Thought of the day: God’s grace is one size fits all, but we’re all still different sizes. We all work out our faiths in different ways – we have different gifts, we excel in different facets of the fruit of the Spirit, we each find one spiritual discipline easier than another. It’s all God’s work in their/our lives (1 Thess 5:23-24). When have I boxed someone else’s journey with God in mine? When have I despised God’s work in someone else by being impatient with His work?
May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NET)
My Dad used to tell me, “Son, nothing in life is free. Everything comes at a cost.” Boy is he right. Everything comes with such a big price tag. Thirty year loan for a house, half a year’s wages for a car, eight hours a day (or more) for work, time and effort invested into hobbies. Then there are the taxes and bills to pay, groceries to buy, the overgrown weed infested backyard to mow. All so that we can live life. Sounds like we’re giving more than we’re getting.
If you think this applies just to tangible things, think again. It is is even more applicable to intangible things – generosity cost us time and money, patience cost us immediate gratification, self-control costs us our freedom. The more virtue we want, the more we pay. The more we desire Christ-likeness, the more it cost us. Discipleship is not a simple or cheap endeavour (Luke 14:25-33).
So when a letter starts with “grace and peace be lavished on you”, that really gets my attention. Simon Peter’s then says things like “bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness” and “bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises”. Now, that gets me excited! Free stuff, that I like.
Look at what Christ has already accomplished for us, we’re not starting our discipleship journey with nothing. We’re starting off with the foundation that Christ has already laid. This deal is rigged! When we abide in Christ (John 15:5-8), we will have “everything necessary for life and godliness”. We don’t just get salvation (justification), we get the tools, ability and supernatural power for daily Christ-likeness and virtue for our daily living (sanctification)!
We get all that, just by growing in the “rich knowledge” of experiencing Christ (Greek: epignosis). Not because we’ve earned the right to abide in Him, but because he has “bestowed on us”. In fact, we can’t even boast that we choose to be with Christ in the first place because it was He who “called us by his own glory and excellence”. We didn’t choose Him, He called us. And because we were called by Him, we receive God’s “precious and most magnificent promises” – Christ himself. We get to join in His “divine nature” – to fellowship intimately with God, to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and to be Christ-like. All this is already complete in our salvation; our escape from our sinful nature.
Man, that is an insanely good deal. Just remember that it wasn’t free, the cost was paid on the cross.
So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
The Christian life can be understood as a journey. Some things are necessary to stay on the journey, some things we do as entertainment during the journey, but all that we do is to ensure that our journey reaches it’s destination. If the necessities of our journey become the destination, we accumulate more and more necessities, but end up going in circles without actually reaching our destination.
My life works the same way. Eating, sleeping, working and playing are things that are necessary to keep me going to ensure that I get to His kingdom (Colossians 3:17). But the moment any of these things become the focus of my journey or pursuit, I find myself going in circles. I might accumulate more play, more work, more money, more cars and houses, but never get anywhere in His kingdom. The destination is lost.
The absolutely magical thing about this pursuit is that if we keep a steadfast focus on the destination, we will always have more than enough to keep going. I must keep my pursuit steadfast, but not for the sake of the necessities, for the sake of the destination.