15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
Father, I praise You for the ways in which You make Yourself known. I will not boast in my wisdom, because You have chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I will not boast in strength, because You have chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong. You have chosen lowly women, men of ill repute, powerless people from nowhere, ordinary folks without human credentials, anonymous people – people like me – to show the world that You are indeed a kind, just and righteous God.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
I am Your witness, Lord, that You are God, and apart from You there is no Savior. Help me to declare the Truth with boldness. May the words of my mouth and the testimony of my life make it clear to all that I have been with You.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Lord, You have given me all that I have. You offer me so many invisible but real gifts—gifts with eternal value. The gift of Your Spirit in my life empowers e far beyond my own capacities. The gift of Your forgiveness enables me to forgive. The gifts of Your mercy and grace enable me to extent the same kindness to others. You have made me a storehouse of Your blessings, Lord. Please work through me too impart those blessings to others.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
How can I be humble without Your Grace? I cannot. For humility without grace is just pride in disguise. I Your grace, O Lord, grant me the gift of humility. And in return accept all my anxieties into You caring hands.
As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message.
You, Lord, do not look at things that we look at, nor are You impressed with the things that impress the world. We look at the outward appearance, but You look at the heart. Forgive me when I am more concerned with the face I show to the world than with the heart I present to You. Tear down my facade, Father, so that I can share my real self with You.
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Almighty God, send the wind of Your Spirit to blow across the embers of my heart. Stir up the fire of faith and re-ignite my passion for holiness. Kindle within me a desire to use the spiritual gifts You have given me for the good of Your kingdom. May Your Spirit shine forth in power, may that power be governed by self-discipline, and may all that I do be done in the love of God.
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from[a] faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
O Lord, by Your Word You have revealed the mystery hidden for ages—that Jesus came to live and die and live again, not only in heaven but also in our hearts. By Your Word You are calling us to bear witness to that fact so that all peoples in all nations might believe in Him and obey Him. Use our lives Lord. Fulfill in us Your call—to live the gospel humbly in our lives and to speak it boldly with our mouths, until every heart has heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.