Verse: 2 Peter 1:1-2
"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
Happy New Year, friends! In selecting what passages should start off our New Year, I was reading through the first chapter of several books. These simple words struck me as a prayer for all of us over the year of 2024- “grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God”. So let’s start here together, building a year full of grace and peace in abundance.
The verses start with introducing us to the author, Simon Peter. Peter identifies himself first and foremost as a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. What a sweet reminder of who we are first. Before any of the other identities we claim, we are HIS. Peter addresses his letter to those who have received a faith as precious as his own, our brothers and sisters in Christ. He continues on to emphasize the righteousness of God and the salvation found in Jesus Christ.
Peter's greeting is not merely a customary hello, rather it carries a profound message for believers. He desires that grace and peace be multiplied in abundance to the recipients of his letter. But notice how he connects this multiplication of grace and peace to the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
Knowledge of Him is the beginning of our increasing peace that surpasses all understanding. This type of knowledge is not just intellectual knowledge but a deep, intimate understanding of who God is and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. It is knowing who we are to Him and who we are in Him. This knowledge is not acquired through human wisdom or worldly education but through a personal relationship with God.
As we grow in our knowledge of God & His character, we experience an increase in His grace and peace. The more we understand His character, His love, and His promises, the more we can trust Him and rely on His grace in every aspect of our lives. His grace becomes sufficient for our weaknesses, and His peace guards our hearts and minds in the midst of trials and challenges.
Peter's desire for the believers to grow in grace and knowledge is a reminder for us today, especially as we prepare our hearts to begin a new year. We are called to continually seek a deeper understanding of God and His Word. As we grow closer to him, so does our hunger for more of His presence and to allow His truth to transform us from the inside out.
As we grow in grace and knowledge, we become more like Christ. Our faith becomes stronger, our love for others deepens, and our witness becomes more impactful. We are able to navigate the complexities of life with wisdom and discernment, knowing that we are rooted in the unchanging truth of God's Word.
Let’s together, as a body of Christ, commit to the pursuit of growing in grace and knowledge. Let us spend time in prayer, studying the Scriptures, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let’s spend it hand in hand, surrounded by the people who will point us back to Him and rally around us when (not if), this year brings us challenges. Let this year be a testimony to all that He has done for us, so that we might be a light unto a dark world.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the renewal that a new year brings. Lord, use this as a natural opportunity to refresh our perspective and set our eyes on you. Thank you Jesus for the precious gift of faith that we have received through You. Help us to grow in grace and knowledge, deepening our understanding of who You are and what You have done for us. May Your grace and peace be multiplied in our lives as we seek You first. Amen.