I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
2 Peter 1:3-8
Common English Bible
Christian life in outline
3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. 4 Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
5 This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. 8 If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
2 Peter 1:3-8 is one of the places in the Bible that is a kind of guide to discipleship (the practices of following Christ). It begins with the assurance that we already have everything we need for life and godliness through what we know about Jesus. Even though it isn’t always easy to put into practice, it isn’t difficult to understand. Through God’s presence in your life, you can follow Jesus faithfully.
2 Peter lays out a kind of recipe to follow. The image that comes to mind is a friendship cake. Someone gave us the starter for one years ago. We kept it in a 1-gallon glass jar with a wide mouth and a loose lid. The starter was alive with active yeast, sugar, peaches, pineapple pieces, and cherries. We had to pay attention to it, stirring it once a day and adding ingredients—feeding the starter—at some regular intervals to keep it alive and active. Also, at regular intervals, we baked cakes and gave them to friends, along with some of the starter. It all grew with such abundance that there was more than enough to give away.
With the words of verses 5-8 and the metaphor of a friendship cake for your life of faith, imagine how that recipe might read:
Begin with your faith—the essential ingredient of trusting in the grace of God through the faithfulness of Christ. Add to that the following ingredients:
a good measure of moral excellence
a generous amount of knowledge
an abundance of endurance
a substantial amount of godliness
a copious amount of affection for others
a boatload of love.
Pay attention to it, stir it up continuously, add ingredients regularly, share generously, and enjoy!
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “This is a Day of New Beginnings”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.
This is a day of new beginnings,
time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing,
laying to rest the pain that’s gone.
For by the life and death of Jesus,
love’s mighty Spirit, now as then,
can make for us a world of difference,
as faith and hope are born again.
Then let us, with the Spirit’s daring,
step from the past and leave behind
our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,
seeking new paths, and sure to find.
Christ is alive, and goes before us
to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
our God is making all things new.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster