December 24

1 Peter 5:1 — 2 Peter 3:18

Therefore, to the older men among YOU I give this exhortation, for I too am an older man with [them] and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, a sharer even of the glory that is to be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God in YOUR care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; 3 neither as lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd has been made manifest, YOU will receive the unfadable crown of glory.

5 In like manner, YOU younger men, be in subjection to the older men. But all of YOU gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt YOU in due time; 7 while YOU throw all YOUR anxiety upon him, because he cares for YOU. 8 Keep YOUR senses, be watchful. YOUR adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour [someone]. 9 But take YOUR stand against him, solid in the faith, knowing that the same things in the way of sufferings are being accomplished in the entire association of YOUR brothers in the world. 10 But, after YOU have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called YOU to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish YOUR training, he will make YOU firm, he will make YOU strong. 11 To him be the might forever. Amen.

12 Through Silvanus, a faithful brother, as I account him, I have written YOU in few [words], to give encouragement and an earnest witness that this is the true undeserved kindness of God; in which stand firm. 13 She who is in Babylon, a chosen one like [YOU], sends YOU her greetings, and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
      May all of YOU who are in union with Christ have peace.

2 Peter

1 Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith, held in equal privilege with ours, by the righteousness of our God and [the] Savior Jesus Christ:

2 May undeserved kindness and peace be increased to YOU by an accurate knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 forasmuch as his divine power has given us freely all the things that concern life and godly devotion, through the accurate knowledge of the one who called us through glory and virtue. 4 Through these things he has freely given us the precious and very grand promises, that through these YOU may become sharers in divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 Yes, for this very reason, by YOUR contributing in response all earnest effort, supply to YOUR faith virtue, to [YOUR] virtue knowledge, 6 to [YOUR] knowledge self-control, to [YOUR] self-control endurance, to [YOUR] endurance godly devotion, 7 to [YOUR] godly devotion brotherly affection, to [YOUR] brotherly affection love. 8 For if these things exist in YOU and overflow, they will prevent YOU from being either inactive or unfruitful regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 For if these things are not present in anyone, he is blind, shutting his eyes [to the light], and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins of long ago. 10 For this reason, brothers, all the more do YOUR utmost to make the calling and choosing of YOU sure for yourselves; for if YOU keep on doing these things YOU will by no means ever fail. 11 In fact, thus there will be richly supplied to YOU the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 For this reason I shall be disposed always to remind YOU of these things, although YOU know [them] and are firmly set in the truth that is present [in YOU]. 13 But I consider it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to rouse YOU up by way of reminding YOU, 14 knowing as I do that the putting off of my tabernacle is soon to be, just as also our Lord Jesus Christ signified to me. 15 So I will do my utmost also at every time that, after my departure, YOU may be able to make mention of these things for yourselves.

16 No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we acquainted YOU with the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it was by having become eyewitnesses of his magnificence. 17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when words such as these were borne to him by the magnificent glory: “This is my son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.” 18 Yes, these words we heard borne from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain.

19 Consequently we have the prophetic word [made] more sure; and YOU are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and a daystar rises, in YOUR hearts. 20 For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. 21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.

However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among YOU. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, with covetousness they will exploit YOU with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering.

4 Certainly if God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tartarus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment; 5 and he did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people; 6 and by reducing the cities Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come; 7 and he delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct— 8 for that righteous man by what he saw and heard while dwelling among them from day to day was tormenting his righteous soul by reason of their lawless deeds— 9 Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off, 10 especially, however, those who go on after flesh with the desire to defile [it] and who look down on lordship.

Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble at glorious ones but speak abusively, 11 whereas angels, although they are greater in strength and power, do not bring against them an accusation in abusive terms, [not doing so] out of respect for Jehovah. 12 But these [men], like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even suffer destruction in their own [course of] destruction, 13 wronging themselves as a reward for wrongdoing.

They consider luxurious living in the daytime a pleasure. They are spots and blemishes, indulging with unrestrained delight in their deceptive teachings while feasting together with YOU. 14 They have eyes full of adultery and unable to desist from sin, and they entice unsteady souls. They have a heart trained in covetousness. They are accursed children. 15 Abandoning the straight path, they have been misled. They have followed the path of Balaam, [the son] of Beor, who loved the reward of wrongdoing, 16 but got a reproof for his own violation of what was right. A voiceless beast of burden, making utterance with the voice of a man, hindered the prophet’s mad course.

17 These are fountains without water, and mists driven by a violent storm, and for them the blackness of darkness has been reserved. 18 For they utter swelling expressions of no profit, and by the desires of the flesh and by loose habits they entice those who are just escaping from people who conduct themselves in error. 19 While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are existing as slaves of corruption. For whoever is overcome by another is enslaved by this one. 20 Certainly if, after having escaped from the defilements of the world by an accurate knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they get involved again with these very things and are overcome, the final conditions have become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have accurately known the path of righteousness than after knowing it accurately to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 The saying of the true proverb has happened to them: “The dog has returned to its own vomit, and the sow that was bathed to rolling in the mire.”

Beloved ones, this is now the second letter I am writing YOU, in which, as in my first one, I am arousing YOUR clear thinking faculties by way of a reminder, 2 that YOU should remember the sayings previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through YOUR apostles. 3 For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.”

5 For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and by those [means] the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.

8 However, let this one fact not be escaping YOUR notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with YOU because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 Yet Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought YOU to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which [the] heavens being on fire will be dissolved and [the] elements being intensely hot will melt! 13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

14 Hence, beloved ones, since YOU are awaiting these things, do YOUR utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote YOU, 16 speaking about these things as he does also in all [his] letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 YOU, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on YOUR guard that YOU may not be led away with them by the error of the law-defying people and fall from YOUR own steadfastness. 18 No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him [be] the glory both now and to the day of eternity.