Appropriating the Divine

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:3-10 

Reading this passage I am stoked by a chug-a-chug, chug-a-chug train sound, steady rhythm of moving, moving, moving ahead. There are many components to our growing in godliness, and we are urged to make every effort to keep on, put the right pieces together, continue on track, and reject what is false and ruinous while adding good upon good.

Train track puzzle pieces

The Christian life is a relentless pursuit of godliness as we appropriate all God has given us in our salvation. We navigate through false teaching, destructive heresies, temptations to sensuality and greed, and every time we say no and plug ahead in virtue, we build spiritual strength and progress further. We are tested, as Noah was, by lonely faith, by having to stand alone on the side of truth against the crowd, and the Lord bolsters our character and understanding. We may be blasphemed along with our Savior when we deny revelry, but learn to stand firm and steady. We are trained by practice to discern false boasts, and what true freedom won in Christ means. We persist in diligently applying what we know to be true from God’s promises in scripture and from His marvelous working in our personal experience. Every bit of energy invested partaking of the divine nature builds holiness and godliness. (2 Peter 2:1-3,5,10,12-14,18-19; 3:2,11)

So where will my efforts be spent today? Will I get distracted by pieces of sparkle and temporary pleasure, weighed down by doubt and self-interest, or will I decide, first thing, to make every effort to heed God’s call to glory and excellence? How will I act, where will I add, what will I supplement, to assure I am moving ahead in His divine power on His track of sanctification?

Lord, while You tarry, keep me diligent in appropriating Your character and growing in Your grace and knowledge. Stir me up, and keep me stirring up my comrades in faith, to steadfastly partake of and add to everything divine You have given. Ever increase Your qualities in us that bear and multiply eternal fruit, so You are glorified now and for eternity! (2 Peter 3:1,14,18)

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