Life and Godliness

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His 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 in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:1-4

Life and godliness are arguably the two most precious things that we have. Surely no one would argue about the first but godliness is a characteristic that is alien to most, and in the world at large there is increasingly little evidence of such a beautiful thing. This sad fact makes it all the more important that God’s people make every effort to be different in this crucial area and strive after godliness.

I can almost hear the sighs that such a challenge is likely to draw from us, and I fear, some objections also.

That is just too demanding. I would have to give up this or that. Other people will think I am odd. I don’t want to be different. It is simply to difficult.

To offer such excuses is to ignore the incredible promise and ability offered to us in our verse today namely that,

God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

All we need! Given to us! Out of God’s divine power!

Brothers and sisters what is holding us back? What is standing in the way of us making a mighty difference  to a broken world.? In the light of this why are we failing to make that difference?

Our verse gives an indication of the reason. This divine power is unleashed through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Will you ask yourself this, possibly unsettling, question today ‘How well do I know God?’ Think back to your call and your realisation of God’s glory and goodness. Has that realisation increased in the years since you first came to know him? Is it increasing day by day in your individual times in his word? Are you growing week by week in your Growth Group and as you gather together with others on the Lord’s Day?

If the answer is yes then his divine power should be visible daily in your increase in godliness which is what our contemporary world so desperately needs for when the beauty of Jesus is seen in us then inevitably people will be drawn to him. Do you believe that?

I quote from a paper prepared by the European Leadership Forum currently taking place on-line.

‘Europe, once the home of the Christian church, is now the continent with the smallest percentage of born-again Christians. The vast majority of Europeans have never heard the Gospel or met a genuine believer. Europe is the most needy mission field in the world.’

This is accompanied by some statistics on the number of born again Christians by continent as follows:

Africa 25%. Asia 16%.Europe 4%. America 10%. Latin America 18%. Oceana 20%.

There are clearly many reasons for this, and statistics can be notoriously unreliable, but by any reading, these indicate a devastating state of affairs and cause me to ask this question. Is it because we, who call ourselves Christians are failing in our knowledge of God and not drawing on his divine power to enable us to live godly lives, lives that will challenge a God denying world?

Lord, may my life today as it increases in godliness,  proclaim you to this needy world. Amen

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