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Twin Routes To Disaster

2 Peter 2:9-10a
... the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. (NIV)

Although judgement may not seem an encouraging topic for a devotional, Peter intended it to bring courage to those who were so downhearted that they were tempted to give up, thinking that evil might win. In his detailed description of those who are under God's wrath, Peter identifies two character defects that drag people to hell, unless they repent and are saved. And believers should be alerted to identify those parts of our human nature which Satan may tempt, in order to pull us away from following Jesus.
We (including the most powerful preachers and wonderful worshippers) all have a sinful nature. We know that from the Scripture (Romans 7:18) and the repeated experience of sinning, even when we know that we should not. We are born sinners (Psalm 51:5), and have been further corrupted by the world and the Devil as well as our own desires. To ignore that fact, and allow ourselves to follow what seems 'natural' is like crossing a busy road blindfolded - it will end in disaster. What matters is making the choice not to follow what corruption commands, and, instead, following Jesus (Romans 8:13).
A second set of alarm bells should ring when people despise authority, any authority (2 Peter 3:17). However camouflaged, it is a mind-set that is so self-centred that it cannot see anybody higher than themselves. This is dangerous in any business or profession, in politics or the church. Not only will it inevitably hurt other people, but it cannot give the first place to Jesus - who is Lord of all. The hell-bound have this deeply rooted in their belief system and it totally validates God's judgement. But Christians also need to use this truth as a mirror (James 1:22-25), asking God's help to see if any of this evil has seeped into our character. In addition, when we see friends and colleagues caught up with following corruption naturally and despising authority, we can see how much they need Jesus; and so our prayers and spoken witness may be life-saving (Jude 22-23).

Dear Lord God. Thank You for alerting me to those parts of my character that may not yet be fully given over to You. Please help me to see myself as You see me, and help me to choose not to follow the corruption that is in the world, nor to have a rebellious and proud heart. Where these things have become part of my character, help me to repent and choose to follow Jesus. I also pray for my friends and colleagues who have little idea of the judgement that awaits them; please bring them to salvation and enable me to be a good witness to the transforming power of Christ. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams