2015-2016 Bible Challenge, devotionals, resources

Everything we need (a meditation on God’s provision for spiritual growth)

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. ~ 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)

children 01Spiritual growth isn’t always easy. There are times where everything seems to be going well. You feel more connected with God than ever, the Spirit seems to be present at every turn, Jesus shines brighter in his word, and prayer is a joy. You feel yourself growing and changing. Old habits that die hard fade into a distant memory…

And then there are those other times. The motivation isn’t there to get into the word or prayer. You wonder if the Spirit has abandoned you like with King Saul. God seems distant. And you struggle with old sins you thought were long buried. You might even look heavenward and cry out, “What is going on?”—possibly with a few colorful phrases thrown in…

At both extremes and for all of life in between, God is the Great Provider.

Though Peter didn’t write nearly as much as Paul, he did mimic Paul in sending a final, end of life letter to those he held dear. He knew his remaining time on earth was short and so he wanted to remind his brothers and sisters in faith of the greatness of God and everything God has done and provided for them (1:12-14). As followers of Jesus, there are many wonderful times where we find something new in the Bible or see something old in a fresh way with new eyes as we grow; but there are also plenty of times where we simply need to be reminded of old truths “even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.”

God’s provision is one of these truths. Peter wrote that God has given us everything we need to live a life which honors him, just by the very nature of knowing him in response to his call to salvation in Christ (1:3). God’s grace is sufficient and his promises are sure. The victory has been won, and despite what false prophets proclaim, God is not lazy, far off, or dragging his feet—rather he is patiently working out his plan to save his people and see his people grow in Christ (chapters 2&3).

Paul wrote that we can work out our salvation because God is at work in us (Philippians 2:12-13). Peter wrote we can and should grow in faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self control, patient endurance, godly character, affection and love, because God has already given us what we need (1:1-11).

We need his Holy Spirit renewing our hearts and shaping our minds. God has provided. We need his word to be a light to our path and to transform our lives. God has given it. We need brothers and sisters to encourage us, hold us accountable, weep with us, and rejoice with us. God has made us a part of his Family. Each of these provided with the purpose that we see Jesus greater and more glorious.

So, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forevermore! Amen” (3:18). Trust God to be the Great Provider for he has already given, and in his provision keep on keeping on in his grace and for his glory whether it is easy in the moment or difficult.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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