Devotional from 2 Peter 1:1-3
‘Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 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…’
2 Peter 1:1–3
Living the fully persuaded life, the convinced life, the life of faith, means that we put our faith in the Word of God - more specifically, the Promises of God. Peter was one of those who understood what this meant more keenly than anyone else. His human side constantly put him in situations where he need to know that God was still with him and that He still loved him, and so he rested his faith on the promises of God, and it worked. He knew God could be trusted.
It's super important that we know and accept who we are. We should be living the life God appointed for us. If we are not we will finish our days in frustration. The sooner we commit to live the life God intended for us the sooner we will live in His peace.
Our identity is always going to be the synthesis of different natures.
The leader uses both his names, Simon and Peter, both a man saved and a man called.
Even though we are new creatures in Christ, we are also that human that is struggling with life. Peter may have been born again but he still struggled with the fear of man, when he sided with the Jews who wouldn't eat with the Gentile Christians. Paul called him out on it. Even though he had been with Jesus for three years, he still found it difficult to identify with him when it was unpopular. Yet, the man also has no apology in claiming his new name, the one God knows him as, the one Jesus gave him. Describing himself as both a slave and an apostle, a person bonded to the service of Christ.
In the same way, he also knows himself in the two contrasting roles of servant and leader. He describes himself as a bondservant. The word he uses describes ‘one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other.’
However, he also recognizes that God has called him as an apostle and doesn't allow the nature of servanthood confuse his boldness as a leader. He is saying ‘I’m also an ambassador/authorized with heavenly power as an apostle of Jesus Christ, a leader empowered with authority and gifting to build the church’.
We resonate with people who have the same faith as us. If we are saved by faith, then God's righteousness has been demonstrated (it's only fair), in giving us faith so we can believe and therefore be saved. Peter's perspective reminds us our 'obtaining' faith is not by our effort, but is the gift of God.
'Our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ', leaves no doubt at all that Jesus is God.
It may be hard to believe, when we look at our present circumstances, but God has already given us everything we need for 'life' not just for 'god-likeness', simply through the connection we have with Him. We have it now. It's the Word of Promise in our mouth.
‘…as His divine power HAS GIVEN TO US ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness…’
2 Peter 1:3
This Scripture reveals that all we need for our life, God has already given us. We are prepared for anything. All the opportunities, information, relationships have already been given to us through knowing Him.
‘He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!’ - Proverbs 28:19
What’s your land?
What do you have right now? Whatever it is, it’s the doorway into whatever God has for you next. Do well with what He has given you and you’ll walk the pathway into his next step.
In one of the parables where Jesus is rewarding His servants, he says, ‘Because you have done well with what I gave you, you now will rule over ten cities, or you will receive double what I gave you.’
‘Bloom where you are planted’.
Paul was in prison when he wrote most of the New Testament and the Scripture that has guided people to salvation and the church to victory for two thousand years.
John Bunyan wrote the most sold Christian book, ‘Pilgrims Progress’ when he was in prison for 12 years in Bedford England.
Never let your circumstances dictate to you what you can and can’t do.
When Moses had perfect circumstances, he was completely ineffective at delivering the Hebrew slaves. He tried but failed. When he had been a shepherd for 40 years and could barely speak, and was a fugitive from justice in Egypt and an employee of his father in law, it was then that he became the great deliverer of Israel.
Your circumstances never dictate success or not. Your faith, the fact that God is with you and your persistence are what will give you victory.
Work with what you have.
A change in environment or circumstance does not guarantee anything.
‘Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ - Philippians 4:11-13
If you can’t do it here, what makes you think you’ll be able to do it elsewhere? You are who you are, no matter what environment you find yourself in.
Some people think their marriage will be better if they go somewhere else, or they say they will get fit if they are in a different town.
There is a strange notion that where I am is not as good as everywhere else, and that if I were in a different circumstance then I would be a better person with a better life.
‘The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.’ - Psalm 92:12–13 (NKJV)
We are often tempted to imagine that if we could be that person, or if we could have what they’ve got, or if only I was younger or older, or if I go to live in that city, that everything would work out.
Our lives are the sum total of what we believe, not where we live, or what possessions we have.
Where we live, who we are and what we have are the things we seriously underestimate.
The prophet Elijah asked the widow who couldn’t pay her debts and was about to lose everything to the creditors, ’What do you have in the house?' Whatever it is God can use to provide your need. Your provision is right under your nose. You don't need to look elsewhere for whatever it is you need. God has made sure that whatever you need you already have.
God asked Moses, ‘What’s in your hand?’ It was a shepherd’s staff. God said, ‘That’ll do just fine. Let’s deliver 3 million slaves with that’.
David had a sling and stones in his hand. That’s what he knew he had. People tried to put more sophisticated armour on him and give him the same weapons they use, but David didn’t know these tools. He used what he had in his hand. That’s what brought Goliath down.
Zechariah 4:6 says, “’It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord.”
God is not looking for how powerful we are, but for how weak we are.
He is not looking for us to have the best, the biggest or the most to be able to do His will.
He can do anything with anyone with whatever they have, if they are simply surrendered to Him.
Don’t think that you can’t do something big just because it seems your resources are not enough. When you accept who you are and what you have the impossible becomes possible.
A small boy thought his little lunch of three fish and five loaves could feed 25 thousand people, and so did Jesus, but the disciples asked, ‘What is this little lunch among so many?’ Once that little lunch had been given over to Jesus and then blessed by Him, it began to multiply miraculously to feed that multitude.
Samson was trapped one day by a thousand Philistines who surrounded him getting ready to kill him. He had no weapons. But he saw the jawbone of an ass, so he reached took what was within his reach and slew those thousand men.
Whatever you need, if it’s not in your hand, it’s within your reach, it is in your fallow ground. If you work the ground God has given you it will yield all that you need.
Jesus has called us to glory and virtue. Glory is beauty and shining. It is honour and being glorious. Virtue is power and moral excellence, goodness that exceeds its environment.
The promises of God are exceedingly great and precious because they are bigger than any problem you’ll ever face and they are precious because they’re the only thing we’ve got, therefore they are the most valuable thing we have within our reach.