“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires….The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4, 8 NLT
When I am heading out the door on a journey, I always like to be equipped. I’ll make sure I have my GPS or MapQuest directions, and phone; if traveling far, I take some water and snacks, make sure I have some money in my pocket, and any gear I might need for the days of the trip: my computer, jacket, extra clothes. We are all on a spiritual journey, moving in the direction of Christ-likeness and maturity in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter tells us God has equipped us with everything we need to live a godly life.
What has God equipped us with? We have God’s divine power, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at work with in us. We also have God’s precious promises that we can depend on, because of God’s Glorious and Good nature. We can find His promises, written in God’s Word, the Bible. Peter assures us that the Bible is not stuff made up by people, but God’s message to us. He says, “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
In other words, God has communicated to us what we need to be, know and do in order to continue grow in grace, in our knowledge of God, and in godliness. God worked in active partnership with people, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, to write down what we need to know for salvation, and for living as disciples of Jesus Christ. That’s why the Bible is essential equipment for our life journey. And through our relationship with Jesus, we know we have God’s power available to us so that we can grow more Christlike.
What does growing to maturity in Christ look like? We will continue to grow the characteristics that Jesus displayed in His life when He was on earth. Peter mentions these virtues: “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
- Do you need to grow in faith? Ask God if He is calling you to venture into some new ministry that would require you to TRUST GOD! Volunteer to be a worship leader, organize a new ministry group, or begin to visit with someone shut-in.
- How about goodness? Is God calling you to reach out to someone in need? Perhaps you have a skill or talent like carpentry or computers that you could use on a mission trip or at a work camp or with a neighbor.
- Maybe you need to grow in godliness. Is there an area of your life where you need to turn from sin and choose to do God’s will?
- Do you need to grow in your knowledge of God or get to know God better? Perhaps God is calling you to begin a daily devotional time, to be in worship regularly, or to join (and maybe even lead) a small group Bible Study or Growth Group.
As we grow in our maturity in Christ, we become effective and productive people, for the Kingdom of God. So make sure you keep growing this summer. Spend time with other Christians in worship, spend time in God’s Word, and let God’s Spirit empower you to grow in faith, in goodness, in knowledge of God, in self-control, endurance, and love so that you can serve God’s Kingdom with increasing Joy and effectiveness.
And See you in worship this summer!
Grace and Peace,