The Second Epistle of Peter.
CHRIST'S death is the end of all man's capabilities, but the beginning of all God's possibilities. The shoulder is made strong to bear God's burdens; He having taken away ours. The first four verses are for revelling in and gloating over; they are all mine, mine, mine! Let us make them so. Next verses show there must be a steady growth in the Divine life if we are to make progress. Faith is the foundation of all; but it must not be alone, for faith without works is dead, hence we must "add." Before men, there must be a faithful discharge of all these responsibilities; before God----consecration. Men understand the former, God appreciates the latter.
Temperance (self-control) acts on what springs from within; patience on what comes from without. When godliness has given God His place, brotherly kindness will give all our brethren their place. With godliness, it will never fail, even though, like Paul, "The more abundantly I love, the less I be loved."
Work cheerfully.----No wonder Israel in their service in Egypt sighed and groaned, considering their circumstances. It is ours to serve with gladness. Get bathed in the love of God. Like the little girl supping her porridge; the sun's rays fell on her spoon and she cried out, "Oh, mother, I have swallowed a spoonful of sunshine." Let us catch the sunshine of His rejoicing over us in His love.
Work intensely.----Look to the hole of the pit from whence you have been dug. Work because life and death are in the question. Instance: Great fall in one of the Rand mines; many men entombed. Many working hard, some only looking on. A woman touched a man on the shoulder who was of the latter class, " Bill, your brother is in the mine." In an instant, off went his coat and he worked like a man possessed. So with Christian workers.
Truth discovers evil; grace puts it away. Truth unfolds what man is; grace unfolds what God is. Truth brings out into the light the hidden workings of evil in the heart of man; grace bring out in contrast the rich and exhaustless springs of grace in the heart of God. Both are needful: truth for the maintenance of God's glory; grace for the establishment of our blessing. Truth for the vindication of the Divine character and attributes; grace for the perfect repose of the sinner's heart and conscience. How blessed to know that both grace and truth come by Jesus Christ!
The noblest spirits are those which turn to Heaven, not in the hour of sorrow, but in that of joy. Like the lark, they wait for the clouds to disperse, that they may soar up into their nature element.
The pebbles of the stream may in time be smoothed by its gentle, rippling flow; but neither the changes of time, nor the endless duration of eternity, can ever change or diminish God's love.
He that would pass the latter part of his life with honour, must when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old; and remember when he is old that he has once been young. In youth, he must lay up knowledge for his support when his power of action shall forsake him; and in age, forbear to animadvert with rigour on faults which experience only can correct.
Let us always do now what at the last we shall wish we had done. Let us return the caresses of our friends, and endeavour by mutual endearments to heighten that tenderness which is the balm of life. Let us be quick to repent of wrongs inflicted, because life is so uncertain that our repentance when it comes, as it surely will, would only be a barren anguish.
"Feed My Sheep"