2 Peter 1:1-2 & 3:18 (the message)
I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I was encouraged reading these verses this morning. Deepen in your experience…grow in grace and understanding…these are the ways God inspired Peter to open and close this letter in the New Testament. I found it encouraging because it can be so easy to look at our weaknesses, how far we have to go, and feel defeated. Somehow we get the idea that once we give our hearts and lives to Jesus we are supposed to have it all together and do it “right” within a certain time frame. The Bible says you can tell a tree by its’ fruit, so as we know God more intimately the “fruit” of our lives should become more healthy and appetizing to others. But that takes a lifetime and God is so very patient with us!
The verse above says grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God. I think of it as a swimming pool…I can sit in my lounge chair, I can dangle my feet, I can stand in the shallow end at waist level or I can swim, stoke by stroke, into deeper waters. The “waters” of knowing God, of discovering the Creator, go to depths we will never fully know in this life but the deeper we go in Him, the more we are surrounded by and flowing in His grace and peace.
The last verse, grow in grace and understanding, is a wonderful reminder to all of us that God sees our spiritual growth as a process…a journey. I can’t expect my 3-year-old to understand or obey me the same as my 5-year-old. I can’t expect my 3-year-old to brush her teeth independently just because my 5-year-old can. Thankfully, God isn’t comparing us to each other either! He knows our personal stories, our development, and His plan is not for us to grow more like each other, but to grow more like Him. Be encouraged today, with wherever you find yourself, that God is not judging you by how far you have to go. He is cheering you on in your journey and beckoning you to come deeper into His love!