Wednesday, August 10, 2014
But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.
Here we see Paul reminding the people of things in which he previously gave them instruction. In 2 Peter 1:12-15, Peter expresses the importance of the “reminder”:
“Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.”
Opps! What’s the “therefore” there for? Peter just reminded the people of all that is needed for life and godliness, then in verse 9, he says, “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. …Therefore I will always be ready to remind you…”.
Peter reminded, not thinking the listener dumb. He said, “You already know and are established” in these things. But Peter knew that a reminder gives us opportunity for self-evaluation, to check to be sure we haven’t forgotten something important.
When we get our back up because of being reminded, our hearts do not have an attitude in which the reminder can do its work. Receiving a reminder allows us to check where we are in that area. If we are doing well and excelling, it encourages us in that area to excel still more and continue the course. If we find within ourselves that we have fallen away to some degree of our accomplishing our best in the area reminded of, we are encouraged by the reminder to get back on track. Pray to not fear giving or receiving reminders, but to let the reminder do its work in a heart open to receiving it.
Peter spoke the reminder in order to “stir up” the hearer. Reminders, when received into fertile soil of hearts prepared for truth and righteousness becomes a rallying cheer or chant that fires us up to press forward and persevere into victory. Pray to receive and to lift up reminders that rally us forward to victory.
The reminder establishes truth and righteousness within us so that, when those who remind us are absent from us, we are prepared to rise up and be the voice of remembrance. Pray to receive the truth of righteousness so as to become the voice of remembrance. This will be most vital as we get deeper into the end times prophesied to come into our reality. When our Bibles are taken from us, we must remember.