Everything we need: 2 Peter 1.3–9 (18 May 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: 2 Peter 1.3–9

The first chapter of 2 Peter is about what being a Christian means for the believer's conduct and character. God has given us 'very great and precious gifts' by which we can 'come to share the divine nature' (verse 4), and this makes a difference to how we live. What we do, springing from the kind of person we are, has to match up to the gift of new life we've been given. Peter doesn't use the expression 'born again', but that's the thinking behind what he says. We are new people, and we have to learn to live accordingly.

In verses 5 and 6 he describes a sort of ladder of virtue. Faith comes first, then goodness; the next rung is knowledge, then self-control, endurance, godliness, Christian affection (or 'brotherly kindness') and love.

If we think deeply about these qualities, we can see how they relate to each other. It's interesting that 'goodness' comes before 'knowledge', for instance; someone can be very knowledgeable about the faith, but not really a good or attractive person. And knowledgeable people have to be use their knowledge wisely, respecting others rather than lording it over them – so after knowledge comes self-control.

Churches can be very busy places, where there's a lot to do and too few people to do it. Others might be very focused on learning, with 'good teaching' a keynote of the congregation's life. Perhaps we don't always think hard enough simply about being good.

Pray

Pray

God, help me to be quiet in your presence, and to see myself as I really am. And then please change me into the sort of person I ought to be. Help me to live up to the gift I've been given.

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