2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
In this second letter from Peter to the church, he starts by reminding us of who we are in Christ Jesus. If we have faith in Him, we have been given everything we need about life and godliness. We can be partakers of the divine nature. And we can escape the corruption that is in the world. As we pursue the knowledge of Christ, certain qualities will increase. Others will see the overflow of abundance in our hearts. And if Christ-follower is lacking in these qualities, they are blind and have forgotten the cleansing of their sins. Then Peter challenges us to examine our faith walk. Do we bear fruit of belonging to Jesus?
What does it mean to live a godly life? If I have been given everything I need about life and godliness. What exactly did I receive when I put Jesus lord of my life? Did I get my “get out of hell” card? Was I able to give up every bad habit and compulsion that plagued me for years? Or did I instantly receive what some might call the “good life”? Meaning that all my troubles disappeared?
A Gift that is a helper
I received the Holy Spirit, which gave me the ability to apply moral excellence to my life. In moral excellence, knowledge; knowledge, self-control; Self-control, perseverance. In perseverance, godliness; godliness, brotherly love; brotherly love, agape love. I was given the keys to the kingdom. Our problem is that even though we have the keys to this life, we are often forgetful of our saving grace. We live as if we are still trapped in a cell when the cell door is open. When the cell door was opened, we were given everything we needed about life and godliness. We could ask, “Where did I put my keys?”
I am challenged to examine my own life; do I see these qualities flowing from me? Again, not looking for perfection. Where is my heart? Can I sacrificially love someone else? Do I lay down my life and fleshly desires to love my spouse the same way Jesus laid down His for the church? (Ephesians 5:25) Do I pick up my cross daily and follow Jesus, so much so that I put others before myself? Do I apply all diligence in my faith, or do I do just enough in my faith to be labeled “Christian”?
There are enough “good men” in the world. The world needs godly men. Those who wholeheartedly pursue Christ. Men who live self-controlled lives because they live under the authority of the Holy Spirit. These men step up and surrender their lives to God’s will and remove the things that distract them from accomplishing God’s plans. A father that will spend time reading a bible with his children and pass up a hunting or fishing trip to do it. A husband who will put his hobby on hold to spend time with his wife and connect emotionally. Do I have to give up everything I find fun? No. But I may need to check my priorities.
We must learn to be intentional with our relationships. God is a personal and relational God, and we must ask, “What is more painful?” Missing out on something that will only entertain for the moment or a decaying relationship with a spouse. Take time to invest in future generations for the kingdom. Run the race of life well.
Father, stir within us that desire to pursue Christ. A hunger to want to know Him more and live a life that resembles Him. Teach us to put down the distractions. Help us love sacrificially. Remind me to look out for my brothers. Bring us from being “good” to be holy in Your sight. Lead us in leading our spouse, children, and others to the foot of the cross. We desire to know You and to be known by You. Amen