502. Keeping From Stumbling

Mid-sentence Stan jumped up and left the table.  I turned to see where he was going, and saw that he was helping up someone who had stumbled coming through the door of the restaurant.

“Nice job!” I said as Stan returned to the table.

“I saw him stumble, lose his balance, and I knew he was probably going down,” Stan replied.  “Fortunately, all that he suffered seems to be  bit of embarrassment.”

Continuing, he said, “I don’t remember what we were talking about before, but what just happened raises a point about something I saw the other day in the apostle Peter’s second letter.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Peter’s statement near the beginning of his letter about the way I can avoid stumbling and how I can take advantage of all that God has for me to be and to do on this side of eternity.”

Stan then added, “After Peter had listed the various steps that God has for me to take in my pursuit of spiritual maturity, Peter tells me that if I do those steps I will not stumble.”

“Not stumble,” I responded, “as in never?”

“I think that is what Peter is telling me,” Stan replied, “but there is an implied ‘if’, and he puts it in terms of doing the steps he lists.  If I do them, the likelihood of my stumbling in my walk is eliminated.  If I don’t do them, there is always the likelihood that I will stumble.”

“Stumble, as in loosing your salvation?” I asked.

“No,” Stan replied, “I have the assurance of life eternally with God when it is time because of my acceptance of the finished work of Christ that resulted from His life, death, and resurrection.”

Continuing, he said, “What I think Peter is telling me here is about the danger of stumbling on the path of transformation towards spiritual maturity.  And that is on this side of eternity while I am waiting for the train that will take me to glory.”

“It’s like the fellow who just stumbled and fell down coming in here,” Stan concluded, “I need to watch my step all along the way as long as God keeps me on this side of eternity.”

“What happens if you do stumble?” I asked.

“Confess and repent, Stan replied.  “Turn to God.  He will pick me up, dust me off, bandage any wounds, and set me back on His intended path.”

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Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.  2 Peter 1:10, 11.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of life with you eternally when it is time through my acceptance of the finished work of Christ resulting from His life, death, and resurrection.  Thank you, too, for the opportunity to pursue knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity through an ever-deepening walk with you.  I confess that too often I do not pursue knowing you as you intend because I choose not to do so.  Please forgive me.  And please, Father, help me in following your lead in wanting to know you as deeply as humanly possible by choosing to walk with you on the path towards spiritual maturity, from conversion to transformation.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Things to think (and journal) about:

1.  What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?

2.  What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?

3.  What is God saying to you to do personally?

4.  Who can you share this with to make a difference?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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