“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”
2 Peter 3:1, NIV
Recently I was praying with a group of friends and skimming through my Bible at the same time looking for inspiration. Suddenly my eyes lighted on our verse for today - a verse I had never noticed before, even though I must have read it many times!
In this verse Peter was telling his readers the somewhat unusual reason why he had written his letters, not to urge them forward to some great act of spiritual commitment, or to correct their sinful actions, or to teach them some important new truths - even though all of these are implicit in different parts of his letters - but to stimulate them to wholesome thinking.
Peter knew what he wanted to do - he was concerned above all that God's people should understand a principle that would stand them in good stead for the rest of their days. Practical advice on a particular issue is often important and valuable - but if you can teach people a principle to live by you have given them advice that will hold true for hundreds of occasions.
Everything we do in life - whether it be good or bad - always begins with a thought. Then as we think about it, we decide to do it and finally we involve our body in the action that began as a thought. Now, if our thinking is always wholesome, then it's obvious that the actions that follow will also be wholesome. But if in our minds we dwell on the ungodly, the unwholesome, the crude, the selfish and the greedy, to quote but a few possibilities, then our consequential actions will also be a reflection of what we've been thinking. What a contrast between the two sets of actions!
Peter's advice holds good for us now. No wonder Paul encouraged us to take every thought captive, for if we control our thinking then our ways will truly be guided by the Lord into the ways of righteousness and the ways of blessing.
Prayer: Help me Lord to always think about godly things and to stop myself thinking about the ungodly so that my actions will be in line with whatever is pure and holy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
Peter Horrobin is the Founder and International Director of Ellel Ministries. His cutting edge teaching and compassion for the hurting have been at the heart of Ellel's ministry throughout its 23 years of development. He is the author of numerous books, most notably Healing Through Deliverance and Living the Life. At present he is busy writing material for Ellel 365, the new online training School which has now been launched. To find out more go to www.em365.org.