Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-11
Key verses: (3-4) His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises…
Reflection: When reading scripture, we can be too focused on the details. The small stuff gets in our way of seeing the main points. Although they are important at times, the small stuff and our dissection of the details should not take focus away from the big picture. Too often, we view the big picture of religion and faith as what God wants from us. We may read in verses 5-7 as God demanding knowledge, self-control, patience, and mutual affection to then become faithful followers and then we may enter into the kingdom. The big picture is not what God wants from us; the big picture is what God wants for us. This passage frames the truth.
First, God has given us everything we need — a starter kit if you will — to become who we are meant to be. Yes, this letter says quite a lot on the moral effort we are to make. But it is clear: it all comes from God in the first place. In saying this, we cannot do anything for ourselves to gain such divine inheritance of kingdom-entry. We have what we need, and it all comes from God.
Second, God wants nothing less than that we share God’s own divine nature. If we believe we are made in the image of God, yet as humans we fall short, there must be some essence of that divine beloved-ness remaining. And if we say that the Holy Spirit lives in us, what is that to say than the divine nature is indwelling in us, sustaining us in life until we are suffused with God’s own presence and power, now and forever?
This is the outer framework of this passage, the big picture of what the author is telling whoever reads this letter. It is all the more important because it highlights whatever we do by way of obedience, love, and loyalty to God, it all takes place within and by the grace of God, by means of the promise of God in Jesus Christ, through the power of God in the Holy Spirit, leading to the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Giving God, thank you. Your grace is enough. Your mercy is enough. Your power is enough. Your love is enough. For all I have comes from you, and I am called your beloved child. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].