Jump Start # 2675
2 Peter 3:1 “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder”
Here in our verse today we see the second of two great precepts upon which our faith is built and our hope sustains and knowledge of God’s word is established. The first of these precepts is not here, it is the second one that we see. The first precept is to understand, learn and believe the principles of God’s word. This is the foundation upon our faith. This sets the course that we follow. The principles of our faith are what we preach, teach and share with one another. Core concepts such as the love of God, the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and the opportunity for all people to spend forever with God in Heaven. Righteousness springs from these principles. How we are to conduct ourselves and the spirit which we carry about life are shaped by these principles.
The second component or precept is in our verse today. It is reminding, remembering and returning to those fundamental principles that we know and understand. Life can move us away from those principles. We can put those things aside and forget about their value and importance. So, here, Peter was stirring up the minds of his readers. He was accomplishing that by reminding them. This was new ground that was being plowed, but going over the things that they already knew. It was dusting off the things that sat on the shelves of their minds.
And, all of this helps us to see and understand what must take place in our preaching and teaching. Reminding is important. Not every lesson, not every class will be new material. We need to be reminded. We need to hear that “old, old story” over and over again. And, this brings us to a thought and a question. Just why do we need to be reminded? If we know, isn’t it there?
First, we forget. This is why doctor’s and dentist’s offices will call with a reminder of your appointment. “Oh, yeah,” we say, “I forgot about that.” This is why there are little stickers placed in the corner of your car windshield, to remind you to get your oil changed. This is why we have calendars and apps on our phones to keep us from forgetting. Because we do just that, we forget.
I think one area that we tend to forget is to be thankful. Our wives make a nice meal, we eat it and we forget to say “thank you.” We pray hard for something or someone, and God answers that prayer to our liking. Yet, afterwards, we forgot to “thank the Lord.” Every Sunday we walk into the church building and the lights are on, the temperature is right, the place is clean, and everything is just the way it is supposed to be. Now, someone did all of that. There weren’t little angels from Heaven that came down Saturday night and took care of those things. It was folks like you and me that had a heart to do what needed to be done. They were just doing what they could, but do we stop and say, “Thank you”?
Second, we need to be reminded because our order tends to get out of order. The proper word for this is priorities. Somehow those priorities seem to get moved about and what ought to be first and number one in our lives drops in place and other, less important things take it’s spot. That shouldn’t be, but it happens. So, reminders do just that. They remind us of what we are after. They remind us of who we are. They remind us of what is valuable in the eyes of the Lord. And, with those reminders, we get our order back in order. Things shift and the spiritual rises back to the top where it ought to be.
Third, reminders bring back fond memories of God’s grace and truth. We just can’t get tired of hearing that story of the prodigal over and over. It’s our story. It tells us of the love, grace and kindness of the Lord. God’s truths are a wonderful place to find yourself in. Assurance, confidence, and hope are wrapped around our walk in faith with the Lord. Gathering around the Lord’s table, singing those joyous hymns, and hearing the truth of God’s word proclaimed ought to stir a wonderful emotion and joy within us. The world leans toward the negative side of things. People love to complain. Problems are everywhere. And with all this darkness, it can certainly make us feel dark. That is, until we are reminded of God’s wonderful principles. It’s like opening up the curtains and letting the sun to shine into our hearts. God continues to rein.
Fourth, the more we are reminded, the more likely things will stick with us. Some seem to be walking Bibles. How is it that they are that way? They have parked their lives and their hearts where God is. They have surrounded themselves with God. You ask them a question and their answer is laced with God’s word and God’s principles. They know. They believe. They live. How did they get that way? They put time into what was important to them. They stood upon the and continue to stand upon the principles of God. They are spiritual rocks in a congregation. They are leaders. They are the backbone of a church. They are busy, engaged and connected, both with the Lord and with His people. God’s word has stayed with them. Reminded and reminded, they got it and now they won’t ever leave it.
Reminders are important—especially spiritually.