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So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:14 (NIV).
Who is “him”?
Of course, the obvious answer is Jesus. When we turn over our hearts to Him, we become motivated to want to live cleaner lives. Turn away from sin; resist temptations, even avoiding them; forgiving; listening. These are evidence of the fruits of God’s Spirit taking up residence within us.
Yet don’t be persuaded by the slippery slope that my original question asks. We may want to live spotless, blameless lives, but doing so doesn’t make us more justified, sanctified, or righteous before God or men. We are justified, sanctified, made righteous only by Jesus, not by anything we do. We don’t do anything to earn His favor, or His forgiveness; we don’t have to pay penance or anything like that. All that needed to be done to attain forgiveness was done by Jesus already. He gives us that because He loves us, not because we earn or deserve it.
Knowing that, maybe the “him” we are to make every effort to appear godly before isn’t just Jesus. Maybe ‘he’ is our brother, our sister, our fellow human being. Maybe it is mankind that needs to see our spotless, blameless, at-peace lives. Perhaps it is our fellow man who needs to see that our faith in Jesus changes us, makes us act in different ways. Just maybe other men need someone to look up to, something to aspire to.
That really isn’t far-fetched. Jesus doesn’t need our good deeds, even as He wants to see us motivated to do them. But our fellow people need them. Jesus doesn’t need you to work in a soup kitchen, but there may very well be a homeless person who does. Jesus doesn’t need you to be kind to strangers at the gas station, but someone having a terrible day might. Jesus doesn’t need you to forgive a grudge but somebody just might be yearning to hear from you. Jesus is at peace with us even if we aren’t at peace with Him.
You get the picture. Things like those are things that Christ loves to see His people do. But He doesn’t need them. Indeed, even our best behavior, if motivated by selfish means, is like a filthy rag in the presence of God. SelfLESS behavior, however, is a horse of a different color.
Yes, Jesus is the “him” to whom Peter was referring. Yet perhaps, if you were to ask Jesus about it, you might not be surprised if he asked you who you thought “him” was. And if that ever happens, don’t be surprised if He points to someone else.
For further reading: Isaiah 64:6, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 2 Peter 3:15
Forgiving Lord Jesus, direct my heart to always want to serve You by serving others. To change my ways to better represent You in an unkind world
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