Today’s Scripture: 2 Peter 1
During our walk with God, it can be deceptively easy to become complacent in our faith. On a personal level, I sometimes catch myself “going through the motions” of followership, which can all too easily mask dormancy in my faith journey.
In these moments, I need to remind myself that faith is not a passive state. In other words, it is not enough for me to simply believe in God and just go on with my life. To the contrary, faith requires consistent interaction with God’s word and continual action on his behalf.
Today, our LivingItOut study begins the Second Epistle of Peter, in which Simon Peter warns us about the dangers of becoming complacent in our faith. The letter comprising 2 Peter was written against a somber backdrop. Christians were suffering vicious persecution at the hands of the Romans while so-called prophets espousing false doctrines were plentiful. Peter was nearing the end of his life. He would suffer a martyr’s death within a year or so of writing this letter. Being keenly aware of the relative brevity of life, Peter offers this epistle as an emphatic testament to his legacy (2 Peter 1:14-15).
In doing so, he implores us to be aware of our duties as followers. God’s desire, Peter suggests, is not simply that we believe in him. Indeed, belief is just the beginning. God desires that we grow in our knowledge of his word and in our faith, and that we express our belief through our actions (i.e., loving others). This is not because our actions earn us greater favor with God. As believers, we know that our destiny is secure because Christ paid for our sins on the cross. But God also wants us to benefit from his “great and precious promises.”
2 Peter 1:3-4
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
Though Peter’s legacy is complicated, his words on this topic carry particular credibility. Peter was known for being impulsive and brash, and he failed Jesus—spectacularly—on several occasions. At the same time, his allegiance to Christ and the word of God are unquestionable. It has been said that it is better to be a follower who fails than to be one who fails to follow. And there is perhaps no better embodiment of this saying than Simon Peter.
It is no accident that Jesus’ first and last encounters with Peter conveyed effectively the same message: “follow me” (Matthew 4:19, John 21:22). And so it follows that the core message of 2 Peter 1 is that we should actively turn to Jesus and follow him.
How often do you find yourself becoming complacent in your faith? What steps can you take to be more mindful about living your faith in a more active manner? What are some specific ways in which you can grow in your knowledge of God and your expression of faith in action?
Set aside time today to consider Peter’s three dimensions of faith: knowing God, growing in your understanding, and living your faith. Assess your level of active faith and where you have opportunities to be more intentional in growing it. As you do this, remember that this should not be viewed as an obligation, but rather as an opportunity to be more “productive and useful” as a Christ follower (2 Peter 1:8).
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your great and precious promises. Help me to always be an active and intentional follower, and to know, grow, and live my faith for your purposes. Amen.
This post was written by Todd Romain. Todd enjoys sharing life with his wife Jessica and their family and serving at CedarCreek. He is a communications director at Owens Corning and enjoys reading, writing, music, and sports in his spare time.
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