2 Peter 1:3

Verse of the Day Devotion.  2 Peter 1:3

“Seeing that 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.” – 2 Peter 1:3

This is powerful verse. What Peter is saying is that we, every Christian, has been given the ability through God’s divine power of life and godliness. It is through knowing God that we realize His divine power has given us all things necessary for true life and godliness, for all these things are in Him; and as we know Him, trust Him, love Him, and become like Him, we also come to possess all these precious things in and through Him. As an example I read recently. Suppose we see a dead body in front of a man. It would be absolutely wrong if he were to boast that it was in his power to restore this man back to life! However, it would be even a greater pretense if anyone should say that he could give to himself or to another the divine life, the spiritual life by which a man is made a Christian. We, in and of ourselves do not have the power to raise anyone from the dead. It is the power of God through and within us that we would be able to raise this person. And it is in the same way that Christians are granted, by God, everything pertaining to life and godliness. As it says in our focus verse, ‘through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

Then we read, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. The words ‘Great’ and ‘precious’ are two words that are not often used together. Many things are great that are not precious, such as great rocks, which are of little value. On the other hand, many things are precious that are not great, such as diamonds and other jewels, which cannot be very great if they are very precious. But here we have promises that are so great that they are not less than infinite, and so precious that they are not less than divine. They do indeed exceed all things which they can be compared to. No one has ever promised as God has. Kings have promised even to half their kingdoms; but how does that come close to God’s promise to give His own Son, and even His own self, to His people, Which He has done. Princes draw a line somewhere, but the Lord sets no bounds to the gifts He has promised to His people.

Then in the next three verses, we see the path of growth in our faith. “Now for this very 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, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7. With all diligence, we are to show through our lives, moral excellence. The phrase ‘for this very reason’ links verses 3-4 to 5-7. Peter exhorted his readers to a godly life because Christ has given them everything they need for a godly life, and they possess magnificent promises of future perfection. It would be a serious mistake, therefore, to dismiss the call to virtue as legalism or moralism. The exhortation to holiness is grounded in God’s work of salvation as it has been accomplished in Jesus Christ. As is typical in the New Testament, grace precedes demand. The priority of grace, however, does not cancel out strenuous moral effort. Believers are to make every effort in carrying out Peter’s commands. A godly character does not emerge from passivity. As Luther says, “They should prove their faith by their good works.”

Then this is followed by, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful 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.” 2 Peter 1:8-9. These holy things must not only be in us, but abound in us, or we shall be barren. Fruit is the overflow of life, and we must be full before we can overflow. There are many men who have lots of opportunities but never succeeded in doing true good in the conversion of souls. Unfortunately they lacked certain graces that are absolutely essential to fruit-bearing. For real useful graces are better than gifts. As the man is, so is his work. If we would do better, we must be better. Remember, we are a light in this world.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

1 Timothy 6:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Timothy 6:6 

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” – 1 Timothy 6:6    

Paul, who wrote this letter to Timothy, laid out what truly satisfies an individual.  And it is not what much of the world believes.  Many people who live their lives pursuing their desires, and even when they acquire them, suddenly realize that it is not enough, they will always want more.  People will observe what another has and begin to desire it to the point of purchasing it.  Once they get it, they become less satisfied after seeing  someone with something better and they purchase it, afterwards seeing someone with something even better, and on it goes.  This happens especially when they desire to be seen by others, and sometimes by themselves, as greater than they think they are.  However, for the most part, things do not truly satisfy.  For if a good car satisfies, a better car more so.  There will always be something that we believe will completely satisfy us.  But many find this satisfaction only lasts for a season. The pursuit of things will always lead to more dissatisfaction. 

Paul uses the same idea regarding different doctrines, arguing, and closed minds.  The desire to always be right.  “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5.  Many will believe questionable doctrine purely because someone who is famous taught them, or simply because they want it to be true, not being a Berean and checking the truth or falsity of it.  And they will argue about it every chance they get.  Paul portrays them as conceited and lacking understanding, people filled with anger and strife. They believe that godliness is a means of gain. 

However, what they are believing is only partially true.  Their form of godliness does not bring gain or satisfaction because they are not content with their situation.  They want to be considered right in what they believe, however, part of godliness is studying His word searching for what the truth actually is,  and believing what God actually said and taught.  It is not to argue in favor of any doctrine, especially false doctrine, in order to be seen as intelligent.  Doing the right thing for the sake of God and the truth leads to contentment.  If we are doing it for financial gain, fame, or any other reason than doing the work of God, then there is a level of discontentment that causes us to do His work.  However, if you are content with what you have (what God has provided), with knowing the truth (rather than believing what you want), and with your position (rather than desiring fame and recognition), then you are content with the life God has given you and will find you gain more than you could ever imagine.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.