December 25 (Daily reading: 2 Peter, Jude) Have a blessed Christmas Day!
Peter’s second letter ends with “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18). We are all still growing in grace and knowledge! Someone once said, “Please do not criticize me; God has not finished with me yet!”
(2 Peter 1:1-11) Peter encouraged us on the question of growth. “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” God has given us all that we need to attain maturity! Peter wrote something absolutely remarkable, that we can “become partakers of the divine nature.” As we contemplate “being perfect,” or being holy, we have His “divine power,” and we are “partakers of His divine nature.” There are no super-Christians, but we all have the potential of living godly lives since we share His heavenly nature. Our goal is to “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature” (Eph. 4:13).
A bonsai tree gives us a negative example about growth—by its design, it does not reach its growth potential. To grow a bonsai, the roots are pruned and restricted, which limits their ability to absorb water and nutrients. I have nothing against bonsai trees, but this is an illustration of how Satan limits the growth of believers. He tries to restrict the growth of our spiritual roots, so that our relationship with God will be shallow and superficial.
Peter lists some attributes of maturity: “faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.” He wrote: “If these qualities are yours and are increasing,” you will be productive in your knowledge of Christ. Peter concluded: “As long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.” Our maturity will help us to follow the example of the shepherds and “spread the word” about Christ (Lk. 2:17, NIV).
– Al Gary