II Peter 1:2-4
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Depending on the internet source, there are between 3,000 and 8,000 of God’s promises to man! Well, this series on Alliterated Promises Of God is not going to run to 8,000 individual Gems – or anywhere near that! But we will look at seven or eight major promises that can greatly affect our lives!
What are alliterated promises? In this case, they all begin with the letter P! So let’s take a quick overview that relates to the whole series. The first P is God’s Promises! We could chose many Scriptures for this first P, but one that seems to cover the whole series is II Peter 1:2 through 4:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious prom- ises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
This is why God has given to us, His children, great and precious promises! He wants to create in us the His own divine nature, so that the lost of the world may see Jesus Christ, “…who is the image of God…” (II Corinthians 4:4). And because the Son of God is being manifested in and through us, sinners may also gain knowledge of Christ and obtain salvation and eternal life!
Let’s look more closely at what II Peter 1:2 through 4 tells us:
- “Grace and Peace be multiplied to you….”
✞ We are given multiplied grace in that we are given that which we don’t deserve! ➔ We don’t deserve God’s favor toward us, nor His love, His pardon, His manifold blessings, and His eternal presence both now and forever in heaven! We don’t deserve any of this! ➔ What we do deserve as sinners is His wrath, His judgment, His condemnation, and eternal separation from Him in hell! ✞ We are offered multiplied peace! ➔ In Isaiah 57:20 and 21 we learn what happens when we have no peace because of sin: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it can- not rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” ➔ But when “...the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding... [guards] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus...” (Philippians 4:7), such peace means the manifestation of... ❏ “...peace of God...” (Colossians 3:5). ❏ “...peace with God...” (Romans 5:1). ❏ “...peace within...” (Psalm 127: 7, 8). ❏ “...peace without...” (Proverbs 16:7).
- How does this multiplied peace become our possession? It is “…through the knowledge of our God and of Jesus our Lord….”
✞ Knowledge changes us......for evil or for good!
When I was growing up through my pre-teen and teenage years, I did not have a father to guide me. He left the family when I was ten. My mother had children late in life, so at the time of his departure, she was in her mid fifties. Her health was not the best, but she worked full-time (plus over-time) in a factory and had little energy left to parent three boys (I had two brothers, two and four years older than I). So the three Norton boys ‘walked on the wild side’!
Consequently, a lot of my knowledge came from wrong sources. I hung around with teens who, like me, were influenced by what we learned from others. But the ‘others’ were older teen boys and even guys who were into their twenties. And they had been influenced to walk on the wrong side of the law! And they influenced us to walk on that same dangerous path! Having been arrested and jailed twice because of vehicular offences, I decided to enlist in the Air Force. Once in, I was ‘forced’ to learn a new way of thinking and living – discipline, obedience, and self-direction – this time with a good heading!
But one kind of knowledge especially affected me early in my military experience! I discovered the Lord Jesus Christ! (Or should I say, He discovered me!) And I began to learn what the Lord wanted the direction of my life to be.
I met my wife, Hope, seven weeks before I was honorably discharged from the Air Force, and we waited another week before we were married – 8 weeks and one day in all! (I would not recommend marriage only eight weeks after meeting – but God worked it out!). Both of us were Christians, although we had a lot of growing in the faith ahead of us. But we continued increasing in “…the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord….” (II Peter 1:2).
Such knowledge has led us through the trials of 53 years of marriage and parenting (now grand parenting, and great-grand parenting!) My wife is still my best friend, my companion, my lover, and my confidant. In my opinion, she is the most beautiful woman in the world!
Through it all, Hope and I have grown as Christians!
- We learned to trust God through trials where we couldn’t see any way out!
- We gained more and more “…knowledge of our God and of Jesus our Lord….” We did this by dwelling richly in the Word, the Bible (see Colossians 3:16). By reading, studying, even memorizing Scripture, and listening to His “…still small voice…” (I Kings 19:12), we have discerned God’s direction, and learned what it takes “…to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13).
- One vector of His good pleasure for me was to become a Baptist pastor.
✞ Hope had been raised in a home where her dad was the pastor of a Baptist church. She didn’t like the ‘fish- bowl’ existence of being in the congregation’s ‘eye’! ✞ So when we got married, she told me, “You can be any- thing you want to be. Just don’t be a minister!” ✞ I guess, you don’t tell God what you will or won’t do! It wasn’t too long after, the Lord called me into the ministry! ✞ For fifty years, my dear wife has supported me by being a wonderful pastor's wife!
- We are still growing! And we will continue to grow to be more and more like Jesus until we see Him face to face! Then, as it says in I John 3:2, “…we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
More in our next Gem of the series, Alliterated Promises Of God.