THINK: Most people spend their lives trying to accumulate more - more stuff, more knowledge, more power, more friends, more security, and on and on. But God has already given you access to all the resources, promises and power to be all He created you to be. You may not always recognize what you have, and you might still need to discover and develop what's available to you. But regardless of your circumstances or what you seem to have or not have, God has provided just what you need at the present time to develop the character and fulfill the purposes He in- tends for you. And He will continue to provide everything at the right time and place as you trust Him for all of it.
RESPOND: By what means has God "given us everything we need for life and godliness" (v. 3)? How do God's provisions help us develop Christlike character? (See 1:3 note.) What's wrong if God's Word doesn't seem to have the effect that it should? (See 1:3 note, sub point 2.) Who did Peter likely have in mind when emphasizing that God has already given us everything we need? (See sub point 3.) What does it mean that "you may participate in the divine nature" (v. 4), and how is this possible? (See 1:4 note.) According to verse 4, what causes corruption in the world, and how do we escape it (v. 4)? What character traits must Christ's followers develop along with faith (vv. 5-7)? (See 1:5 note.) Why did Peter emphasize the need for these traits? (See 1:5 note.) What happens "if you possess these qualities in increasing measure"? (See 1:8 note.) What happens if you lack them (v. 9)? What does this passage imply about spiritual growth? What does it mean "to make your call and election sure"? (See 1:10 note.) What does it mean that "we have the word of the prophets made more certain"? (See 1:19 note.) What does this imply about the authority and reliability of God's Word? What's the origin and source of all Biblical prophecy? (See 1:20 note.) How did men receive and deliver God's message? (See 1:21 note.) What can happen if we lack a strong and uncompromising view of Scripture?
PRAY: Give God thanks for providing everything you need for life and godliness, and for the light and authority of His Word. Ask God to help you grow in character traits that will help you be productive in your relationship with Jesus.
ACT: Look back over the list of character qualities in verses 5-7. Write these on a piece of paper or note card that you can carry with you today. Refer to the card frequently and make every effort to practice and develop these traits.
THINK: What do you love to do? What excites and motivates you? What do you look forward to more than anything else? Consider this: whatever excites you the most is likely to control you the most. As this passage points out, a person "is a slave to whatever has mastered him" (2:19). Is your relationship with God the controlling influence in your life? Is devotion to Him your ultimate priority? People who haven't given God control of their lives are enslaved by their own desires. But if God's highest purposes are your greatest passion, you're free to be all He created you to be.
RESPOND: Why does the Bible warn us about false teachers in the church? (See 2:1 first note.) What do they do, and what is among their most serious offenses? (See 2:1 second note.) What will happen as a result of people following their shameful ways? (See 2:2 note.) How can this affect efforts to spread Jesus' message? What kind of "stories" do the false teachers make up? (See 2:3 note.) What is their motivation for ministry? What angels were sent to hell and put into "gloomy dungeons"? (See 2:4 note.) In what way are God's past judgments an example to us (v. 6)? What encouragement can we take from what happened to Noah's family and to Lot (vv. 5, 7, 9)? What can we learn from Lot's distress and faithfulness while he was in Sodom? (See 2:8 and 2:9 notes.) Why will false teachers experience certain judgment? (See 2:10 note.) What are "bold and arrogant" and ungodly people not afraid to do, and what will happen to them (vv. 10-14, 17-18)? (See 2:10 and 2:14 notes.) In what way do people today fit the description in this passage? Why do some people think they are free, while they are really "slaves of depravity"? (See 2:19 note.) What do you think it means that "a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him" (v. 19)? Why are people who have known Jesus but then turned their backs on Him worse off than if they had never known the truth in the first place? (See 2:20 note.)
PRAY: Pray for discernment and wisdom to recognize and avoid deception that could compromise your devotion to God and His Word. Give God thanks for providing protection and rescue from the world's corrupt influence. Pray that you would never be mastered by ungodly behavior or desires, but that God would always have control of your life.
ACT: Take special notice today of things in your life - your schedule, your activities, your priorities - that seem to control or "master" you. Do these things honor God? Are they His priorities for your life? Is He the Master of your plans and purposes. If not make the changes necessary to give Him complete control of your life.