Daily Devotional – Thursday, September 23, 2021
“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16, NLT)
I find the relationship between the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul fascinating. They could have chosen to be rivals, yet despite their differences, they knew there was too much at stake to allow petty rivalry to get in the way of doing their work of growing the Church. Peter had been called to be one of the twelve apostles; Paul had received his calling on the road to Damascus. Peter’s ministry was primarily to the Jews; Paul’s work took him to the Gentiles. Peter had received a vision from God that he was to accept the Gentiles as equals (Acts 10:11-16); Paul reprimanded Peter to his face for his return to Jewish law with regard to the Gentiles when visited by other Jewish believers from Jerusalem (Galatians 2:11-13). The Apostle Peter was well-supported and even fawned over when he visited believers in various locations, whereas Paul was often required to support himself to do ministry with his own means (1 Corinthians 9:4-6). They both are credited with letters that are included in the New Testament, yet when opportunity arose for Peter to discredit Paul (even after the episode referred to in Galatians), Peter refuses and instead points out the error of those who have twisted the meaning of Paul’s letters to suit their own purposes.
Christian leaders and all believers from different parts of the world and various denominations, would all do well to follow the lead of these two great apostles. Their relationship was not all smooth sailing; their callings differed from one another; their experiences and the way they went about fulfilling their callings were at times very different. Yet, they never took up positions as rivals. Neither should we. Jesus put this need for believers to get along quite succinctly, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). In this regard today’s Church can do better—we must do better! There is still too much at stake to allow petty rivalries to get in the way of doing the work of growing the Church.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!