Here we are again, ready to mull a few ideas over. I like the word, ruminate. If you have been following me for a while you know I have used this word before, when discussing the idea of Bible study. God tells us through the Psalmist that we are to meditate on His word day and night.
Webster’s online dictionary gives several definitions for the word meditate. These two describe what it means to ruminate on God’s word.
1 - to engage in contemplation or reflection
2 - to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
Meditation is basically giving deep thought to God’s word and allowing His Holy Spirit to give us His understanding of it. To ruminate, literally means - to chew repeatedly for an extended period. Whether you want to call it meditating or ruminating, getting into God’s word should be more that a passing fancy. It should be something we dive into with the intent of moving into the deeper layers.
Let’s look at our verse for this week:
…For by these…
This refers back to the end of verse 3, “…Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” It is His glory and excellence to which the these refers. God is reliable. His glory and excellence cannot be undermined by any trouble or power on this earth. Remember in last week’s post we saw that His glory and excellence was personified in the person of Jesus Christ. It is His glory and excellence that lead us to the next part of the verse.
…He has granted to us…
Once again we see God granting to us. This all mighty being wants to give us things. As we looked at verse 3 (see that post here) of the 2 Peter 1 passage we saw that God granted to us. He not only granted to us by His divine power, but now He grants to us by His glory and excellence.
Let’s just take a moment to think this over. Here is an all powerful being. His words brought this planet and all it contains into existence. His breath gave life to dust in the form of humanity. This humanity chose to rebel against Him. Yet…
…He loves us. He holds all that power and glory and excellence and yet, He desires to give to us.
Just what did He give to us?
…His precious and magnificent promises…
Look at the descriptors. Precious and magnificent. Let’s go back to Websters.
Precious - of great value or high price; highly esteemed or cherished.
Magnificent - marked by stately grandeur or lavishness; impressive to the mind or spirit; great in deed; exceptionally fine.
These words describe the promises of God. These aren’t cheesy, second rate promises. What God says, He will do. Who He says He is, He is. Who He says you are, you are.
All of us have been the recipients of broken promises. We’ve all experienced the disappointment of a parent, partner, friend or lover, making a promise and not proving good on that promise. We even break promises to ourselves. That is because we make our promises starting from a position of brokenness. God makes His promises starting from a position of divine power, glory and excellence. He can’t go wrong. He doesn’t forget, and He most certainly will not fall out of love with you. God always keeps His precious and magnificent promises.
Here are a few of those promises:
He will fight for you - Isaiah 14:14
He will give you strength - Isaiah 40:31 and Philippians 4:13
He will hold our hand - Isaiah 41:13
He will be with us - Isaiah 43:2 and Matthew 28:20
He will give us wisdom - James 1:5
He will forgive us - 1 John 1:9 and 2 Chronicles 7:14
He will give us eternal life - John 3:16
He will meet our needs - Philippians 4:19
He works things for our good - Romans 8:28
The list goes on. These are just a few of His precious and magnificent promises.
….so that by them, you may become partakers of the divine nature…
Whoa! Did that just say that I could receive some of that divine nature? Is that the same divine nature that granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness? In other words that divine nature becomes a part of me when I partake. I partake by taking the precious and magnificent promises.
This flow of thought and action just blows my mind. He gives, we take. He gives, we partake. He gives, and we become. So what exactly does it mean to become a partaker of the divine nature? Let’s take a look at the word partake:
1 - to take part in or experience something along with others
2 - to have a portion (as of food or drink)
3 - to possess or share a certain nature or attribute
I think all three of these definitions make sense when it comes to partaking of the divine nature. We take part in it. We have a portion of it. We share it with the Almighty. Doesn’t that make you feel rather special? Everything that He does for us, that He gives to us, is to enable us to be a part of Him, to share in His very nature.
This leads to the question, how do the precious and magnificent promises enable us to partake in His divine nature? This is my theory. When we become a Christ follower, by belief, we are then able to claim those precious and magnificent promises. When I claim a promise that God has made, I take it back to Him and I say,
“You have said this in Your word. This is a promise that You have made. I am claiming that promise as my own, believing that You will do it, because You have said it.”
Now, let me clarify, this is not a Santa Clause wish list. We need to understand that all of what God does is to make us partakers of His divine nature. He is not out to grant our every desire. He is not going to make life free of difficulty, but He is going to honor the promises He has made when we claim them, and as He does that He grants us a portion of His divine nature.
If you are uncertain what I mean when I talk about the divine nature, think about the characteristics of God; His holiness, righteousness, love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and so on. As we live life, claiming His promises and walking in His spirit, those characteristics will become a part of us in a more deeply rooted way.
Let’s look at the last piece of this verse.
…having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Partaking of His divine nature enables us to escape the corruption that is in the world. Why do you think Peter was inspired to add the phase, by lust? Aren’t there other things in the world that cause corruption? If the idea of lust is an intense longing for something or someone, that pretty much covers most of what causes the corruption in our world. Think about things like stealing, murder, adultery, jealousy, anger, gluttony, pride, the list goes on. Doesn’t everything begin with the idea, “I want?” Didn’t the first rebellion against God start with the thought, “I want?” When we partake of the divine nature, our “I wants” turn into “He wants.” We become more interested in what God wants and what we can do to love and serve Him and others. How different would the world be if we all journeyed through life with the divine nature flowing through us, rather than the weight of “I want” holding us down.
I hope you are enjoying this study of 2 Peter 1:1-11. Be sure to check back next week for Part 4 as we look at verse 5.
I love hearing your thoughts, so if you have the time let me know what you are thinking. Have you every claimed one of God’s precious and magnificent promises? How did God come through for you? Do you feel like you are partaking of His divine nature on a regular basis? What does that look like for you. I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great day.