The apostle Peter is the most imperfect Christian in the New Testament. And that’s why we love him so. All his faults, foibles, fumbles and flubs are on display for us to see and when we look at him, we see ourselves. To quote Warren Wiersbe:
“He had a tendency in his early years to feel overconfident when danger was near and to overlook the Master’s warnings. He rushed ahead when he should have waited; he slept when he should have prayed; he talked when he should have listened. He was a courageous, but careless, Christian” (Be Alert by Warren Wiersbe, p. 19).
But Peter, as imperfect as he was, learned his lesson. Yes, he stumbled, but he always stumbled toward greater maturity. That’s the thing about the life of Peter that gives us hope. Yes, we can see ourselves in his failures, but we can also imagine ourselves succeeding as he did. If there is anything to be learned from Peter’s life, it’s that you can stumble along in your Christian walk, but as long as you’re growing and moving toward the Lord, instead of stumbling and giving up, there is hope – even for us.
Both of Peter’s epistles are Peter speaking from his heart about the lessons he learned in his less-than-perfect walk with God, lessons that he wants to pass along to us. They resonate with us because we know Peter and we know how human he was, and when he speaks to us from his epistles there is a certain “If I could to it, so can you” sort of quality to it.
In this next series of devotionals, I want to walk through Peter’s second epistle and yes, I will be relying heavily on Warren Wiersbe’s commentary, but I hope that as I learn, you’ll learn along with me.
The word “know,” or “knowledge” occurs thirteen times in Peter’s second epistle and typical of Peter’s life, this knowledge is not just some intellectual head knowledge. Peter is talking about experiential knowledge, knowledge that comes from practical application of God’s truth. So, this epistle in some respects is more than just a letter to his readers; it’s his personal testimony put on display for all of us to see, and isn’t that the kind of honest Christianity the world needs to see anyway?
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