Gifts and Training

October 16, 2020

3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-8

Written by Jill VanAusdall from the Brentwood Campus

Have you ever run a marathon—without spending time training? Have you cut your hair—after becoming an expert watching a YouTube video? Maybe you decided to drive to Wyoming without using GPS or a map—just pointed the car west and hoped for the best. I know these sound ridiculous, but I would venture to say, if we all looked back far enough in our lives, and possibly right now, we would find situations that would compare to these.

When we read 2 Peter 1:3, doesn’t it strike you with amazement that the moment we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and BELIEVED, we were given everything we needed for life and a life pleasing to God? Every conceivable tool we could possibly need is now inside of us. We have the Divine Power of God! This means we have in us what we need to keep our spiritual lives in shape and the tools necessary to mature and grow deeper in Christ. He expects us as believers to move from being a bottle-fed baby just listening to His Word to a mature adult Christ-follower who reads His Word, meditates on it, spends time with Him in prayer, and shares with others what God has accomplished in us.

We have been gifted legs and lungs that allow us to run a marathon, but without the training we would not build up the strength and endurance necessary to finish the race. Peter emphasizes this when he encourages us as Christ-followers to build on and strengthen the gifts God has given us: goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love. When we do this, it’s like downloading the latest “GPS” to ensure we stay on His path. These provide the wisdom to realize when we are making choices we will regret later. Each one of gifts these lives in us; we need only exercise them to strengthen them so we will finish the race as a strong, mature Christ-follower.

Second Peter 1:8 is like a dagger to the heart. We have been given all of these gifts to practice and strengthen, so we will not be, drumroll, “useless or unfruitful.” This is why! We decide if we are going to be complacent and useless or on fire for Jesus—training, growing, discipling and advancing God’s Kingdom.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What does it mean to you that God has gifted you with everything you need to live a godly life?
  2. Are you spending time training the gifts God gave you?
  3. Are you growing and maturing in Christ?

Missions Prayer
Pray for our global workers as their lives and locations have been disrupted during the pandemic. Many have been living in temporary housing for months, awaiting the opportunity to return home. Pray that the gospel has continued to spread in their absence and for renewed relationships when they return.