(God’s) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own 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 of the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 2 v.3-4
Yesterday we looked at something of what it means that God had given us everything we need for life and today we add to that the incredible truth that he has also given everything we need for godliness.
Paul writing to Timothy makes a number of references to godliness which are instructive as we just scratch the surface of this vital attribute of the believer. It is an attribute which I suggest needs to be given much more prominence in our thinking, living, gospelling and discipling which should be our daily breath.
Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for the present life and the life to come. I Timothy 4 v.8
Physical fitness has become something of a status symbol in our modern culture. Look at the multiplication of gyms, home physical training equipment, 10k runs, half-marathons, full mararthons and more. Notice though that Paul says all this effort is of some value while godliness has value for all things. Now I am not rubbishing keep fit schemes for there is clearly a place for them but do we give growth in godliness a significant place in our lives?
Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6 v.6
We live in a discontented world! And one of the reasons is that we have become more ungodly as a nation. How relevant the word of God is in linking the two together!
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will persecuted … 2 Timothy 3 v.12
Godliness does not sit well in a godless society and this is nothing new for as the verse immediately above reminds us that this was true 2000 years ago when Paul was writing. Is godliness therefore worth pursuing? I hope that such a question receives an immediate and confident ‘yes’ and that the fact that God has given us all that we need for godliness will spur us on to growing more like him. Yes we may be persecuted but the blessings of being what God wants us to be – godly – far outweigh the negtives.
As we hear the challenge that Peter brings to his readers (us) we have to realise that we will not just drop into godly lives on our own, for the powers that would prevent us becoming godly are very strong. But there is divine power available to us. Are we drawing on it? Are we working on it with the same enthusiasm and commitment that we put into physical fitness or anything else that is available to us? The rewards of physical training are short lived compared with the rewards and blessings of training in godliness for the first inevitably decline as we age and ultimately die while the rewards of the latter open up the glorious vista of eternity in the presence of our Lord and Saviour.
Our world desperately needs godly men and women, children and young people. How do we become godly? Through our knowledge of Him. Let us commit to growing in this area which brings us life and blesses the world.