Everything We Need for Life and Godliness

Granted to us through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and excellence.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Meditating and resting in God’s promises.

Do you have a regular and favorite way of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises?

Eugene Peterson describes meditation in his book Answering God as:

“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.”1

A Carthusian monk called Guigo described a form of meditation called Lectio Divina:

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo’s description remains fundamental.

He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.

The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live, and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. If Lectio Divina is used for group prayer, obviously more structure is needed than for individual use. In group prayer, much will depend on the type of group. Lectio Divina may involve discussing the implications of the Word of God for daily life but it cannot be reduced to this. The movement of the prayer is towards silence. If the group is comfortable with silence, more time could be spent resting in the Word.

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Remember:

2 Pet 1:1-2 – I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. (MSG)

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

2 Pet 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

2 Pet 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.

…through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

What is the knowledge of God?

Knowledge: recognition, full discernment, acknowledgement; to know upon some mark, recognize, to become fully acquainted with.3

How do we get the knowledge of God?

Divine power: force, literally or figuratively; specially, miraculous power; ability, abundance, meaning, strength, mighty wonderful work.4

His divine power has granted to us…

Has granted: to bestow gratuitously; give; a present; specially, a sacrifice.5

My grace is enough for you.

2 Cor 12:9 – but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness.” Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me. (CJB)

2 Pet 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

My grace is enough for you…
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…

What has God’s divine power granted to us?

All things that pertain to life (zoe): life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in himself, and that which he gave to the incarnate Son to have in himself, and which the Son manifested in the world. From this life man has become alienated in consequence of the Fall, and of this life men become partakers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who becomes its Author to all such as trust in him.6

My grace is enough for you…
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…

Godliness: piety; specially, the gospel scheme; holiness; well-reverent; devout; to revere, i.e. adore; worship.7

Having given us his Son.

Rom 8:32 – He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all — is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too? (CJB)

2 Pet 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

What has God called us to?

His own glory: dignity, honor, reputation, to think truthfully.8

Excellence: intrinsic virtue; to lift up, to take up or away; by Hebraism to expiate sin.9

God called you into fellowship with his Son.

1 Cor 1:9 – God is trustworthy: it was he who called you into fellowship with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord. (CJB)

My grace is enough for you…
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…

God calls you and me into fellowship with his Son.

Fellowship: partnership, participation, social intercourse, to communicate.10

Think about these things.

Phil 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

2 Pet 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3Knowledge: NT:1922 <START GREEK>e)pi/gnwsi$ <END GREEK> epignosis (ep-ig’-no-sis); from NT:1921; recognition, i.e. (by implication) full discernment, acknowledgement: KJV – (ac-) knowledge (-ing, -ment).

NT:1921 <START GREEK>e)piginw/skw <END GREEK> epiginosko (ep-ig-in-oce’-ko); from NT:1909 and NT:1097; to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge: KJV – (ac-, have, take) know (-ledge, well), perceive.

NT:1097 <START GREEK>ginw/skw <END GREEK> ginosko (ghin-oce’-ko); a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed): KJV – allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know (-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.

NT:1909 <START GREEK>e)pi/ <END GREEK> epi (ep-ee’); a primary preposition; properly, meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], i.e. over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dat.) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.: KJV – about (the times), above, after, against, among, as long as (touching), at, beside,  have charge of, (be-, [wherefore-]), in (a place, as much as, the time of, -to), (because) of, (up-) on (behalf of), over, (by, for) the space of, through (-out), (un-) to (-ward), with. In compounds it retains essentially the same import, at, upon, etc. (literally or figuratively). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Power: NT:1411 <START GREEK>du/nami$ <END GREEK> dunamis (doo’-nam-is); from NT:1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself): KJV – ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

NT:1410 <START GREEK>du/namai <END GREEK> dunamai (doo’-nam-ahee); of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible: KJV – be able, can (do,  -not), could, may, might, be possible, be of power. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Has granted: NT:1433 <START GREEK>dwre/omai <END GREEK> doreomai (do-reh’-om-ahee); middle voice from NT:1435; to bestow gratuitously: KJV – give.

