Sixth Monday after Epiphany

Psalm 37:1-12, Jeremiah 12:1–17, 2 Peter 1:2–10

We can look around, and wonder what’s wrong with the world. Those who are corrupt or greedy seem to be doing so much better than good people. When we look around, we can either be discouraged or we can look up.

This really is nothing new. The psalmist reminds himself and us that envying others is short-sighted. It is also unwise. When we trust God and do good we live securely. Living securely, however, does not necessarily mean comfortable as the world wants it. That’s why looking side-to-side becomes a distraction. When we are looking side-to-side we are not secure in ourselves.

Isaiah is looking side-to-side. He takes the success of the “wicked” though and perceives it as a test of his heart. Isaiah defines it as God testing him to know his heart. God already knows Isaiah’s heart. This more about Isaiah understanding his own heart, his relationship to his fellow man, and his relationship to God. There is also another relationship that is important to understand, and that is the relationship with the land. The land itself mourns at the wicked who are present in it. While Isaiah’s heart might be right, the hearts of the people around him definitely are not. The affect him, others, God, and the land. All because their hearts are not right with God. And God is the key to a good and secure life.

As Peter opens with the grace of God, we understand that it is by God’s grace that we are even able to approach the throne of God. It is through this grace that we begin the journey of transformation from the life of the “wicked” to the life of the righteous. Peter then provides us with a roadmap with waypoints of increasing Christ-likeness. As we become more Christ-like, the temptation to look side-to-side fades away. The glory of God shines more deeply in us, transforming us to more-and-more find our worth in God and not others.

1) Do you see God shaping you to be more God-facing, rather than people-facing?

2) Do you see the waypoints (2 Peter 1:5-8) in your life? Do you see any change in your life embodying each of these traits more and more?

3) What makes these traits contrary to the world? Why is it important to understand why they are contrary?

FD) How can we help each other develop these Godly-grace traits?