As he grew older, St. Peter wrote some letters “to those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” 1 Peter 1, 1,2a. He is their shepherd, and is very concerned that when he dies, they might very well forget the true teaching.
So He writes in 2 Peter 1, 13-15, as follows: “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus made clear to me. And I will make every effort And every effort, so that after my departure you may at any time recall these things.”
Maybe that is the reason why I sit down at this machine and write these Shade Tree notes to you now and then. Because the Lord has told me the same thing he told St. Peter. “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength they are eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone.” Psalm 90,10.
Because you and I live in a culture that is not kind to the Christian faith; that often attacks the people of faith and makes their lives miserable and often legally costly.
St. Peter warned his hearers about this. He writes, 1 Peter 5,8,9: “Be sober-minded, be watchful, your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
The adversary, the devil, is quite active. He tempts, he allures, he looks “like an angel of light” to deceive the believer. He never stops trying to get you to fall away. “Are you sure God said that” is still his most effective weapon.
But before we despair, remember God’s promise to us. “God is faithful, and He will not let you to be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation He will provide a way to escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10,13. So “Put on the whole armor of God, and having done all stand.” And may God bless that life lived under His Word.