Advent Devotional December 4, 2017

Scripture

2 Peter 1:1-11

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Devotional

The Rev. Oghene’tega Swann, Pastor, Refreshing Springs Ministry / Aliquippa and Ambridge, Pa. / Missional Leadership Focus

The apostle here reminds us of the tension of the “already, but not yet” of our salvation story. Even while celebrating the indescribable gift of salvation, he reminds us that we currently experience only a foretaste of what is to come, and that we also have an active responsibility in working toward what is “to come.”

Peter reminds us that although God, according to His faithful character of holy love, initiated salvation and entrance into His kingdom through Jesus Christ, those saved by His grace must bear witness to their citizenship with visible qualities and characteristics of personal and corporate nature. And as long as these virtues are present in us, we declare our positive “Yes, I will attend” RSVP to participate fully in what is yet to come.

Peter’s charge discourages us as Christians from developing a sense of complacency born from the fact that salvation is solely effected by God in Jesus Christ and apart from our works. Instead, Peter reminds us that once we have said “yes” to God’s salvation in Christ, we must maintain that “yes” with a visible commitment to the pursuit of goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love in our personal and corporate lives.

May we add to our prayers this Advent season not only the petition, “Come, Lord Jesus come,” but also the determination to maintain our response to his invitation with good works borne out of commitment to the Kingdom that is to come.

Prayer

Dear Lord, help us to remember that your invitation is one that requires a constant, living response from us. Grant us daily grace and power to say “yes” to You by our willingness to press into to the more of Your life that we see revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.