Pastor Watson Jones remembers learning to ride a bike. His father was walking alongside when little Watson saw some girls sitting on a porch. “Daddy, I got this!” he said. He didn’t. He realized too late he hadn’t learned to balance without his father’s steadying grip. He wasn’t as grown up as he thought.
Our heavenly Father longs for us to grow up and “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). But spiritual maturity is different from natural maturity. Parents raise their children to become independent, to no longer need them. Our divine Father raises us to daily depend on Him more.
Peter begins his letter by promising “grace and peace . . . through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,” and he ends by urging us to “grow in” that same “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:2; 3:18). Mature Christians never outgrow their need for Jesus.
Watson warns, “Some of us are busy slapping Jesus’s hands off the handlebars of our life.” As if we didn’t need His strong hands to hold us, to pick us up, and to hug us when we wobble and flop. We can’t grow beyond our dependence on Christ. We only grow by sinking our roots deeper in the grace and knowledge of Him.
Where do you feel your dependence on Jesus? How is that a sign of maturity?
Peter wrote both of his letters (see 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 3:1) to Christians in “the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (roughly modern Turkey). In his second letter, he warns the believers to be on guard against false teachers (3:17). To ensure they’re not easily persuaded, they must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (v. 18). To know Jesus intimately is the clarion call of true discipleship and the end goal of every believer (John 17:3; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 2:2). Peter says we’ve received “everything we need for living a godly life . . . by coming to know him” (2 Peter 1:3