Powerful Insights from the Apostle Peter on Abundant Life and Knowing God
Having a love-driven, personal relationship with God is the greatest privilege given to followers of Jesus. The little my very limited mind can grasp of a God who created a complex, hard to measure universe is overwhelmed with this truth:
“I get to have a deep, personal relationship with God Himself.”
The Bible tells us that God cares so much about every single one of us He even knows how many hairs we have on our head and even the thoughts that we think. He can run heaven and earth, and still knows each one of us by deeply and intimately.
He is Amazing!
What we sometimes don’t understand is that is one of the reasons the Bible emphasizes our spiritual growth so much.
Our own spiritual growth helps us know Him better. The more we grow in our own souls, the better we can know Him.
The Apostle Peter’s Insights
Shortly before his death, Peter wrote a couple of letters. In his final letter he teaches us that God has already “given us everything that pertains to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)
He continues by telling us that through God’s precious and magnificent promises God imparts His own divine nature to us. (2 Peter 1:4)
Those Scriptures are definitely worth meditating on; they are jammed pack with incredible insight and power. But that isn’t our focus for today. We’re using them as our launching point for what comes next (as Peter does).
Give Real Effort to Grow
In verse 5 Peter continues, ““Now for this very reason also applying all diligence in your faith supply (some translations say “through faith add)” (v.5a) he then lists:
Moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. (vs. 5b-7)
The “reason” for applying all diligence in “adding” these qualities is what Peter just talked about: because God has already given us everything that pertains to life and godliness and made it available through His promises, our next step is to focus on adding these types of godly qualities in our souls.
Now comes an incredible promise for those who diligently take steps to grow in Christlikeness:
(8) “For if these qualities/virtues are yours and increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If godly qualities and virtues are part of you and they are increasing (growing) then you will be both
In the real knowledge of Jesus.
Our godly growth and transformation not only comes from God’s provision, but as we work with God, as we apply diligence in our faith these qualities increase. As these qualities increase we become both more useful and fruitful in our experiential knowledge of Jesus and in living His plans for our lives.
Let me repeat that statement again: “as these qualities increase we become more useful and fruitful.”
Increased qualities = Increased Usefulness and Fruitfulness.
The more we grow the more we know, AND the more we know the more we grow: Usefulness and Fruitfulness feed each other in powerful growth cycles.
The More I Know, the More I Grow, the More I Grow, the More I know
When I was a child, I could only know my dad to a limited degree. I knew him as my provider, protector, one who loved me and liked me. And though that relationship was life-giving and important, it was still very limited in scope.
As a 5, 10, or even 15 year old I simply did not have enough experience and maturity to know my dad to the degree I can as an adult. As I’ve grown as a man, gone through my own experiences of being a father, I can understand him better and communicate with him at deeper levels than I could as a child.
The same is true when it comes to knowing Jesus. The more we grow, the more we can understand Him, the deeper we can go with Him. He can share things with us that He could not when we were babies and young children.
He can share more of His heart, deeper thoughts, and deeper insights with us….as we grow. As we do our part in increasing qualities like moral excellence, self-control, and godliness in our lives we become more useful and fruitful in knowing Jesus and working with Him in His mission.
Spiritual growth and transformation not only gives us richer lives, it also enables us to know Jesus better and knowing Him is the greatest privilege of all.
It takes effort to grow spiritually, but it is sooo worth it.
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