A Pause to Ponder God's Word
"Everything We Need to Live Holy"

"If only..." and "I can't do it" are two of our favorite phrases. We use them often because we are convinced that we do not have what we need to live holy lives. Granted there is no one that can live holy when left to their own resources and devices. But it is a deception to think that what is needed to live such a life is not available to us. God tells us otherwise. He did not say "be holy in all you do for it is written, be holy for I am Holy," simply to frustrate us. He is very aware of the fact that we cannot fulfill His command on our own. Our inability to live the holy life on our own is no excuse for not living it. Why? Because:

"His Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness..." (2 Peter 1:3)

That's good news beloved! God has provided everything we need to fulfill His command. God has graciously granted to His people everything needed for life and godliness. God's people are not left to their own resources. He has made us. We are His creation. And He has provided all that we need.

Just what is it that we need to live godly lives? Our text for the next several devotionals will give us some answers to this question, but for today would you join me in revealing in this wonderful truth. God has given us everything we need... has given... everything...

"Lord, we open to you our lives to receive all you have for us. May your grace bathe us with the divine provisions to your glory and honor. Amen."

Keep Close to Jesus!

Pastor Gerry

"Knowing Him"

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His 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." 2 Peter 1:3-4

God has given us everything we need to live holy lives. Notice, that the provisions are readily available. He has already given them. Through His death and resurrection Jesus provided in full for us. It is an accomplished fact. Everything we need is available. The provisions are available to each and every person. The means to receive these provisions has been provided by God in His gracious granting us faith. We need only to place our faith to Him to receive these provisions. They come as we need them. We draw from them as we need them. But they are never in short supply for the Jesus "died once and for all sin" (see Hebrews).

Notice that the verse makes it clear that we have everything we need "through our knowledge of Him..." This knowledge is not an intellectual awareness of His reality or a head knowledge of His existence. This is personal, experiential knowledge. It is a knowledge that has heard His call and responded in faith. It is as Paul said, "I know whom I have believed." It is intimate relationship.

Many of our struggles are a result of our forgetting Whom we have believed. We forget that the essence of Christianity is relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In these times our faith becomes a dead doctrine and belief a set of standards. That is why Peter forcefully points us back to Jesus. In the untold persecution his original readers were facing, Peter wanted to affirm that they could live victoriously for Christ. He wanted to encourage them in remaining faithful. He did so by reminded them that in knowing Christ and walking with Him they have everything they needed to remain faithful and true to their calling. Jesus had given them everything they needed and He was with them.

We may not be facing the awful persecution of the original hearers, but the attacks of Satan, the struggle against sin, and the confrontation with temptation needs the same resources. We can live holy in the midst of all these things... "through our knowledge of Him!"

Keep Close to Jesus

Pastor Gerry

"Great and Precious Promises"

We can live holy because we have His very great and precious promises...

"BUT, YOU PROMISED ME!" All of us have been at one end or the other of this statement. And often this is the way we wield God's promises. We look to Him and cry out that He has promised us, so... How we misunderstand His promises! We see them as a way to get what we want. We use them as means to manipulate God for our purposes. Oh, we don't often admit it, but when we are honest with ourselves we must. For us God's promises are mere tokens for the great vending machine in the sky.

Our text teaches us some very important things about God's promises. It is important that we learn these lessons. First, it informs us that His promises are very great. Their greatness is multi-fold. They are great because they are God's; grounded in Him, in His very nature. They are great because they are acts of grace. They are great because they are powerfully effective. They are great because they always accomplish their work, never returning to God void of action.

Second, the are precious. They are precious because they come straight from the heart of God. They are precious because the are graciously granted to God's people. They are precious because of what they accomplish in God's people. They are precious because they are ours, ours through Christ Jesus.

They are very great and precious promises through which we "participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of this world." Herein lies a crucial lesson about God's promises. As great and precious as they are, they are given for a specific purpose. They are not given for us to use like some vending machine token. No, the promises of God reveal God's provisions. God's promises are given so that we can live holy lives. Their explicit purpose is to inform us that God has provided all we need to live holy lives... lives that participate in His Holiness and are kept from worldly corruption. (The Greek word used here literally means "decomposition"; He wants us to keep from spiritually decomposing. The opposite of decomposing is being continual created.)

His promises are true and faithful in that they will always accomplish His will. In those times we would be tempted to cry, "but you promised", inferring that He has not kept His promise, remember they have a purpose. When Jesus tells us that if we pray in His Name God will give us the desires of our heart, He will. But, the desire of the holy heart is the will of the Father in Heaven. When He tells us that we can do "all things through Christ", He means just that... all things necessary for us to live holy lives that glorify His Name. We could go on and on... but, I think we've got the idea. If we attempt to use God's promises for selfish pursuits, for personal gain, for worldly advancement, for personal pleasure... we render the very great and precious promises null and void. When we use them to live out a holy life (participate in the divine nature), to escape the corruption of this world, to act as to glorify God, the very great and precious promises are the heavenly pipelines through which God's provisions flow so that we can have "everything we need for life and godliness."

We can live holy lives because of our knowledge of Him and because of His very great and precious promises. Hallelujah!

Keep Close to Jesus!
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome. To Subscribe Click Here.
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