“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” (2 Peter 3:9).
People often imagine that God is like mankind instead of accepting the fact that He is different because He is divine. Since some people don’t always keep their promises, they think God doesn’t either. The reference in this verse is to judgment day, but the same principle applies to all of God’s promises.
God does keep His promises—both those with rewards and those with punishment—but He does exercise patience in dealing with mankind because of His love for His creation.
At the core of everything God has planned for mankind is His intense desire that we submit to His divine will and escape eternal punishment. That intent is exceedingly wonderful, and the pathway is quite easy: all that remains is for us to make the decision to follow His instruction so that we won’t “perish.”
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
Set in the middle of teaching about the importance of unity and humility, the Apostle Paul here stresses to the Philippians that an important component of these characteristics is being interested in the welfare of others.
Focusing only on self-interests leads a person away from humility, causing him to become absorbed only in himself rather than caring about what happens to other people—unity cannot exist in such a climate. Someone once wrote, “When a person is all wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.”
The lesson is obvious: as followers of Jesus Christ, we must have a genuine concern about what happens to others and how they feel—and that concern must at least be equal to the concern we have for our own lives and our own feelings.
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).
There is fear the Colossian Christians might lose sight of the significance of Jesus as the head of the church—superior to all others, even those who are prominent religiously. False teachers have evidently tried to undermine Jesus’ position.
Paul is emphatic in his use of the word “He” to teach beyond doubt that Jesus and no other is to be recognized as the head of the spiritual body.
Jesus is the beginning of the Christian Age, the beginning of a new spiritual life for every Christian. He is the first to be raised from the dead never to die again.
Our heads should bow in awe as we consider what He did for us in offering Himself as a sacrifice upon the altar of the world, thus giving Him the right to occupy this position.
“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?” (1 Peter 3:13).
After addressing different categories of people, the Apostle Peter here addresses everyone (vs. 8) by encouraging them to be in unity in Christ and to have compassion for one another.
In this verse, he provides an interesting perspective on the Christian life. He is not saying that no problems will come to those who do good—he is not saying Christians will have no problems if they live the good and pure life he has just described.
What Peter is teaching is that what happens in this life is inconsequential in comparison to what will happen to the faithful Christian in eternity. Those who “love life and see good days” will receive great and wonderful spiritual benefits in the long run. This encouragement should motivate us to be determined not to waiver in our faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ.