Together in Christ: 'Making Each Moment Count!' — 2 Peter 1:13-16

Wednesday, October 23, 2024

Therefore, I will always remind you about these things — even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
— 2 Peter 1:13-16 NLT

Key Thought

Very few people want to talk about death. They don't want to face the reality of their death. They are fearful of talking about death with those who are considered terminally ill. Those dying often don't want to burden others with their impending death, so they do not discuss their important life principles as they "stare death in the face." Many precious opportunities for genuine conversations with those dying never happen. Heartfelt conversations with those about to be "left behind" are lost forever. All of this stands in stark contrast to what the Scriptures teach us about conversations that can and should happen as someone walks "through the darkest valley" of life. [1]

As Paul and Peter each faced their impending death, they used the emotions and urgency of the moment to share important messages with the people [2] and churches [3] they loved. This was what Peter was doing in our relationship verse for today. Peter and Paul knew that Jesus came to defeat our reasons to fear death. [4] They wanted us to be confident that through Jesus we have victory over death. [5]

In our passage, Jesus had shown Peter that his time to "leave this earthly life" was near. Rather than bemoan his fate or lose this precious time for redemptive work for Jesus, Peter lived and ministered in the urgency of the moment. He urged those he loved to stand firm and remember what he had taught them so it could sustain them after he was "gone." [6]

Much of what Peter wrote to disciples in 2 Peter 1 are truths of great urgency that he shared as he faced his own death. (I urge you to read this whole chapter and feel the urgency of these words.) Their spiritual growth, perseverance in their faith, efforts to grow in Jesus, and commitment to stand firm all mattered more to Peter than his comfort or rescue from death. Wow, what a powerful personal testimony to leave them, as well as those of us who read them today!

So, what should we do with verses like this? For me, there are several vital relational truths we must take with us from the examples of Peter and Paul as they faced death:

  • We must talk about important matters and listen to each other when loved ones are dying. These are crucial moments to show that we value the influence and words of others and can be our most opportune time to influence those we love.
  • We should go back and read key passages from Peter and Paul, as well as Jesus, and pay careful attention to what matters most to them in their dying hours.
  • We must realize that there are far worse things than dying physically. One of those "far worse things" is wasting our time in lukewarm living. Our Lord gave everything for us and calls us to follow Him in a lifestyle of commitment to the truths and life investments that genuinely matter.

We never know when death will intrude and temporarily separate us [6] from those we love. When we do have a sense of impending death, let's show the dying and those left behind the respect of sincere, urgent, and important conversations about values and the kind of life that matters eternally.

[1] Psalm 23:4.
[2] This passage is one of Peter's urgent messages. 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
[3] A great example of this kind of message to churches is Philippians 1:15-26.
[4] Hebrews 2:14-15.
[5] Romans 8:37.
[6] Acts 20:25-27, 29.

Today's Prayer

Loving and tender Shepherd, My Abba Father, please give me the wisdom I need to make every moment and conversation count in the lives of those I love. Holy Spirit, please give me divine wisdom to hear the hearts of those I love in our conversations. Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is. * Teach [me] to realize the brevity of life so that [I] may grow in wisdom. ^ Lord Jesus, thank You for conquering death and assuring me of life forever with You. I want to use my confidence in You to share meaningful truth with those I love in the face of impending death, knowing that our future is secure in You. I ask this prayer because of Your authority and power over all things. Amen.

* Psalm 39:4.
^ Psalm 90:12.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Peter 1:1-15
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-18

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Illustration

Illustration of 2 Peter 1:13-16 NLT — Therefore, I will always remind you about these things — even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.