There are so many things that stuck out to me in this first chapter. First of all...after the greeting, the first heading is this: "Making one's calling and election sure." The first thing i thought of when i read this part of the chapter was how clearly God sometimes sets things out for us, yet i still somehow let myself rest on the excuse of being confused.
2 Peter 1:3-4
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
I think that i spend a good amount of time feeling that, by some fault of my own, I'm not adequately equipped to follow Christ. Obviously this verse tells me otherwise, and not only that but it makes my feelings of inadequacy seem somewhat presumptuous. It is by HIS divine power that i have the strength somewhere inside me to follow Him. The phrase that really sticks out to me in these verses is "His very great and precious promises." God holds nothing back from us. Unlike promises that we make to others, or that other people make to us, that at times get broken pretty badly, God's promises are precious...and Great. God promises us everything that he has...His divine nature. For some reason He allows us the opportunity to participate in everything that He is...so that we can come to have true Charity for Him.
1 Peter 2:5-9
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."
Here is what i was talking about before...Peter sets up for us perfectly what we need to do in order to make our own calling sure, in order to follow Christ and not become a slave to evil desire. Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. And the next verse, for me, really stings to read. If you possess these qualities, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of God. That one really hits home with me, because if there one thing that i am lacking in my relationship with God right now more than anything else, it is the drive to increase my knowledge of Christ in Scripture. In fact, i would say that the past few weeks have been incredibly unproductive in that regard.
If anyone does not have these things, he is nearsighted and blind. I have to wonder why he said nearsighted, as well as blind. I mean, if you're blind you can't really be nearsighted too can you?
Nearsightedness means that you cannot see things that are far off in the distance. I have found this to be incredibly true in my life. There are times when what i lack the most is fortitude. I know that there are certain good things that are still far off, for example...marriage. Marriage is something that i really and truly desire, and something that i believe God has planned for my future...but i am nearsighted. I want everything to be up close, where i can see it clearly. But that just isn't the case. I guess it is possible to be both...because at the same time that i am trying to fit everything into my small range of vision, i am making myself blind to the things that God is trying to put on my radar...and I'm missing it.
And back to the idea of presumption...I have always struggled with holding on too long to my sins of the past. Who am i to still grapple with sin that has already been forgiven and forgotten by God? Talk about being nearsighted.
The remainder of the chapter calls us to remember. I love verbs, and the writers of scripture always seem to use the best ones: remind, refresh, put aside, pay attention, understand. God is the one who inspired The Bible...breathed it out so that we could gain knowledge of him and of his son. I can't forget that. These verses are an amazing challenge to dive deep into scripture and to really put time and effort into learning about Christ. Just what i need.
2 Peter 1:19
"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."
God isn't going away. He isn't going to stop pouring his grace on us, and giving us the strength that we need to follow Him. We spend a lot of time wondering where God is, and why things have to be so hard. I think i need to start with just recognizing that He's there, and hes giving. The root of my sinfulness and struggle is ingratitude and a failure to recognize his presence in my life. Christ is the light in the dark place. He is undeniable. You can't ignore the start of a new day.