NT:1435 <START GREEK>dw=ron <END GREEK> doron (do’-ron); a present; specially, a sacrifice: KJV – gift, offering. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Life: zoe (<START GREEK>zwh/<END GREEK>, NT:2222) (Eng., “zoo,” “zoology”) is used in the NT “of life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself, John 5:26, and which the Son manifested in the world, 1 John 1:2. From this life man has become alienated in consequence of the Fall, Eph 4:18, and of this life men become partakers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, John 3:15, who becomes its Author to all such as trust in Him, Acts 3:15, and who is therefore said to be ‘the life’ of the believer, Col 3:4, for the life that He gives He maintains, John 6:35,63. Eternal life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ, John 5:24; 1 John 3:14, and that it will one day extend its domain to the sphere of the body is assured by the Resurrection of Christ, 2 Cor 5:4; 2 Tim 1:10. This life is not merely a principle of power and mobility, however, for it has moral associations which are inseparable from it, as of holiness and righteousness. Death and sin, life and holiness, are frequently contrasted in the Scriptures.

“Zoe is also used of that which is the common possession of all animals and men by nature, Acts 17:25; 1 John 5:16, and of the present sojourn of man upon the earth with reference to its duration, Luke 16:25; 1 Cor 15:19; 1 Tim 4:8; 1 Peter 3:10. ‘This life’ is a term equivalent to ‘the gospel,’ ‘the faith,’ ‘Christianity,’ Acts 5:20.” From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine. pp. 324-325.

Death came through sin, Rom 5:12, which is rebellion against God. Sin thus involved the forfeiting of the “life.” “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:11. Therefore the impartation of “life” to the sinner must be by a death caused by the shedding of that element which is the life of the flesh. “It is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (id. RV). The separation from God caused by the forfeiting of the “life” could be removed only by a sacrifice in which the victim and the offerer became identified. This which was appointed in the typical offerings in Israel received its full accomplishment in the voluntary sacrifice of Christ. The shedding of the blood in the language of Scripture involves the taking or the giving of the “life.” Since Christ had no sins of his own to die for, His death was voluntary and vicarious, John 10:15 with Isa 53:5,10,12; 2 Cor 5:21. In His sacrifice He endured the divine judgment due to man’s sin. By this means the believer becomes identified with Him in His deathless “life,” through His resurrection, and enjoys conscious and eternal fellowship with God. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

7Godliness: NT:2150 <START GREEK>eu)se/beia <END GREEK> eusebeia (yoo-seb’-i-ah); from NT:2152; piety; specially, the gospel scheme: KJV – godliness, holiness.

NT:2152 <START GREEK>eu)sebh/$ <END GREEK> eusebes (yoo-seb-ace’); from NT:2095 and NT:4576; well-reverent, i.e. pious: KJV – devout, godly.

NT:4576 <START GREEK>se/bomai <END GREEK> sebomai (seb’-om-ahee); middle voice of an apparently primary verb; to revere, i.e. adore: KJV – devout, religious, worship. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

8Glory: NT:1391 <START GREEK>do/ca <END GREEK> doxa (dox’-ah); from the base of NT:1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective): KJV – dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship.

NT:1380 <START GREEK>doke/w <END GREEK> dokeo (dok-eh’-o); a prolonged form of a primary verb, doko (dok’-o) (used only in an alternate in certain tenses; compare the base of NT:1166) of the same meaning; to think; by implication, to seem (truthfully or uncertainly): KJV – be accounted, (of own) please (-ure), be of reputation, seem (good), suppose, think, trow. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9Excellence: NT:703 <START GREEK>a)re/th <END GREEK> arete (ar-et’-ay); from the same as NT:730; properly, manliness (valor), i.e. excellence (intrinsic or attributed): KJV – praise, virtue.

NT:730 <START GREEK>a&rrhn <END GREEK> arrhen (ar’-hrane); or arsen (ar’-sane); probably from NT:142; male (as stronger for lifting): KJV – male, man.

NT:142 <START GREEK>ai&rw <END GREEK> airo (ah’-ee-ro); a primary root; to lift up; by implication, to take up or away; figuratively, to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind), specially, to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebraism [compare OT:5375] to expiate sin: KJV – away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

10Fellowship: NT:2842 <START GREEK>koinwni/a <END GREEK> koinonia (koy-nohn-ee’-ah); from NT:2844; partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: KJV – (to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-) distribution, fellowship. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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