Today we want to briefly look at a Bible passage anyone who desires to grow in his or her relationship with God should spend time to meditate on. The passage we will be considering is 2 Peter 1:2-9. Peter starts by releasing a blessing on all those who have become believers in Christ Jesus and that is for God’s grace and peace to be multiplied in our lives. God’s grace and peace is living not static. It is capable of growth. God’s grace and peace can multiply; can increase greatly. This should therefore form part of the things we regularly pray about: that the presence and manifestation of God’s grace and peace in our individual lives, family, church and nation will greatly increase.
However, it is not enough to just pray for God’s grace and peace to be multiplied in our lives, we must understand that the extent or measure of God’s grace and peace in our lives is dependent on how much of God we know. It is as we grow in the knowledge of God that the grace and peace of God increases in our lives. So, if we want more of God’s grace and peace; if we want the divine enablement to do God’s work and will, if we want to be at rest not anxious, worried and fretting over situations of life, we must devote ourselves to those things that can make us grow in our knowledge of God. These include prayer, the Word and Christian service. The more committed we are to prayer, the Word and serving God, the more we grow in our knowledge of God, and the more we grow in our knowledge of God, the more of God’s grace and peace is evident in our lives. As we walk closely with God, we experience more and more of God’s grace and peace. We become more assured and confident of God’s presence with us.
There are so many things people boast about and take pride in. For some, it is the car they drive. For others, it’s the number of degrees they have. You will even come across people who take pride in strange things like the fact that they belong to a cult. Jeremiah 9:24 tells us that let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows God. Can you really beat your chest that you know and understand God? Knowing God is something to brag about it, it is something to make a big fuss about because without God in our lives, we are like empty barrels; people without depth, people with no real substance or content.
Someone may ask, why in the world do I need to spend time reading the Word of God or praying if grace comes without works. Isn’t it a lot of work on my part to have to pray and read my Bible every day? Ephesians 2:8-9 addresses the issue of how we become children of God and members of God’s kingdom. It tells us we are saved by grace. Yes, it is Christ love demonstrated on the cross that saved and redeemed us from our sins. It is not by any good work on our part that we are saved, born-again and brought into the kingdom of God. No one can take the credit for the work of salvation; it is purely an act of God’s grace. However, a genuine salvation experience does not end with receiving Christ, being brought into the Kingdom of God, becoming a born-again Christian. We are saved by grace to then start doing the work and will of God. It is the will of God that we grow in our relationship with God, serve God and attain the full measure of Christ’s love and power. Furthermore, Romans 9:16 which says “It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy,” is not telling us that no human effort whatsoever is needed in life, that we should just sit down, fold our arms and leave it to God’s mercy to decide what happens or does not happen to us. Mercy does not originate from human effort, mercy can be shown even without any effort of man, but at the same time, mercy does not put an end to all human efforts.
Embedded in the power of God are all things needed for life and godliness; all things needed to please God. Everything we need to please God stems from an intimate relationship with Christ. Everything we need to be who God wants us to be is linked and connected with our knowledge of God. God can give you something, but your knowledge of God will influence and affect the manifestation and operation of that thing in your life. If we want the divine power needed for a successful and godly life to manifest in us, we must grow in our knowledge of God. It won’t come, it won’t manifest if there’s no growth on our own part. God’s responsibility is to fill us with His power; our personal responsibility is to do those things that can make us grow in the knowledge of God, so we can have the power God has promised us activated in us.
There is so much corruption, immorality and decadence in the world today as a result of man’s lust and greed. This is clearly the human nature at work. God wants us to escape from the corruption in the world not partake in it. What God wants us to partake of is the divine nature; the life of Christ, the life that has no sin in it. The life of Christ is a focused life, it is an overcoming life, it is the divine life.
If we want to escape the corruption in the world, in addition to knowing and believing all the exceedingly great and precious promises God has given us in His Word, we must diligently pursue, seek after and grow in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. The phrase ‘giving all diligence’ in 2 Peter 1:5 – “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge…” shows that the Christian life is not for lazy people, it calls for hard work. It takes hard work to build up our faith; it takes hard work for these qualities to be present and active in our lives. It takes hard work not to be an unfruitful Christian. You must be ready to learn if you want to grow. You must never get tired of learning.
As we grow in these qualities, we will experience spiritual growth, we will become mature Christians, who aren’t barren and unfruitful in our relationship with God, who aren’t useless and unproductive believers. Rather, our lives will be of great value to God and His Kingdom.
So keep growing. Never stop doing those things that can make you grow in your walk with God. The key word is GROW! Grow in love, grow in your knowledge of God, grow in faith. GROW! Grow up don’t remain a baby Christian who has to be always spoon-fed and pampered. Baby Christians are completely oblivious to what God has placed right before them. 2 Peter 1:9 describes them as short-sighted and blind. This is why we need to grow so we aren’t groping in the darkness even though we are surrounded by light; surrounded by Christ. Grow so your life delights God and gives Him pleasure. Grow so your life counts; grow so your life is green and blossoming for God.
PHOTO CREDIT: Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash