November 7: The Faith That Produces

Read 2 Peter 1:1-11

It is only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we have this faith. The faith by which we know God. Intimately. And this faith itself is a gift all its own. By it we don’t just know about God. We have a relationship with Him. For God made Himself known through Jesus Christ the Son, and now we can know Him, Almighty God. Yes, He gave us this faith, more precious than the rarest stone.

In fact, the very grace of God has allowed us everything we need to live. Everything we could possibly necessitate for life the way God calls us to do it. It’s really the only true kind of life. He has given us promises, too. The kinds of promises that change the way we live if we keep our focus on Him.

Yes, this faith we have is a precious and vital gift of grace from God Himself. A vital part of the life we have received. As such, Peter writes, we need to keep it growing. We can’t let it grow stagnant or cold or numb. Strengthening the already solid base of unshakable grace that we have already been given, Peter calls us to fervently seek to know God more. To go after Him like we’re madly in love. For, in so doing, we will keep our focus on the truth of the promises. The truth of eternity. And this knowing God will not be just something we say we have. Rather, our knowledge of God will deepen as our relationship with Him does. Our faith, as a result, will bring forth the affect that God intended — making us more like Himself, bringing more people to know Him.

It’s relationship at its finest. A gift of God Himself. Not one us of has either earned it or achieved it. Even so, all of has the ability to chase God with the kind of fever-like desire that can only deepen any love story. Strengthen any relational bond.

You see, it’s up to us. And it’s not up to us. All at the same time. We have what we need because God has gifted us with His absolutely undeserved grace. But we need not forget it, lest we grow stagnant and weak as we stand in this grace called relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son.

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August 30: Scripture

Read 2 Peter 1:1-21

Core Views…Thinking Biblically

SCRIPTURE – I believe the 66 books of the Old & New Testaments are the Word of God and have final authority in my life.

In life, we hear stories that are passed down from other people…some of which we question. Perhaps we could call these “myths.” Meanwhile, we have our own experiences that we consider accurate and trustworthy…more trustworthy than myths!

As Peter wrote this chapter, he reflected on a personal experience he had with Jesus. On a mountain top with James and John, before his own eyes, Jesus was transfigured! All of a sudden, the Lord was given a glorious, gleaming white appearance unlike anything Peter had ever seen. Peter still remembered that experience. He had memorized the words that the Father had spoken like thunder from heaven, “This is my Son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” That important experience was something he would likely never forget. (See Matthew 17:1-13.)

But for Peter…and I hope for you too…there was something even more important, even more certain than eyewitness experiences. That something is the Word of God. You see, we have no way of checking the validity of myths. When it comes to our experiences, we may struggle with forgetfulness or with knowing how to understand the experience. Meanwhile, the words of Scripture record how “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:21) The Word of God, then, has ultimate authority in our lives.

The Word of God is recorded in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. If you just read from the Bible moments ago, you read from a miraculous book! Your Bible, you see, is the product of…

  • God revealing Himself and His will to man (Revelation)
  • God inspiring men to write each word with accuracy (Inspiration)
  • God preserving His word as the original writings were copied (Preservation)
  • People recognizing His writings as from Him (Canonization)
  • People translating His writings into the version you use (Translation)

Because we have these words that are even more certain than clever stories or even our own experiences, we “will do well to pay attention to it!” (v. 19)

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