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"Make every effort..." to grow in grace

June 7, 2023

Daily Scripture

2 Peter 1:3-8, 3:17-18

2 Peter 1

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.


2 Peter 3

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned in advance, be on guard so that you aren’t led off course into the error of sinful people, and lose your own safe position. 18 Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Peter said God’s forgiveness and divine love give us the inner power we need to escape all that is wrong in our world. He set forth how every part of our life grows “in grace” as we open ourselves to let God’s power work in us. This passage pictured qualities that transform our whole life. Cooperate with God to add each of these qualities to your life, Peter said. They will give you everything you need for life and godliness.

  • Peter made the sweeping claim that God has given us everything we need for a godly life. Which of the positive qualities he listed in chapter 1:5-7 do you find most appealing? Which of these qualities are already present in your life? Thank God for them! This week we invite you to make grateful worship a habit. How can this habit, and the ones we study in the next four weeks, equip you to connect more fully with God’s spiritual power to add the other good things to your life?
  • Methodist founder John Wesley’s notes on these verses in 2 Peter said that “‘sour godliness,’ so called, is of the devil.” Have you ever known people who seemed to believe that it takes “sour godliness” to achieve “moral excellence”? What helps you trust that God wants your life to be sweet, not sour, that God’s gift of moral excellence offers you a life filled with joy and beauty?

Lord Jesus, remind me that I am never “done” growing in this life. Pour your Spirit into my heart, leading me on from one positive step of growth to the next. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ally Drummond

Ally Drummond

Ally Drummond, a Kansas City native, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UMKC and a Master of Divinity degree at Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University. She is a United Methodist Church Deacon, a pastor called to serve particularly in ministries of compassion and justice. Ally has a passion for finding ways in which the Church is able to help make the Kingdom of God more known in our local communities. In her free time, Ally enjoys experiencing the beauty and grace of all God’s creation through conversations over meals and cups of coffee, in throwing and creating pottery, and while learning to navigate the winds and waters with her husband, Josh, on their sailboat.

When I was first beginning my journey towards becoming a pastor, I was invited (okay, required) to focus on growing in my awareness and participation of spiritual practices. As you might know, spiritual practices (also referred to as ‘spiritual disciplines’) are the specific exercises and activities we do to deepen our relationship with God. Sometimes these spiritual practices felt like a brand-new opening into how I could better love God and experience God’s love for me. Other times, some practices didn’t feel like a good fit for me and how I best connect with God. My professors and mentors instructed me and my peers to not worry if we needed to lay aside the spiritual practices that didn’t work for us. God’s boundless grace is found in the knowing that our faith journeys are each unique, and so there are always ways God is longing to connect and draw us near.

As we focus on how we might continually strive towards growing in faith through incorporating the Five Essential Practices of the Christian Faith, today’s Scripture passages make space for reflection on our own spiritual journeys. In 2 Peter, we read of the various characteristics that indicate a growing in the knowledge and love of Christ.

Perhaps you are like me and, as you read these words of Scripture today, you began thinking about the times where these characteristics of knowledge, self-control, endurance, and the other traits of faithfulness were evident in your own life (and maybe more honestly, the times when they were not). These words of 2 Peter also reminded me of a specific spiritual practice I hope you might find time to join me in today—A Life Road Map.

To try out this spiritual practice, simply grab a blank piece of paper and something to write with. Starting on one side of your page, draw a line for your road of life. Beginning all the way at birth and spanning your whole life to this point, let the line on your paper represent your whole journey of faith.

Take your pen and begin to add icons, draw bumps, dips, hills, valleys, and whatever other drawings might help you visualize the changes, growths, and challenges you’ve experienced in your life and faith journey. Think: what are the parts of my story where I have experienced a ‘green light’ towards growing deeper in my love and knowledge of God, like in having a devoted grandparent who introduced me to Jesus or a friend who showed me the love of God in action? What points in my story feel like a road bump, such as losing a job or a broken relationship? Has there ever been a time in life where it feels like I’m stuck in standstill traffic or caught in a head-on collision, waiting for someone to come drag me out of the painful circumstances I’m in—perhaps a death of a loved one or a frightening health diagnosis?

As we take time to ponder and reflect on all the parts of our spiritual lives, we are invited to become more aware of the ways God has always been guiding and transforming our whole lives with great love and grace. I pray that your day ahead might hold a moment where you may sense awe and peace as you take a next step on the road of your spiritual journey.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.