Through these (His power) he has given us his very great and precious promises (His Word), so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV).
I don’t know if you want more, but I do. Not more stuff. I have enough stuff. What I want more of is Jesus. I want to know Him more and be more like Him.
So how do we get more of Jesus and become more like Him? By engaging, embodying and imbibing God’s Word. The secret of more is gleaned when we become men and women of the Book. The secret of more is fuelled when we feed on the Word. And the secret of more is inspired when the Bible becomes the norming norm for our lives.
Here’s the rub. The Scriptures are, and should be, the primary context and content informing and transforming our daily lives. We must be in the Word in order to live out the Word. The secret of more is not more of us, but more of Him. We must embody the Story to successfully live out our stories.
So how are you doing? Do you have an appetite for the Word? According to statistics most Christians aren’t not doing very well. Research by Barna and Gallup reveal that only 37% of Christians read the Bible at least once a week (usually during church), 60% of us cannot name half of the Ten Commandments, 12% of North Americans think that Noah was married to Joan of Arc, and 35% of people who call themselves “born-again Christians” do not read the Bible at all.
The point is this. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to impart the life and nature of God within us. That’s the secret of more. Regardless of where you are in your faith pilgrimage, the Word of God is essential. It’s a matter of first principles. To know God we must know God’s Word, to grow in God we must grow in God’s Word, and in order to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15), we must go according to God’s Word.
How do I know the right way to love God, love myself and love others? Through God’s Word. How do I get to “participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) of Christ, i.e. become more like Christ? Through God’s Word. How do I know where I’ve come from, why I’m here and where I’m going? Through God’s Word. How do I “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4)? Through God’s Word. How do I live in the world in a way in which I’m not of the world? Through God’s Word. And how do I growth spiritually healthy or find comfort in troubled times? Through God’s Word.
In A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Petersen says, “A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before s/he acquires an appetite for the world of grace.” That’s profound. We will not know the secret of more if we love the world more than we love God. This is where the rubber meets the road. As long as we’re satisfied with the material stuff of life, we’ll never know the secret of more. As long as we’re content to take life on our terms in our way, we’ll never know the secret of more. As long as we inform our values by what Ophrah says or model our pursuit of success on some Hollywood celebrity, we’ll never know the secret of more. And as long as we think that we’re smart enough or tough enough to get by without being devoted to the Word, studying the Word, observing the Word and teaching the Word (cf. Ezra 7:10), we’ll never know the secret of more.
I don’t know about you, but I want to b a 24/7 Christian. I want to live only all for Jesus. And how does that come about? By being informed and transformed by Christ as His Word is brought to bear on my life.
Which is why I’ve often wondered what our families, communities, nation, and world would be like if those of us who go by the name Christian had an appetite, not for the ways of the world, but for the world of grace …