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Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…
(2 Peter 3:17-18)
There seems to be a growing theory within our fast-paced culture that the most solid of relationships can lie dormant for a lengthy period of time, then – at the convenience of those involved – can resume at will, picking up where they left off without missing a beat. Such relationships are able to do this, goes the theory, because of a strength forged by mutual respect among those involved in the relationship. You may have seen quotes to this effect of social media or even heard the idea posed by spiritual leaders.
Perhaps one could rationally debate on some level this claim from a range of perspectives within the context of human relationships. I might argue, for example, that friendships entail much more than a race to collect a trove of bracelets like those pictured above and require much more concerted efforts at communication than the generic by-phrases printed on them. You, on the other hand, may disagree.
But when it comes to an intimate, personal relationship the terms are non-debatable, non-negotiable. This statement is especially true of man’s own intimate, personal relationship with the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – when considered in light of today’s passage of focus. That relationship is one that requires deliberate, committed exercise on our part if an up-close-and-personal walk with the Lord is to be nurtured, maintained, and most of all, productive in mirroring the image and ways of Christ to those around us.
Using 2 Peter 3:17-18 as a Springboard, Pastor John W. Ritenbaugh explains the necessity of our role in the process like this:
Verse 18 makes it clear that there is a contrast. Peter says, “. . . but grow.” …
The command is to grow, so if the contrast that he is establishing in our minds is to be met, the positive part of the instruction is that effort has to be made in order to grow. If we are not making an effort to grow, the only alternative is to go in reverse. We begin to degenerate if we do not make an effort to grow…
We can see from the combination of these two verses that effort must be made to produce growth or we will likely fall into the error of the wicked. In other words, doing nothing regarding our spiritual responsibilities is akin to doing nothing regarding our physical responsibilities pertaining to our physical health.
So we are faced with a choice. We are forewarned. Something has to be done; we cannot just stand still. Nor can we just drift. Some effort has to be made to ensure growth takes place.
Conclude Day 8 by taking time to reflect on the following questions before documenting your PRAYER conversation for today in light of your responses:
How would you classify the status of your relationship, including your conversations,
            with God at the present time (e.g. active, drifting, standing still)? Please explain.
Think of a time when the status of your relationship with God differed from your
            present status. Do you see differences in your abilities to mirror the image and ways
            of Christ then and now? If so, list them here.
Please see Day 1 of the series for suggested content regarding the PRAYER conversation associated with this series.
Praise and Thanksgiving:

Copyright 2017 Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.