. It says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

The words us, any, and all are all inclusive words. The Lord has no desire that anyone should perish. That is why Jesus died on the cross for ALL. All means that there is no exception. You think of the worst person in history. Jesus died for that one also. No one is excluded from God’s love. 

Verses 10-12 are chilling verses. They make us sit up and take notice. Verse 10 says that the heavens will pass away. The elements will melt with fervent heat: both the earth and all the works in it will be burned up. Everything will be cremated. Verse 11 says, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.”

The foundation of the earth will remain but nothing else. Psalm 104:5 says, “You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever.” The Lord gave John a revelation. Revelation 21:1-2 says, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Back to 2 Peter 3:14. The verse continued, “…be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” The Amplified says, “…in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts).” Diligence is an essential character quality needed for heart integrity. 

Homework assignment. Several years ago, I had fallen asleep on a hot July afternoon with all the shades pulled. I was awakened by a heavy pounding on my front door. My back field was on fire. A passerby had seen it. He told me to go warn my neighbors. After all was said and done, I sat down and wrote a letter to my friend. They were my last words should I have died. I encourage you to do the same. Write to those in your life that you want to impart essential truths to, that you have gained from your own journey.