As we dive into 2019, we might be feeling mixed emotions—excited for what’s ahead, nervous about the unknown, optimistic about the future, or pessimistic that good is actually coming. And we may see it as a clean slate and a fresh beginning, or this week may just feel like any other week.
But regardless of what lies ahead, we can be confident that God has gone before us, and furthermore, has equipped us with everything we need to live a godly life.
That means we can respond with peace to the pressures at work and in our home, because we know we can do all things through His Spirit. That means we can rejoice in good news, because God is the Source behind every perfect gift. And that means we can counter our frustrations with patience, our anger with gentleness, and our impulsiveness with self-control, because this is the fruit of the Spirit given to each and every believer.
But it’ll require standing firm in the truth we’ve been taught. It’ll involve paying attention to Scripture and being committed to grow in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s true that God has indeed given us great and precious promises in His Word, but it’s also true that it’s only by reading and remembering them that we’re enabled to share in His divine nature.
So this year, may we stay committed to learning and soaking up God’s Word. As we do, may goodness be added to our faith; 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. “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.”
- Reading the Bible will require intentionality. Otherwise, our schedule will inevitably fill up with other things. What is your action plan to pay attention to Scripture this year?
- May this be our prayer: “Thank you, God, for giving me everything I need to live a godly life through your great and precious promises. Peter exhorted Christians in 2 Peter to make every effort to respond to your promises. Whenever I fall away from reading your Word and become idle in my faith, remind me of this passage and this exhortation. May I always stand firm in the truth I’ve been taught!”
2 Peter 1:1-15
Greetings from Peter
1 This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.
2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
Growing in Faith
3 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. 4 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.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Paying Attention to Scripture
12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
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