2 Peter 1:3-8
3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. 4 Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
5 This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. 8 If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter said God’s forgiveness and divine love give us the inner power we need to escape all that is wrong in our world. He set forth how every part of our life grows as we open ourselves to let God’s power work in us. John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, wrote of this passage in his Notes on the Bible: “In this most beautiful connection, each preceding grace leads to the following; each following, tempers and perfects the preceding.” Wesley urged Methodists to serve God with their heads, their hearts and their hands, and this passage pictured qualities that transform our whole life. Cooperate with God to add each of these qualities to your life, Peter said. They will give you everything you need for life and godliness.
- Peter made the sweeping claim that God has given us everything we need for a godly life. Which of the positive qualities he listed in verses 5 through 7 do you find most appealing? Which of these qualities are already present in your life? Thank God for them! How can you more completely connect with God’s spiritual power to add the other good things to your life? Mr. Wesley’s notes on these verses also said that “‘sour godliness,’ so called, is of the devil.” Have you ever known anyone who seemed to believe that “moral excellence” required “sour godliness”? What helps you trust that God wants your life to be sweet, not sour, that God’s gift of moral excellence offers you a life filled with joy and beauty?
Focus. Choose a way to focus your efforts by narrowing on a word that guides your actions & intentions. On a piece of paper, draw a large box for your focus word, the draw lines from it connecting to other boxes that help you apply your focus word: spiritually, financially, relationally, emotionally, mentally, physically.
Lord Jesus, remind me that I am never “done growing” in this life. Pour your Spirit into my heart, leading me on from one positive step of growth to the next. Amen.
Gather your family in a comfortable setting outside. Invite your family to be loud and talkative while trying to listen to the sounds around them. Then invite them to be quiet and still while listening to the sounds around. Talk about and listen to what each person heard each time. Discuss under what circumstances it was easier to listen to the surrounding sounds.
Connect this with how we listen to God. How do we best hear God? Is it when we are rushing around, full of activity and constantly talking? Or is it when we pause to be still, read our Bibles, pray and worship? How are we listening to God as we seek to give and serve generously? As a family, build some time into your schedules for listening more intentionally to God and one another. Ask God to help you be better listeners.
Dave grew up in a large UMC in the Houston, Texas area, attended Vanderbilt University for college, and went to Duke University for seminary. He served in full time youth ministry since 1999 until he transitioned to a leadership role in Resurrection's adult small groups ministry in 2018.
In ministry Dave has a passion for teaching the Bible and theology, leading missions and raising up leaders. In his free time, Dave is an enormous sports fan, especially SEC football and Duke Blue Devils basketball.