2 Peter 1:3-11
Trusting God’s Abundance
When have you put a God-given gift into action?
Many mornings, I crawl out of bed with a scarcity mentality. I think about my day and worry that I won’t have enough hours to complete my work, enough money to pay my bills, and enough patience to deal with the interruptions and surprises that often pop up and derail my plans.
But then I remember that our God is a God of abundance, not scarcity. From the first day of creation, God has created a world of abundant goodness, providing generously for all of the plants, animals, and people of the Earth. Looking out over creation on the sixth day, God saw that it was not just okay; it was “supremely good” (Genesis 1:31). God loves what God has created, and wants it to thrive.
This abundant goodness carries over into our faith lives as well. Peter tells us that by “his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Nota bene, my high school Latin teacher would say, meaning “note well”: The Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Not just something, but everything. Our God is a God of abundance.
So what does this generosity include? Peter says that the qualities of moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, affection, and love are all available to us. We simply need to ask for them and then use them. Then Peter says that if “all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from being inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 8).
Peter’s point is that God gives us the gifts we need for life and for Christian action, in a spirit of divine generosity. Since God wants us to “share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality” (verse 4), God equips us with qualities that will help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. The key is to use the gifts that God has given us, so that we won’t become inactive and unfruitful.
Notice that most of the qualities in this list are easy to access, if we choose to do so. I know that self-control is within my grasp when I am tempted to gossip, but decide to hold my tongue. Endurance is available to me when I’m feeling exhausted, but then realize that people are counting on me to complete a task. And affection and love? They are not easy to show when a person treats me rudely or cuts me off in traffic. But I am always glad when I choose to be loving instead of hateful.
Nota bene, note well: God gives you everything you need for life and godliness, including the ability to put self-control, endurance, affection, and love into action. When you accept these gifts and activate them, you show your knowledge of Jesus Christ to the world.
God of abundance, I thank you for giving me all I need for life as a follower of your Son Jesus. Amen.