Written by Dr. David Briscoe
I like tools. Check that. I like having lots of tools! I bought my first toolbox—complete with wrenches, ratchets, pliers, and screwdrivers—when I was a teenager working on weekends at a service station. (That’s what a gas station was called before it became a convenience store with fuel pumps out front.) Later on, my wife surprised me one Christmas Day early in our marriage with a brand new (even bigger) toolbox full of tools. Did I get rid of my old toolbox and tools? Are you kidding? Of course not. Instead, I reveled in the fact that now I had multiple 9/16th-inch wrenches, Phillips-head screwdrivers, and the like. Still later, I added metric tools to my collection, because most newer cars and appliances required such tools. Today there aren’t many situations that arise in which I don’t have the tools required to do the job.
Speaking of tools and life, here are some questions about a different set of tools that came to me while reading 2 Peter 1:3-11:
- Do I have what it takes to live the mature, holy life that Christ wants me to live?
- Am I fully equipped to be the spouse, parent, coworker, church member, and neighbor who pleases Christ in the way I relate to others?
- Can I rise to the occasion and help in situations where spiritual “repairs” are needed—because of the spiritual tools I have available and know how to use?
With these questions at the forefront of my mind, I can’t over-emphasize the flood of delight I felt when I fixed my eyes on these words in Scripture:
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. —2 Peter 1:3
Take a moment to dwell on what Peter said in this verse. As believers, we have everything required for life and godliness. Everything. Nothing is lacking. The toolbox is full and complete! The Spirit of power living in us gives us all the spiritual tools we need to live the holy, mature lives that Christ expects. Moreover, whenever relationships start to sputter or just need some maintenance, we’ve got the tools to make repairs.
Tools that just sit in the toolbox or that get misplaced aren’t very useful, are they? That is why Peter urged believers to “make every effort” (1:5) to use and build up the spiritual resources Christ makes available to us when we put our faith in Him. In fact, the list of resources Peter identified in verses 5-7 is strikingly similar to what Paul described as the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23). These resources include faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. According to Peter, “if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:8).
Let me ask you, then: What’s in your spiritual toolbox?
What does it mean to you as a believer that Christ has given you everything required for life and godliness?
What can you do today to use one or more of your spiritual tools in a “repair” situation?
David Briscoe is a content editor at Lifeway for Explore the Bible resources.