Precepts From Peter (2 Peter 1:12-21) By: Stan Stringer
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Negligent and Diligent.
Remember and Forget
When you stir up a fire, you get more heat and light.
Getting a glass of tea that has not been stirred up can be a sad surprise. The sugar is there, but it’s all on the bottom.
THE SWIMMING HOLE
When I was a kid, we used to go to the swimming hole down in the pasture. It was not very large or very deep, but it was fun—at least for a while. It was neither a part of a creek nor a spring. It was a wet-weather swimming hole. But, since it rains just about every week in SC, it usually had water in it. When we would first get there, the water was clear. We would jump in and begin enjoying the cool water. But it wasn’t long before the water was too dirty to enjoy. You see, the hole was surrounded by oak trees. Leaves would fall into the water, sink to the bottom, and begin to rot. When we got in, we began to stir things up. And all that rot that was on the bottom came to the top.
Sometimes things get stirred up. People and circumstances have a tendency at times to stir us up. When that happens, whatever is on the bottom will come to the top. It may be sugar, or it may be rot. We may display a peace that passes all understanding, or we may start saying things and doing things that reveal a lot of rot on the bottom of our hearts. Whatever is there can be disguised most of the time, but beware when things get stirred up!
Peter had a wonderful spiritual experience on the mount. For him, that forever changed that spot to be a ‘holy mount’. Recently, I took 2 of our grandkids to visit my grandmother’s cabin. It was never anything fancy, but now is just an old cabin filled with cast-off farming stuff. While there, I walked around to the back and stood beneath a window. For me, that is holy ground. It was in that spot where, as a kid, I would stand and ‘spy’ on my grandmother. I could not see in, but I could hear her. I knew she was kneeling by her rocking chair, Bible before her. I could hear her praying, and I would hear her calling out my name in her prayer.
We had an Indian cave in our pasture. It wasn’t actually a cave. There was a large rock, and we were told there was an underground cave beneath that rock. This was where I would habitually go after I got home from school. School can be rough when you’re trying to maintain a Christian testimony. By the end of the day, I felt sort of ‘beat up’. So, I would get my dog, and we’d head for the Indian cave. My pocket New Testament was always with me. I’d find my favorite spot and read a while, sing a while, and pray a while. That became ‘holy ground’ for me.
There is a parking lot in Greer that used to belong to the Allen Bennett Hospital—more like a clinic. It was there one night that I got on my knees and put my trust in Christ as my Savior. That old ordinary parking lot, for me, became ‘holy ground’.
On top of Rabbit Ears Pass between Denver and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, there is a rest area. There is nothing unusual about it for most people, but for me it is ‘holy ground’. It was there that a long struggle in my life came to an end. I was struggling against God, and He refused to let me win.
SO, THIS IS JESUS!
Peter knew Jesus. He had been invited to join the ‘Disciple Group’, and had seen Jesus up close and personal. He was a Teacher like no other. He was the Leader—the Master. He was an astonishing miracle worker. He was the Helper of the poor and outcast. Yes, Peter knew Jesus very well. But, then came that day on the mountain. Peter got a fresh, powerful, glimpse of Jesus, and he found that up to that moment he really didn’t know Jesus at all.
I’VE HAD AN EXPERIENCE
What a miraculous experience! No one could ever top that one! This experience could elevate Peter far above the ordinary man. It would make him an expert in all things theological. He had been specially favored by God, and could do no less than evoke envy from all those others gathering at his feet.
I have often heard it said that someone was in great need, he prayed, and God wonderfully answered his prayer. This put him in special favor with God, and therefore certainly on his way to Heaven. How could God possibly favor a person, and then not want him to share Heaven with him throughout eternity!
But, after this ‘bigger than all others’ experience, Peter says there is something more sure, more reliable, more binding than that. He calls it the ‘sure word of prophecy’. We call it the Bible- the written Word of God. The Bible greatly trumps any experience we may have. For all matters of our faith, and our daily living, we find the mind of God in the pages of God’s Word—and that will far outweigh even the best experience we may have.
There are many mysteries that remain unsolved. One of the great mysteries of the 20th century that remains unsolved is—What is it that Billy Joe McAlister threw off the Tallahatchie Bridge?
When I was a kid, I set out to solve an age-old mystery. I knew I would have to be very careful, very quiet—very sneaky. So, I could often be found tip-toeing very carefully, not making the slightest sound, not being discovered. Without a noise, I would slowly reach out, very carefully get hold of the handle, and then quickly jerk open the refrigerator door. I wanted to see if the light was on, even when the door was shut. It was always on. I never felt like I had actually solved the mystery.
On the Holy Mount, Peter solved a faith-shaking mystery. For the first time, he saw Jesus transfigured. He was glowing. It was as if the refrigerator door had been opened, and the light was shining bright. Peter understood that with Jesus, the light was always on.