Unbelievable? Too good to be true? More than we can ever completely comprehend? Can we ever really wrap our mind around the idea that peace beyond understanding is available to us. Joy unspeakable, love beyond anything we have experienced, acceptance, total forgiveness, freedom and deliverance can be ours.
Recently, we journeyed through 40 days of grace and traced all the major grace scriptures throughout the Bible. The one below was the only major one that remained and it is a powerful one! It covers a number of the different precepts we have talked about and wraps them all together. What a powerhouse it is, especially if we ever truly capture it in it’s fullness. Take a peek:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:2-11 HCSB)
In Christ, not only is grace and peace added to our lives, according to Peter it can be multiplied! Imagine exponential peace and grace can be ours along with everything we could need for our life and living it in a godly way! All through the Word of God there are great promises and Peter tells us they are ours. They are given to us to help us grow, to keep us away from trouble and corruption, and become more Christ-like in our actions.
One of the greatest treasures about a relationship with Jesus is that He meets us right where we are and He loves us exactly as He found us. Romans tells us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He gave His life in a great exchange. His perfect, sinless and spotless life in exchange for our less than perfect ones. Paying the price for every possible thing we would ever do causing us to fall short of God’s standard; Jesus willingly gave His life. Though the religious leaders plotted against Jesus, they were not actually responsible for His death. In John, Jesus tells us “This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.” John 10: 17-18 How great is His love for us! Because of His immense love, He also empowers us to live victoriously through the gift of His Spirit.
Did you notice the progression in the scripture passage? Peter is talking to believers so it is a given that they have a measure of faith. From faith in Jesus and gratitude for His sacrifice and provision comes a greater desire for goodness in our lives. Peter’s formula is something like this:
Faith + Goodness + Knowledge + Self-Control + Endurance + godliness + Brotherly affection + Love =
Absence of them can make us short sighted and blind us.
Again, Jesus meets us exactly where we are. The thing is He loves us too much to want us to stay there so we are encouraged to grow into maturity in Christ. We may progress baby step by baby step or in giant leaps of faith. Most likely it will be a combination; sometimes walking, other times running or leaping. Even others times it may be stumbling. The important thing is to be moving forward in our relationship with Him and with others and if by chance we stumble backwards; regroup and begin advancing again.
My Mom’s favorite saying was “When God closes one door, He opens another.” Sometimes said, ” when God closes a door, He opens a window.” Recently, I have seen it written, “When God closes a door. praise Him in the Hall.” I guess where I am leading with this is that there will always be times we go through less than pleasant circumstances. There will be wilderness times when we feel like we are circling the same mountain over and over. The solution? Keep our eyes off our circumstances and on Him; working that equation every chance we get. Then we will experience usefulness and fruitfulness, overcome our circumstances, and eventually we are led us to a place of victory!