2 Peter_1


2 Peter 1:5-7 

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.


Observation-What does it say?  

In Peter’s second letter, he continues in addressing practical topics.  While in his first letter he addressed dealing with persecution from outside the church, in the second letter, he tackles dealing with false teachers and medlers from within.  Peter encourages his readers in a combination of Christian faith and practice.  Throughout the letter, he also aims to stimulate Christian growth, combat false teaching, and encourage good behavior in light of Christ’s certain return.  The qualities discussed in chapter one, verses five through seven, are all virtues that produce a well-rounded and fruitful Christian life.  


Understanding-What does it mean? 

I’m not really a morning person, but I like to get up early.  It allows me time to get things done that would otherwise be disrupted with the rest of life.  So often, on my days off, I can be found on my bicycle before the sun is up.  On the days I work, I am up at a completely unholy hour, usually 3:00 or 3:30 AM), to fit in a workout in our little garage gym (honestly some of my friends are just getting to bed when I am doing reps).  Now, I could definitely go through life without doing these things.  But, I am convinced they make me a better person.  By supplementing my life with discipline and discomfort, I strive to become a more well rounded person.


The Message version of this passage states it in this way, “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.”  We can have faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ and stay at that level, or you can supplement your faith life with practices that not only make you a more well rounded Christian, but they also help you to experience God’s glory and joy more fully before we are transformed at the time of our earthly death.  


To steal from Dan John, a fitness coach and Fulbright Scholar, the way we get better at things is simple, but it takes work.  “Little and often over the long haul,” is one of his statements as to how we build strength.  Or as Pastor Gary pointed out recently, “No pain, no gain.”  Like Paul said to the Corinthians, “I treat my body hard [discipline/subdue/pummel my body] and ·make it my slave [subdue it] so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others” (1 Corinthinians 9:27 EXB).

Life Application: 

Holy Spirit, help me with my discipline.  When I wake in the morning, help me to seek first after God’s word and after His presence.  When I find myself alone and can take a shortcut without anyone noticing, help me to have the integrity to do right in your eyes.  Help me to use this discipline as a way to be more gracious to others and help lead them to a life full of love for you.  
-Tyler Galloway