God's Word is so rich and I am amazed how something I have read a thousand times can be so new. I have been so convicted by these passages because they talk about growing in your knowledge of God and, they deal with character issues and basically how certain traits can prove your faith in Christ.
Read these verses for yourself....
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I hope you actually read those verses and didn't just scan over them. They are pretty powerful and I have written them down on an index card to help me memorize them.
The pastor I am listening to, Francis Chan, has really helped me to see some new things in these verses and I would love to share some things he pointed out over the next couple of days.
In verse 1 you can tell that this is written to believers because it says that "To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of God.." That in and of itself is amazing to me. I have been made righteous in the sight of God because of my faith in Him. I have right standing with Him and my faith is equal to that of Peter, the one who walked on water Peter. I don't know if you are like me and you read scripture and think that you are nothing like Peter, or Paul, or Esther, or Ruth. They are Bible characters and they must have had something special, right? According to that verse, that kind of faith comes from the righteousness of God and I have that!
Another verse that says a similar thing is 2 Corinthians 5:21 which says, "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I became righteous and I received the very same faith that the heroes of the Bible have. Crazy thought, really. Blows my mind to think about it like that.
Verse 2 of 2 Peter 1 says, "May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God..." Was your life oozing with grace and peace this week? I live with a perfect example of grace and peace. Her name is Reagan. I watch her little life and it is amazing to me how she is just joyful all the time. She just loves life. She loves to laugh, to smile, to tell jokes, and to sing. Even when something bad happens...although "bad" for a 4 year old is usually not really all the bad...she says, "Mommy, we should pray about that," or "Mommy, God will fix it, right?" I love that about her. I love her constant joy and her constant peace that everything is going to work out O.K. I know that when God looks down at me, as a Father looks at His child, and He wants to see the same constants in my life, the same joy and the same peace.
Wouldn't you all love grace and peace to be multiplied in your life? From verse 2, did you catch how that happens? That kind of attitude comes from the knowledge of God. Knowledge of God only comes through intimacy with Him. Intimacy only comes through spending time with Him in His Word and in prayer on a daily basis. The more time I spend with Him, even though it is hard some days, the more I will know Him, and the more I will display joy, peace, and grace.
I want to remember that and to really get it. I don't want my peace to be tied to other things. I don't want it to be tied to my financial situation, my health, the health of my children, my relationships, the kind of car I drive, or the size of my house. I want it to come from my knowledge of God and my relationship with Him and the fact that my name is written in the book of life and that no matter what happens on this earth, I am going to be O.K. because I am His.
This sermon reminded me of another verse that I love...
Psalm 27:4 "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple."
I certainly want to live in God's presence and by His purpose and for His glory. To do those things I have to actively seek Him.
Well, I am going to leave you there because this is getting really long. I will pick up with verse 3 next time.