Archive for the ‘Grace and Peace’ Category

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

2 Peter 1:2-13

10Because of this, (refers to the three previous posts) brethren, be all the more solicitous (concerned, desirous,) and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

How can i be sure that God called me, and that i am His elect? The commentaries say this, By doing these things spoken of in 1 Peter 1:5-7 (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love). As i see these things in my life, i know that my life is becoming more like the nature of Jesus. It shows that i am being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). While this is true to a degree i think that i am sure that God has called me and that i am His elect because of my growing and ever-changing understanding of how much He loves me and not by what i do, as well as faith. There is a saying that says, fake it till you make it. YET… what i do is the outcome of true relationship with Him. What i do may show, not guaranteed to show that i am being changed to the image of Him. For me the result does not assure me nor confirm His call, it, at best confirms my response. i’m not sure this is making sense, i don’t seem to be able to find the right words. It is possible for an unsaved person to do many moral and religious duties and just as possible for a believer to fall short in them. These things Peter speaks of are matters of the heart.

11Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Entrance will be supplied to me abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Some say that this is the ultimate reward, why it is worth it to be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure. i honestly give little thought to the everlasting kingdom, as i am more focused on today. At the end of each day i want to hear, well done. Yes eternity is important and where i will spend it matters to me, but if i take care of this day that i have so graciously been given, eternity will not be an issue.

Let me conclude by saying, Peter shows that i as a Christian will have both the knowledge of God, and a life that glorifies Him, and that the two are connected. Some try to know God or know about Him without living the life. Others try to live the life without really knowing God. Both will reside in me if i am living a healthy Christian life.

We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves. ~George M. Adams

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8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

If these things are mine and abound… this is the problem with blogging and writing for me in general. How i read these words makes a difference. Where i pout the emphasis changes the meaning of what is being said.  If i read them “For as these qualities are yours” and take them to mean that they are coming, as i make them mine. OR i can read them as meaning a statement of fact. “For as these qualities are yours”, saying that they already belong to me. I suppose both are true to some degree. They are mine as promised by God yet being mine by promise and being mine by possession are two different things when it comes to abounding in them.

If i have these things, and abound in these things, it is evident to everyone that i am not barren (unproductive, without capacity to interest or attract) nor unfruitful (unproductive, unprofitable, failing to produce or develop) in my knowledge of Jesus. The Message says, With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. i see the end result of this looking like this, that people will sense the knowledge of God on me verses me having to tell them. Ephesians 5:10 Try to learn in your experience what is pleasing to God, let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him. Let your lives be so in contrast as to expose and reprove and convict. This is abounding! The words barren and unfruitful characterize the lives of many, who lack these qualities because they lack in their knowledge of God’s love for them – knowing Him in the fuller and deeper sense. Abound… at times i have had a feel good moment that these qualities are seen in me from time to time. But Peter says they should abound in us. Abound… to occur or exist in great quantities, to be rich or well supplied. Great quantities, rich, well supplied, that’s a prosperity message.

9For whoever lacks (deficiency or absence of something needed) these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.

If i lack these things it is shortsighted, to the point of blindness. If i lack these things, it shows i have “eye trouble.” i am shortsighted, unable to see God, only myself. This makes me virtually blind, showing i have forgotten that  i was cleansed from my old sins. Remembering what Jesus did for me – such as
cleansing me from my sins – prompts me to give all diligence to my walk with God. Basing my walk with God on what He did for me is the foundation for a
healthy, growing Christian life.

Paul says … Gal. 5:16 I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

In closing Galatians 5:22-23 Msg. is not just some words on a page or a mere wish, but hey are a God principle that can not be changed, manipulated or used for my own benefit and glory. In my simple earthly words it is an attitude a lifestyle a philosophy a way of life to be experienced. But what happens when i live God’s way? He brings gifts into my life, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. i develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. i find myself involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force my way in life, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely.

i do not write these posts for others but today these final words are a confirmation for several as to the direction they should be engaging in. i probably should have done a separate posting for just these words but i’ll leave it to the reader to do the digging. Galatians 6:9-10  to not allow myself to get fatigued doing good. At the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit. 10RIGHT NOW, therefore, (for this reason) every time i get the chance, i work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to me in the community of faith.

