June 1, 2013

2 Peter 1:1-2 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

As much as I like many of the succeeding verses in this chapter and this letter, the first verse sets the tone for the whole thing. That is, it’s all because of Christ. Just a few verses on, Peter is exhorting his readers, including us, to “make every effort” and “be all the more eager,” so our participation is certainly not overlooked, but it is all on the foundation of Jesus’ righteousness, not our own. Peter even specifies that our faith is received, not earned or generated. He knew that quite thoroughly from his own experience! A Christian lifestyle is not lazy, but neither is it insecure and anxious, because God has already supplied everything we need. Verses 3 and 4 of this chapter are very clear on that point. That’s why in verse 2 here Peter can say that simply knowing God, and Christ Jesus our Lord, is what brings us abundant grace and peace. Those aren’t things we can work up, we simply receive them through knowing the One who provides them.

This is something I’ve got to keep remembering, but then I have a solid foundation for understanding it. A more difficult point for me is helping others grasp it, when everything they have been taught before is against it. There is so little unconditional love in the world, apart from God’s love. Even parents don’t know how to express love to their children accurately, so they grow up with insecurities that are at times downright crippling. My life is to be a demonstration of God’s love, on as many levels as He makes possible. My goal is for people to say, “Knowing you, I can believe in a loving God.” I am far from “batting 1000” in that, but I occasionally hit one out of the park, and that feels good indeed. I am not to forget that discipline is an important part of love, but my focus is to be on so presenting and demonstrating the love of God that people will repent and believe for their salvation.

Father, thank You again for the various opportunities You gave me to demonstrate Christ while I was in the hospital. I continue to pray for all who were touched by that, that they would have a growing hunger for more of You, and would not rest until they find You, for a rich harvest in Your kingdom for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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