8 P's and 7 B's

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you.”

2 Peter 1:12-13

As I am teaching through the book of 2 Peter the words of an old friend come to mind. Years ago he shared with me what he called “the 8 P’s” and they went like this, “Prior, Proper, Prayerful, Planning, Prevents, Pitifully, Poor, Performance.” The apostle Peter wrote the letter we call 2 Peter to believers throughout the world who were suffering tremendous persecution and to warn them that in these last days false teachers would rise up who would seek to draw them away from Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation by teaching the empty philosophies of men.

Peter reminded those who would read his letters that the best way to not be deceived is to stay grounded in the faith. In other words, what my friend shared with me in the “8 P’s”  Peter was sharing long before. We have all heard the expression, “Plan your work and work your plan” with regard to knowing where you are headed so you don’t get distracted or sidetracked along the way. Jesus said the best way to avoid the tricks of the devil is to know the truth because the truth will always set you free much in the same way a bank teller knows the difference between real money and counterfeit money. Bank tellers handle real money so much they can tell immediately when someone tries to slip them a counterfeit. The same is true for the believer who studies the word of God. The more you know truth, and God’s Word is truth, the more you will recognize counterfeit beliefs when someone seeks to present one to you.

The apostle Peter reminded his listeners to stay grounded in the faith and as Pastor Chuck Smith would often remind us, “never trade what you do know (about Jesus) for what you don’t know.” Here are seven truths that if you and I walk in them daily we will never have to worry about anyone leading us astray. Keep these 7 B’s in mind as you go about your day.

1. Be Diligent: Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Know the Word, Learn the Word and teach the word diligently to your children. Develop a biblical world view. Take Psalm 119 to heart as it’s all about the importance of the word of God. You can grow in knowledge without God but you can’t be wise without a relationship with God.

2. Be Prayerful: “Keep Jesus between you and everything else.” Titus 2:13... keep looking up and keep looking for Jesus. Mark 13:35 reminds us to be watchful and to take heed as does 1 Peter 4:7. Keep the main thing the main thing. Pray about everything.

3. Be Enthusiastic: Believers are the most enthusiastic people on the planet as the word enthusiastic comes from two words meaning “in” and “these” meaning those who are in God. Philippians 3:20. We eagerly wait. See 2 Corinthians 1:7 and Hebrews 9:29. We are to be those who are eagerly awaiting!!!  

4. Be Holy: 1 John 3:2, Hebrews 12:14... be holy. Make a covenant with our eyes. Psalm 101. God does not grade on a curve. Guard your eyes, your ears, and your mouth. Thoughts give birth to deeds. Be careful what you let in for as the old saying goes, “garbage in garbage out”

5. Be Committed. Proverbs 3:5-6, John 13:23. Lean on Jesus! “Wherever you are be all there” Remember the words of Caleb in describing what he saw when he spied out the promised land? He said, “God brought us this far!” Casting our cares on Him for He cares for us. 1 Peter 1:5 kept by the power of God by faith. 1 Peter 5:7.  Remember, “Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God where as faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”

6. Be Active. We need more love in our heart to melt the lead in our feet” to tell our neighbors about the love of God found in Jesus Christ. Luke 10:2. Labors are few. “More people are willing to hear the message than there people willing to share the Gospel” All throughout scripture God tells someone so they can tell others. God chose to use people to reach people. There is a fixed date when the Lord will return that is fixed by a certain event. The event is when the last person who is to receive Christ gets saved. If we believe that then we can as scripture says, “hasten the day” by godly living and sharing Jesus with others.

7. Be Loving. You can sum up the entire bible with two thoughts, love God and love people. Love God with all your heart. 2 Corinthians 5:14. Colossians 3:14. Jesus said, all men will know you are My disciples by your love for one another. Our love is being challenged. Put on love each day we are reminded in 1 Peter 4:8. Love covers a multitude of sin, 1 John 3:11. “Count the day lost when we fail to do something kind for others.” Loving God more comes from knowing God more.

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

2 Peter 1:5–7



Michael Osthimer





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