May 30, 2014
II Peter 1:2-4
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I am a Christian – and I have been serious for most of the 49 years I have been a Christian about living out my commitment to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Anyone who has made that same ongoing decision has discovered, as I have, that we often find ourselves fallen flat on our faces, having failed the One to whom we are committed. And – having picked up my face from its imprint in the mud – I have more than once looked up and asked, “What Am I Yet Lacking? What is it, God, that I still need? What haven’t You given me so that I can consistently live out the Christian life as I should be doing before You?”
Then I read II Peter 1:2 and 3:
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
Did you get that? Peter plainly wrote in verse 3, “…His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness….” All things! God has not held back anything that pertains to life and godliness! The problem is not that I have not received that which will empower me to live the victorious Christian life! The problem is that I have not made use of what I have already received!
Alright, so how do I make use of what God has already given me? The secret is in verses 3 and 4 of our scipture:
God…has given to us all things…through the knowledge of Him who called us
by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and pre-
cious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
It is through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, through His great and precious promises recorded in the Bible that we become godly and defeat our lust for the corruption that is in the world. According to Paul in Colossians 3:10 (Revised Standard Version) “…the new nature…is being renewed in knowledge after the image if its Creator….” Upon asking Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives to be our Savior, He – by the Holy Spirit – gives us a new nature, one that has the potential to manifest godliness as we obey Him as our Lord. But that new nature needs to be fed – just like our physical bodies need nutritional food to be healthy! And the spiritual food necessary for this new spiritual nature is simply the knowledge of God as found in scripture, and as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit from within! (see Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16; I John 2:27).
Now I do not understand all the processes of how eating nutritional food enhances life and produces energy in our physical bodies. But that lack of understanding does not stop me – or even slow me down – from eating my wife’s good cooking! And I do not understand all that goes on within the new nature when we regularly consume God’s Word – processes that produce spiritual energy to live out “…all things that pertain to life and godliness….” But I believe it is true and it works because God commanded us to do it! And so I regularly take in His Word to feed my new nature!
One of the great blessings of committing to write this blog three times a week for more than a year now has been that it forces me into the Word to study and to make sure that what I write is the truth as far as I can discern! The same goes with preparation for the Bible study that I have led in at a friend’s house for the last twelve years. It also applies to sermons I prepare to preach regularly. Besides all that, years ago I committed myself to read through the Bible in various versions, translations and paraphrases once ever six months. And I have been doing that for about 45 years! I am now over half way through the 1917 edition of the Scofield Bible – reading the notes as well. This is the 94th time of completely reading through God’s Word!
You do not have to commit to exactly the same discipline that I accomplish. But if you want to live out the Christian life as God intended for you, then make use of that which He has provided to give His children the power to accomplish the task of godly living! Quit asking Him, “What Am I Yet Lacking?” All you are lacking is making use of the means God has provided you to actuate what He has already given! As Nike popularized as their theme, Just Do It!