II Peter 1: Life and Godliness

Peter is so encouraging. I can’t stop thinking about the entire first chapter of II Peter, but especially this part:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. (KJV II Pet 1.3)

Did you know that there is divine power pouring exponential amounts of grace and peace into your life right now?  You are being flooded with it! Hallelujah, what an awesome gift.

But that’s not what speaks to me in this passage. It’s the next part, the idea that by divine action and design, we have everything we need for life and godliness.

Life and godliness.

These are two wildly different things. This life encompasses the hardcore biological reality of living in body and a time and a climate. It’s the life you have if you’re still breathing.

But there’s a catch: your life is designed to produce godliness that will lead to eternal glory and a strong, tested, praiseworthy virtue. So what this says to me is that God has not given us everything we want or would find pleasant or given us every means to avoid suffering, oh no, no. Instead, Peter is telling us that God has given us exactly what we need in our unique circumstances so that we can be godly right here and now.

Well, no wonder the grace and peace are being poured on so heavily!

This passage is good news! It tells me that God has purposefully arranged things to make sure that I can choose the good and refuse the evil. It means I can never excuse my behavior by saying, “If only I had more money/a child/a different spouse/a different job,” then I could serve the Lord the way he wants me to. Nope. Not true. He wants me to serve him right now exactly in the circumstances I’m in, and he’s managing the flow of grace to make sure I am always able to pick virtue over vice, glory over corruption. How cool is that? How empowering!

No excuses–we have what we need right now in our situations today to choose godly over ungodly, clean over unclean, obedience over rebellion. The deck is stacked by God in our favor each moment, moment by moment.

That does not mean God micromanages every hangnail that comes your way; it means that no matter what does come for the duration of your physical life, he will make sure that godliness, glory, and virtue are within your grasp. And he will be pulling for you to reach for it.


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