Scripture: “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 by which he has granted to use 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.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge and knowledge with self-control and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are your and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-8
Observation: I have noticed that these long, run on sentences are short on the “eye-candy”, easy to memorize scripture references. Perhaps because they contain so much context that it is difficult to take pieces of them out of context.
Analysis: My goodness. Peter is saying a lot of things to remember in these short 200 hundred or so words.
Recently there was a scripture reference that was brought freshly to my attention. Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
I am intrigued on how these two scriptures are so similar.
It is not too big a stretch to see that the Scripture in both say:
- It is the power of God’s grace that makes change happen in me;
- That grace is not only for salvation, but it is for specific change in me, causing/instructing me to renounce ungodliness.
- That grace is for increasing in knowledge of Jesus Christ (and the doctrine behind the Gospel for one reason—that I may become effective in his calling or, in other words, I can walk worthy of the Gospel in an effective manner).
In the book being studied at Sat AM Coffee at IHOPS, the writer says, “The flesh works to make you forget the design (that you are saved to be holy) and think only of the remedy (if you sin, you’ll be forgiven”. How often do I remember the REMEDY that Grace provides, and I forget the DESIGN of Grace empowers me to become?
Holiness (as it pertains to the function of being a Christian) is not talked about a lot. There is a bunch of introspection and change involved—none of which are widely celebrated in the body of Believers. And that is too bad. I suppose that some change is embarrassingly personal. But a lot isn’t.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them so that all may see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:15) Godliness/holiness is seen and presentable. It is also EVIDENCE of the Grace of God in my life. By increasing in Godliness/Holiness it makes me more effective than if I wasn’t increasing.
Why wouldn’t I want to be more effective in Him? Oh, yeah—it is because I like the flesh more. Phooey.
Prayer: Lord God, please make my eyes singly on you. No matter what the world around be brings I want to put it aside and follow you. Hard to do because the flesh can be strong, and I can succumb to weakness. Make me change as I put my nose to the grindstone and just not read but EMBRACE your Word. AMEN.