Daily Devotional 2 Peter 3:14–16
Many people say they like and respect the Bible, but they don’t actually read it. More than half of respondents in a 2017 LifeWay survey said they had read little or none of it—at most, a few passages or stories. The good news is that 87 percent of Americans do have one or more Bibles in their homes.
His letters contain some things that are hard to understand.
2 PETER 3:16
For God’s Word to bear fruit in our lives, we must not just own a copy, but read and study it regularly. Both Peter and Paul had read not only the Old Testament but also one another’s letters. Peter regarded Paul’s epistles as equivalent to the “other Scriptures” (v. 16). This suggests that the writers of the New Testament understood that the Holy Spirit was inspiring their writing. Alongside the Old Testament, it was also the Word of God— authoritative, true, and trustworthy. Jesus said the same about His own words (Matt. 24:35), and Peter the same about the eyewitness accounts of the apostles (see July 6).
Peter was urging believers to “make every effort” to be found ready when Christ returns (v. 14). We should strive to live righteously and at peace with God. Instead of feeling impatient with the waiting, we should more deeply appreciate God’s patience (v. 15). He’s waiting for the full number to come to repentance and saving faith (2 Peter 3:9).
Perhaps in case people had heard rumors of conflict (see Gal. 2:11–14), Peter assured his readers that he and Paul were in complete agreement about all this (v. 15). He credited Paul with God-given wisdom while also admitting that some things in his epistles are “hard to understand.” Even so, only “ignorant and unstable people” distort and misinterpret his teachings. They cannot win and will themselves reap destruction (v. 16).
>> Consider your own commitment to knowing God’s Word. Have you read through the entire Bible? Do you make reading the Bible a regular practice? What steps can you take to help make this a healthy habit?
Pray with Us
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path...Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws...Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart” (Ps. 119:105, 108, 111).