2Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble.11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
These words from 2 Peter are the final words from one who knows he is about to die (see 2 Peter 1: 14 & 15). It seems likely that it written in Rome by Peter (or a disciple of Peter) during Nero’s persecution of the church – possibly 68AD. Reading the last words of a condemned man therefore takes on a special poignancy.
He assures his readers that they have all that is needed for life. This is made specific, in a world that is corrupted by lust. Put in other words – those who follow Jesus are reminded that there is a choice to be made: either allow human greed to control you, or choose to trust that the power of God “has given us everything needed for life”.
Learn from one who is about to die: Jesus-followers are to resist the corruption brought about by lust for things such as possessions, power or sexual conquest. Instead, our deepest desires for life are entrusted to Divine guidance.
The Week of New Year’s Day
6. Chosen to be God’s children
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 46.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.