Peter’s Practical Approach

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I know I’m not where I need to be.  I can feel Him calling me to come closer.  And sadly, I can feel I am resisting.

Daily I struggle with anxieties about the future.  My husband?  My kids?  My health?  I have thoughts that cause my mind to become unsettled and my focus to change from my ultimate goal:  pleasing my Lord.  You see, I am not my own, I’ve been bought with a price.  And as a result, I am to pursue holiness.

I do know how to move forward.  I learned Peter’s Practical Approach to Christian Maturity in my twenties.  I just haven’t applied it too well, recently.

The transforming power of the Holy Spirit is available to all who are in Jesus Christ:

His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 

For by these [His own glory and excellence] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them [His precious and magnificent promises] you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Everything we need for life and godliness has been given to us through His divine power. And He called us by His own glory and excellence. By His glory and excellence we have been granted precious and magnificent promises. It is through these promises we become partakers of the divine nature and we have escaped corruption.

Did you get that? It’s all based upon His power, His glory and His excellence. And because He is these things, He calls us to become partakers of the divine nature.

Then, are we divine?  Does He “zap” us into “godly beings”?  I think yes, and no.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not getting “new age” on you.  I do not believe we become little gods.  His divine nature in me does not make me divine.  But He does give me an inner voice, through His indwelling Spirit, who convicts me when I am not walking in His way.  He does give me the power to walk in the way He desires. 

I believe the scripture teaches I have been changed – metamorphised – from old to new.  The bullfrogs and butterflies type of change.  I’m still me just, hopefully, growing more mature.

Let me quote:

Although the author has borrowed the expression partakers of the divine nature from paganism, his meaning is clearly Christian. He does not mean apotheosis (man becoming a god) in the pagan sense, but rather that believers have an organic connection with God. Because of such a connection, God can truly be called our Father. Conceptually, this bears the same meaning as Paul’s “in Christ” formula. The author’s statement, though startling at first, is hardly different from Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that they “may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (3:19). (NETBible)

So now that we see who we are “in Christ,” Peter moves on to explain what we are TO DO (the practical part):

Now for this reason also, applying all diligence,

in your faith supply moral excellence,

and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

and in your knowledge, self-control,

and in your self-control, perseverence,

and in your perseverence, godliness,

and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,

and in your brotherly kindness, love. 

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitul in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.    ~2 Peter 1:3-11

As long as you practice these things…that list up there…you will never stumble.  But you will become more certain of His calling and choosing you…and you will gain an abundant entrance into His eternal kingdom.

People, I want that!  I do.  And I see where I’m stumbling.  It’s in “the how” of the teaching…applying all diligence.  I have not been diligent to add these things to my life.  I’ve not been diligently pursuing holiness.

Do you desire to grow, to move forward in the Lord?  Do you find you are stagnant at times, not fully pursuing Him?  Have you become blind or short-sighted?  Maybe you’ve been stumbling along, like me?

If  so, choose with me to follow more closely Peter’s Practical Approach to Christian Maturity. 

Maybe we’ll grow closer to one another, as well. 

That is the natural progression of the list.

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8 responses »

  1. Thanks for the post. Had an obeservation the other day. I have been recently starting to take my olderst son Timothy age 9 to go bowling with me. I have been teaching him to bowl. He bowls with bumpers. He uses bumpers but I have been teaching him how to try not to use them.

    He tries to make a strike everytime he throws the ball but I am happy when the ball goes down the lane and does not hit the bumpers.

    I think many times we are so focused on strikes but God really is happy when we do our best. If He is not disappointed with us then why do we get so disappointed with ourselves?

  2. Hey, DaRonn! Thank you for this:

    I think many times we are so focused on strikes but God really is happy when we do our best. If He is not disappointed with us then why do we get so disappointed with ourselves?

    I know our heavenly Father is abundantly more gracious than we are, so I hear your heart in this. However, I do feel a pulling within. Not for a strike, but for less bumper action. I need to get better at focusing on those little arrows pointing the way down the lane. You know?

  3. That really struck me. That list. It’s like … from glory to glory. Like Peter is describing the different levels of maturity (as you’ve pointed out). “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted.” That made my eyebrows go up. Had to go back and read it. Blind or short-sighted. Not good. Reality check.

  4. Hey, Annie! Yeah, Peter’s list (well, God’s list, but you know what I mean) gets me every time I read it. I originally wrote this post in February, but reread it yesterday. I didn’t like the way I’d written it (blogging does help to improve skills) and found I needed the reproof. I certainly got what I was looking for! Reality check is right.

    That progression is really cool in the Greek too, Annie. “And in your ___ supply ____” Supply means to add to. So in your faith add to it moral excellence and in your moral excellence add to it knowledge… It’s a constant building and moving forward. Which I think is proof positive we’ll never actually get it all learned…we are to keep adding. Kind of like Paul told the Thessalonians to excel still more in love. They were doing well in the love dept. but he encouraged them to do even more.

  5. Definitely true. It never ends. I suppose it is better to view it as a “bigger and better” never-ending, rather than “rat-in-a-wheel” never-ending. Which might be tempting. Totally different perspectives. I know I’ve said it before, but I love the way Lewis pictures it in the Last Battle. “Like an onion: except that as you continue to go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.” As much as I can’t imagine it – there will always be more to know than what I currently know … no matter how much I learn. I am so thankful to have a God like Him.

  6. Do you desire to grow, to move forward in the Lord? Do you find you are stagnant at times, not fully pursuing Him?

    oh sure. more often than i care to confess.

    our worship team spends time together each Sunday, during one of the services, in prayer and communion. a team member brought up this verse and read to us. and i thought of the order its in. how one thing seems to lead to the other. i could be wrong there and please correct me if so. then i thought of when ive not chosen self control or have reacted in an ungodly manner – i need to step back and revisit the prior steps…

    Now for this reason also, applying all diligence,

    in your faith supply moral excellence,

    and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

    something above needs attention, fine tuning. something is lacking there that has weakened my ability to foster self control.

    thinking of it this way really convicted me and helped me see clearly too.

  7. “something above needs attention, fine tuning.”

    That’s the way I read it, Tam. If I’m not exhibiting godliness then maybe I’ve chosen not to persevere…or I’m lacking in self-control…

    Yeah. It helps to pinpoint our weakness…our point of stumbling.

    Although I’m also seeing it takes us deeper and deeper into each quality as we go deeper and deeper into Him.

    Once we get past the conviction, it’s good to see more clearly, huh? Love you, TammyJo!

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