“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT).

Some think being a Christian is too hard, with all its rules and restrictions, so they treat it like a New Year’s resolution. Others think they won’t have any fun and if you can’t have fun, what’s the point? Still others think all God is interested in is telling them how to live their lives. These are all misconceptions that cloud a fundamental aspect of God’s character—he loves us and wants us to succeed.

It’s easy to miss an important point in this verse, one I missed too—“everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God” (same verse, The Message, emphasis mine). God doesn’t just give us everything by waving a magic wand. Faith, trust and strength (part of the “everything”) come through knowing God, which is a lifelong process. The knowing—the relationship—is what matters most. The rest is a bonus.