In his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his glory and excellence (2 Pet 1:3).
I am the son and grandson of carpenters and contractors. Between them they held California general contractor’s licenses for more than 75 years.
Unfortunately, their skills with tools did not pass down to me. I had to settle for reviewing construction contracts as an attorney.
Some of those contracts have been for “turn-key” projects where the contractor agrees to build the complete project from foundation to furnishing. The owner can turn the key in the door, walk in, and put the home or office to immediate use.
The opposite of a turn-key project is a “do-it-yourselfer”, in which the owner is the builder as time and money allow. Not surprisingly, many of these projects falter and languish in various states of incompletion.
A godly life is one focused on God, filled by God, and conformed to the will of God. How to live such a life is the challenge. Countless books, sermons, studies, and methods have been proposed as guides for those who would build such a life as a “do-it-yourselfer”.
“Do-it-yourself” godliness is an oxymoron. There is a God in godliness and it isn’t us. Our first ancestors thought otherwise and fell from grace Gen 3). Figuring out what went wrong on our own has been a “fool’s errand” ever since. The harder we work at it, the more we find out about sin (Rom 4:20). That’s why the nicest, most respectable people we know may be ungodly.
Paul famously instructed his protege Timothy to “Train yourself in godliness, for while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way for both the present life and the life to come. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe” (1 Tim 4:7-10).
No spiritual “do-it-yourselfer” can take heart from Paul’s instruction, because it calls for a commitment to God (“our hope set on the living God”), a dependence upon God (“those who believe”), and a consistency in living for God (“this present life”), but it is “the living God, who is the Savior of all people.” Salvation is God’s gift, and we can’t construct our own” (Eph 2:8-9).
“We are God’s handiwork” — our entire way of life, service and good works included, are what our Lord Christ Jesus created them to be, no more, no less (Eph 2:10, NIV). God picks us as his building site, and constructs us to his design” (1 Cor 3:9). Our life, as Peter observed, is God’s “turnkey project.” His divine power gives us everything we need for the godly life reflecting his glory and excellence.
That “toil and struggle” that Paul describes is inevitable for anyone who tries to stay focused on making progress toward a goal which the world around them seeks to distract them from attaining. The sports phrase, “You have to keep your head in the game” is apt here.
Peter also said God’s gift of divine power in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ is intended to make us effective and fruitful in growing in faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love (1 Peter 1:3). In other words, we are supposed to live the life he gives us, not sit by in prim piety.
Peter, who knew what he was talking about, said that if we make mistakes, blow-it, or stall in our spiritual growth, it’s because we’ve turned our eyes away from Jesus and back to ourselves, forgetting that he has cleansed our past, leaving nothing but a bright future in the eternal kingdom that he has opened for us (2 Pet 1:9-11).
I don’t make this stuff up and I haven’t stinted on Scriptural references where you can see for yourself how God has provided us with all the necessities to live the life he gives us. “His divine power has given us everything we need” for this (1 Pet 1:3). Why is it that we continue to look elsewhere?
“O taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy are those who take refuge in him” (Ps 34:8)
Under the mercy of Christ,
P.S. If you received this it is because you requested it or someone you know passed it on to you. If you wish to continue to receive this weekly meditation, simply send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “subscribe,” or tell whoever forwarded it to you to keep sending it.
If you do not wish to receive any more of these messages, please send an email to email@example.com with the word, “unsubscribe.” This only works if you received the message from me directly. If someone else forwards the message to you and you want them to stop, please email them back and tell them to stop sending it. Thanks.
The Lord is the strength of his people;