So I've been working my way through this book, and studying 2 Peter, for a couple of weeks now. It has been a bit challenging, but in the best of ways.
The book dives deep into 2 Peter 1:1-9
"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, 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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins." (2 Peter 1:1-9)
Goodness. Knowledge. Self-Control. Perseverance. Godliness. Brotherly Kindess. Love.
Seven virtues that we are urged to add to our faith, one onto another, in increasing measure...seven virtues that change us and transform us, from the inside out.
I love the imagery Buchanan uses here:
"The Bible tells the story of the trouble we're in, but it's greater story is about the grace we've received. It recounts what God's done, and still does, to get us out of trouble, a breathtakingly dramatic tale of a lover who lost his bride and went to extravagant, heroic, even foolhardy lengths to win her back: a long and perilous journey, a grim and bloody battle, a seemingly disastrous ending, an unexpected and astonishing reversal. And it is the story of the lover's intent, not just to rescue her from the dragon and his lair, but to bring her to his castle and make her spotless, radiant, unblemished.
God has no less an ambition than to take people captive to evil and ruined by sin and to transform them, while yet on earth, into the likeness of Jesus. The transformation is not completed until heaven, but God wants to get it well under way on this side."
2 Peter 1:3 says that God has given us "everything we need for a godly life"...and for this reason, we need to make every effort to add to our faith these seven virtues.
I already have been given everything I need to live a godly life. But as Buchanan writes, "Just because it's all there doesn't guarantee you'll put it to best use - or for that matter, to any use at all....Having all you need is not the same thing as making of it all you can."
Having all you need is not the same thing as making of it all you can.
How many days have I lived as if I was missing something, as if I needed more, as if I didn't already have everything I needed? How many moments have I squandered by not embracing all that He has already given me?
Even though salvation in Jesus is fully complete in an instant, becoming like Jesus is a life-long process. "God not only makes me alive in Christ, he makes me to live as Christ. Conversion makes spiritually dead people alive. God pulls that off in a blink. Sanctification makes godless people godly. God typically uses a lifetime to accomplish that" (Buchanan).
I want to be like Jesus.
I'm not there yet. I'm so far from there.
It will probably take my whole lifetime to even get close.
But one of the ways I can allow His Spirit to continue to change me and mold me and transform me is by soaking myself in His Word - daily. I need to not just read His Word, but I need to write it on my heart, brand it on my soul.
So I have tried to make it my habit to meditate on it, and to memorize it as much as I can.
This week I'm working on 2 Peter 1:5-7. I want my heart to know them by heart so my life can live them out loud. So I made a little print of these verses that I'm hanging by my desk. (Would you like one too? Just click the image to download your own print ;) ).
God has already given me everything I need to live a godly life...and for that reason, I will add to may faith knowledge; and to knowledge, goodness; and to goodness, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.