Do Not Tire of Being God’s Child
Peter cautioned believers not to fall out of their steadfastness. What could cause a believer to tire of being God’s child?
There was a scripture that came up in our Sunday school lesson last Sunday that really stayed with me throughout the week. I used that scripture for my first Food for Thought of this past week. In Gal. 6:9, Paul says, “let us not grow weary (tired) while doing good.” In other words, Paul is saying to us today, “do not tire of being God’s child!”
We say that we are the Lord’s children, right? So, we certainly know that we should do things of kindness and good because we have been commanded to follow in the way of Christ. The Lord’s way is a way of love and a way of good, so it’s set in stone that should be our way. In the sermon from last Sunday, some of the good that we can do came up in Psalm 82 – taking care of those in need and fighting for their justice.
I suppose the question is: what could possibly cause a child of God to tire from doing good? Let’s take a look at that as I say, again, do not tire of being God’s child.
No earthly satisfaction or reward
The Lord’s way is a way that is righteous and good. (We know that this is true because the Lord is righteous). God’s way: loving all people (including those that hate you), being meek and humble. Why would anybody grow tired of doing right by others, treating people kindly, and being somebody who has humility about themselves?
Let us consider what “seems” to happen when we are good to others. Last Sunday, while teaching the school lesson, my uncle used an example that a good thing we can do is simply be an ear when someone needs to vent. (I love this example because it is simple and easy – everybody can do it). Yet, there comes a time when we need to vent, but the other’s ear is not returned to us. If you don’t get what I mean by that, many of us grow tired of doing good because it always seems that no good is ever returned back to us.
There are other times that when we do good, we would like to receive a “thank you”. Everybody wants to feel appreciated at some point, no matter what they say. When the “thank you” does not come enough times, many begin to feel used and so they will cut off doing any good. Somewhere in the same vicinity, there are the people who like to be praised and glorified for any good that they do. Of course, we know this is not right (Matt: 6:1-2). We cannot let the lack of satisfaction and reward keep us from doing good! Do not tire from doing good! Do not tire from being God’s child.
The spiritual battle is tough
My responsive reading for today’s sermon is 2 Peter 3:8-18. 2 Peter is the last of Peter’s writings; I believe I saw somebody call it his “swan song”. I have actually gotten teary-eyed reading this chapter because we seed a man who is both in reflection but looking ahead with us in mind. 2 Peter was written shortly before Peter was martyred.
Peter, in his final chapter, wrote what is my key verse for today’s sermon:
I want you to note in this scripture: “beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness”. Our steadfastness is a description of our faith in the Lord. Our faith in God should be diligent, firm, and unwavering. Where I quoted Paul (Gal. 6:9) saying, “do not grow weary”, we have Peter essentially saying the same thing – remain steadfast. What was it that had Peter cautioning the genuine believer to not grow tired but be steadfast?
The coming apostasy
In this chapter of 2 Peter, we see him writing about the day of the Lord. He writes (2 Pet. 3:10), “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” Peter also talks about how the earth and the works in it will burn on that day. Then Peter says (2 Pet. 3:13) that we, the genuine believer, should look forward to the Lord’s promise of the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells. However, I must ask, are we really looking forward to that day? If we truly are looking forward to that day, then we should never grow tired of being a child of God!
Somebody will say, “the coming of the Lord’s kingdom is what can cause a believer to fall from his (or her) steadfastness?” Certainly not! You see, Peter in the two prior chapters spoke of the spiritual battle that can and will cause many to fall from their steadfastness.
I want you to notice what he says when he opens the second chapter:
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.2 Peter 2:1 NKJV
What Peter saw in his day, was the stirring of the spiritual apostasy that was to come. In Peter’s day, the destructive heresies were but a cloud forming in the sky. The false teaching, you will notice, was not coming from outside of the faith but from within the faith. (We saw Paul mention this in a sermon that I preached recently).
The apostasy is here and strengthening
I tell you that we, the genuine believers, must be wary of that apostasy that Peter foresaw. That apostasy is now in our world today! Instead of being a tiny pop up cloud, it has formed into a very dark and fierce storm that’s moving throughout the world today. You see, Paul cautions us to be careful because those heresies (lies) bring on a swift destruction.
Sadly, we don’t talk much about this in the church today because we have grown tired of preaching hellfire and brimstone. Many have grown tired of preaching the Lord’s word because it “does not pay the bills”. So, we go around sharing other ministries of prosperity be it great wealth (financially) and love (romantically). We are so busy trying to tell folks how to get right in the world that we begin to shy away from preaching about the day that is coming.
This word, Peter called a prophetic word (2 Pet. 1:19). The word that we share is a prophetic word because no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20). Scripture was given to man by the Lord and these men were moved by the Holy Spirit to share the Lord’s word (2 Pet. 1:21). The question we must answer today is whether we are going to be a prophetic voice or a voice of heresies!
How to not fall from your steadfastness
So, what do we do in order for us to not tire of being God’s child? How do we not fall for the heresies that are all around us? What do we do in order to not fall from our steadfastness?
Well, Peter actually tells us what we must do in order to not have such a fall. Peter says for us to grow:
Many times we forget that faith really is about growth. We should continually seek to grow while we are on this journey. I often joke about Peter, the brash and loud disciple, but look at what he became in his faith. On this journey, we too must always seek to grow. Peter says to grow in grace (love) and to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We should not only read scripture but we should study scripture diligently. Some will glance at scripture a time or two, and proclaim to know everything there is to know about the Bible. No, we must dive deep into our studies and continue to gain knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Many are starting to lose their steadfastness because their faith was never genuinely built on Christ. If you’ve studied Christ, then you would never tire of being God’s child because you know that God has a heavenly reward for you.