I’m less interested in why we’re here. I’m wholly devoted to while we’re here. ~Erika Harris

2 Peter 1:2-13 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),

Giving all diligence: … me, ed am a partaker of the divine nature, but once i become a spiritual son, growth in the Christian life doesn’t just happen to me. i am supposed to give all diligence to my walk with the Lord. These describable, and visable qualities are not things that the Lord simply pours into me as i passively receive. Instead, i am called to give all diligence to these things, working in partnership with God to add them.

i am to employ… to hire or engage the services of, have or keep in one’s service, to keep busy or at work. When i employ someone there is a cost involved. So i am to pay a price toward the every… being one of a group or series taken collectively. This means that there is more than one way and one thing to employ. It says to me that if i do one thing and it doesn’t work, then i have only found one way that didn’t work and there is more than one way so i keep on employing each and every option until i come to one that does work. i am to employ every effort… an earnest or strenuous attempt. This says earnest and strenuous, meaning again that there will be some sweat and tears, there will be a cost. What is all this employing and effort going toward… FAITH. Faith to develop… to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of, bring to a more advanced or effective state, to develop natural resources, to cause to grow or expand, to elaborate or expand in detail.

The detail looks like this. Add to my faith virtue… moral excellence, goodness, righteousness, conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles. i begin my walk with the Lord with faith, but faith progresses into virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love – love being the culmination of all God’s work in me. The broadness of the list demonstrates that God wants me to have a well-rounded Christian life, complete in every fashion. i can’t be content with an incomplete Christian life. i must remember that what i am after is the recognition, understanding or better yet the demonstration of grace, God’s favor and peace which is promised to me.

6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),

7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

Exercising… a putting into action, use, operation, or effect godliness… coming from God. i am not fond of the word exercise. It means hard work for me and there is most definitely a cost for me. So it is in exercising brotherly affection, which leads to Christian love, which comes with at a high price. i must remember that this is not a destination, it is a journey and will come with time. i can exercise one day, one week or even one month and perhaps experience some small measurable benefit, but if i quit at that point it will be lost in a matter of days. Relationship is a journey, sometimes brief and other times very long.

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ~Fr. Alfred D’Souza

2 Peter 1: 2-13 May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to me in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus my Lord.

i have been experiencing at a new level, two of the most precious gifts of life, grace and peace – according to the words above this is occurring because they are mine in the knowledge of God and Jesus my Lord. As i know God i gain these essentials for living. They are multiplied to me as i pursue the full, personal, precise and correct knowledge of God.

3For His divine power has bestowed upon me all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called me by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).

So that says to me, His divine power has given to me all things that pertain to my life and godliness. However, not only grace and peace – but all things that pertain to life and godliness are mine through the knowledge of Him. Knowing God is the key to all things that pertain to my life. What is knowing God? For me it comes down to an always growing and maturing in understanding of God’s love for me.

i am often willing to try almost anything except the knowledge of Him. i will trust in the schemes and plans of my so called gifting instead of the knowledge of Him. i will try knowing myself instead of the knowledge of Him. i want to come to the same place the Apostle Paul did, when he said that I may know Him (Philippians 3:10).

Here the Greek word knowledge doesn’t refer to a casual acquaintance. It means an exact, complete, and thorough knowledge.

So how do i come to an exact, complete thorough knowledge of Him? There are three ways that come to me at this moment. Through His Word, through prayer, and through the community of God’s people. It is true that i need God alone, but God does not meet me only in my “aloneness” but also in the community of His people.

This knowledge of God comes to me as a calling. It is knowledge, but it is not just intellectual understanding or intuition. It is the knowledge that comes by experience – my experience that i have of God Himself. It is Jesus’ glory and virtue that motivates Him to call me, and it is His glory and virtue that draw me to Him.

4By means of these He has bestowed on me His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them i may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

It is by the glory and virtue of God that He called me and that He gave me exceedingly great and precious promises. This means that the promises of God are based upon His glory and virtue, and therefore perfectly reliable. God would never compromise His glory and virtue. Psalm 138:2 reminds me that God honors His word even above His name. i never have to doubt any promise of God. Instead i should let God be true but every man a liar (Romans 3:4). For these reasons, God’s promises are both exceedingly great (in the sense of being large and imposing), and they are precious, in the sense of being valuable.

That through these i may be a partaker of His divine nature. Peter’s idea is similar to Paul’s idea of our glorious status as adopted sons and daughters of God
(Galatians 4:5-7).

i have through this knowledge the opportunity to escape the corruption that is in the world. God is above and beyond the corruption of this world. i am also above and beyond as a partaker of the divine nature. The corruption that is in the world expresses itself through lust – the ungodly wants of this world.