March 16, 2009

Transformation-mentored by the Master

2 Peter 1:3-8

Through … his very great and precious promises … you may participate in the divine nature …
2 Peter 1:4


If you visit a secular bookstore and ask for a book on personal growth, you will be pointed to the self-help section. But human ingenuity cannot produce qualities that reflect divine character. We have to be mentored by the Master, our heavenly Lord. We have to look closely at Jesus Christ and the lifestyle he lived. As we learn from the Master, God’s thoughts become our thoughts, and Christ’s character becomes ours.

Try to picture the divine qualities mentioned in today’s verses as a three-tiered pyramid. The first tier is a foundation of faith, morality, and knowledge. Faith consists of a deep trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Morality suggests ethical living that mirrors the very life of God. Knowledge involves growing to know the Lord and to trust that the teachings of the Bible are reliable.

The second tier in the pyramid consists of self-control and perseverance. These are the qualities we need for the long haul of the Christian life. Our faith needs to be steadfast.

Then we reach the pinnacle of divine growth—godliness, kindness, and love. Godliness means imitating Christ. It’s a godliness lived in community, where the kindness and truth of God are shared. And the truth must always be spoken in love. Love crowns every other quality with beauty and grace.

Thank you, Father, for giving us everything we need for life and godliness. Mentor us so that we can both know and experience your great and precious promises. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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