A Complete Turnabout

2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Just because Jesus has not yet returned, or just because the judgment on the wicked has not yet taken place does not mean that it will never come. Our thinking, humanly speaking, is not like God’s, and our understanding of time is not the same as God’s, either.

We are to know when the time is ripe for his return by the signs, but we must be careful not to put the Lord in one of our boxes and that we end up attempting to determine his steps for him, or that we end up making predictions not in line with his truth. We need to rest in him and trust him that he knows what is best. His ways are higher than our ways.

There is a good reason why the Lord has delayed his return and his wrath, and that is because he is not willing that any human being should die in his or her sins but that all should come to repentance.

And repentance is not just a change of mind or confession of sin, but it is a complete turnabout of lifestyle. It is like you were traveling west, and then you did a U-turn, and now you are traveling east. You are now going in the exact opposite direction spiritually than you were before.

And notice with me here that “perish” and “repentance” are opposites. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So, if we don’t want to die in our sins, we must repent. We must make that spiritual U-turn. We must die with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

2 Peter 3:11-13 ESV

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 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! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Life on this earth is temporary. This is not our permanent home. We are sojourners here, just passing through on our way to glory. We don’t belong here. We don’t fit here. If we do, then we don’t belong to the Lord. For he has called us out from the world to be separate (different) from the world.

This world and everything in it is passing away. One day all that is of this present universe will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed (see v. 10).

So, we are not to get attached emotionally to this world. We are not to give our hearts and souls to what is of this world. We are to give our hearts and souls to God/Jesus and to him alone. He alone is to be our life and our longing and our purpose for living.

We should never be casual about our relationships with the Lord. We should never take his grace to us for granted or think we can live however we want and that it won’t matter for eternity. It will. The Scriptures say so, and they are truth! (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

Therefore, if we want to be saved from our sins and to have Christ as our Lord and to have the hope of eternal life with God, there is a certain way that we are commanded that we must live. We must walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

For, the grace of God is not free license to continue living in sin, only now without guilt. God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit 2:11-14; cf. 2 Pet 3:11-12).

The way that we should have come to know Christ, which is the truth in Christ Jesus, is that we must put off our old self which is dead in sin, and which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds of the Spirit of God, and we are to put on the new self in Christ Jesus, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:17-24).

This is not something we can do in our flesh, though. This is the working of God’s Spirit in our lives, but we must cooperate with that work. We must yield our hearts and lives over to God’s purpose and do what he commands. He can’t change us if we are not willing to be changed, in other words.

Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us to buy us back for God that we might now honor God with our lives. Faith in Jesus means we are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, now slaves to righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

So, if you are still living for self, going your own way, doing your own thing, entertaining and being entertained, not submitted to the Lord Jesus and to his will and purpose for your life, I pray today that you will yield control of your life over to him and let him now truly be your Lord and Master.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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