Thursday, April 16, 2009
Add Faith, Goodness, Knowledge, Self-Control, Patience, Service To God, Kindness, and Love
Peter wrote his first letter to the church about attacks from outside the church. Peter's second letter warns of attacks within the church.
2 Peter 1:1-2 (NCV)
Correcting False Teachings
1 From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.
To you who have received a faith as valuable as ours, because our God and Savior Jesus Christ does what is right.
2 Grace and peace be given to you more and more, because you truly know God and Jesus our Lord.
I've never thought of my faith as valuable, important yes, but valuable no. I do now though. I guess that is why they say, "He's rich in faith."
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NCV)
God Has Given Us Blessings
3 Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. 4 Through these he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God's nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.
We have been given everything we need to live and serve God because of the power Jesus has, the power of God.
I'm trying to find the golden lining hear to encourage you and me. I guess just the thought that Jesus would call us and give us the precious promises so we could share in God's nature, which should be enough. We share God's character. Have you ever thought of yourself that way? I cannot say I have. However, have you ever heard the term, "a chip off the old block"? Well, we are God's children right? So we would naturally have some of His character wouldn't we? Just trying to stir you to see how important you are to God.
The gifts we have received from God, "very great and precious promises," which we read of in our Bibles; will help us to not be ruined by the worlds evil desires. The more I read God's Word, the more I find promises that strengthen my faith and strengthen my ability to say "NO" to the worlds evil desires.
Example: Yesterday at work a fellow coworker who seems to constantly have his mind in the gutter came up to me and started referring to part of our work with sexual connotations. I could have joined in and started talking the same way with him, I use to do that. I do not do that anymore, I have learned that if I say nothing is better than if I say anything to him. I know to bite my tongue because it is not what God wants coming out of my mouth. I now have the strength to say "NO" to the worldly desires of this coworker to have me join in to his evil ways. I know I could get him into big trouble for talking that way, but I just lay the big prayers on him that God would get his soul some day. I'm not sure he will, but I pray for him.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (NCV)
5 Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; 6 and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; 7 and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. 8 If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.
I like this; it is like a chain reaction. I see in my own life how I have gained knowledge of God and Jesus and the Word and because of that knowledge, I have gained self-control. I also have learned patience and of course now I am adding service to God (I always have served God, but even more so these days) with kindness and love. Then I read verse 8, all these things will help us to be useful and productive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is all we want, right? To be useful and productive for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is what I want most in my life. I want to be used by God to do His will.
Now verse 9, this explains the person at work, "He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins." This person goes to church somewhere...or use to. He actually was an elder I thought. So I guess he might be a fallen soldier. It is sad when I think of it. I pray I never fall away from my faith and service to God and all the more pray for him.
2 Peter 1:10-15 (NCV)
10 My brothers and sisters, try hard to be certain that you really are called and chosen by God. If you do all these things, you will never fall. 11 And you will be given a very great welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 You know these things, and you are very strong in the truth, but I will always help you remember them. 13 I think it is right for me to help you remember as long as I am in this body. 14 I know I must soon leave this body, as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me. 15 I will try my best so that you may be able to remember these things even after I am gone.
I have questioned my calling by God, haven't all of us? It isn't so much a question by us, but a question put into our heads by the enemy. "You are not one of God's children. Look at all your sins! Do you think one of God's children would do such things?" Ever heard that voice? It's a lie! If all those things listed in verses 6 & 7 are in your life you are a child of God. Well, you have to believe in Jesus too as your Savior, but you know what I mean. And you may be a new Christian and just starting out in the faith, goodness, or knowledge department. Try hard to add to that faith goodness, to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self-control and so on. I didn't start out with all of those in that list and I doubt there is any other Christian that has. Grow in those things. Peter says if we have all those things we will never fall and we ill be "given a very great welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
At our church, we have what we call "Koinonia Groups." Koinonia is the Greek word I believe for fellowship. Anyway, it is there that a person is encouraged and reminded of the promises that God makes to us. Also, it is a place as I said of fellowship, prayer, and intercession for one another. It is a place of growth and love between the brothers and sisters in Christ. I would encourage you, if you are not in a small group or maybe do not have any small groups in your church, join one or start one. It is like the refueling base in the middle of your week.
2 Peter 1:16-18 (NCV)
We Saw Christ's Glory
16 When we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling just clever stories that someone invented. But we saw the greatness of Jesus with our own eyes. 17 Jesus heard the voice of God, the Greatest Glory, when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice said, "This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him." 18 We heard that voice from heaven while we were with Jesus on the holy mountain.
The Disciples got a first hand account of Jesus with their own eyes and ears. They were walking right along side Jesus as he left footprints in the sand on this earth. That just amazes me. How lucky they were to walk with, touch, and even hear Jesus' voice. They also heard God's voice from heaven say, "This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him." These men wrote the New Testament by what they saw ands heard with Jesus. The Bible is not fictional, it is a true account of what these men saw and heard. This is another way the enemy will attack your belief, "None of that stuff is true. It is all just a bunch of stories and tales by some person with multiple personalities. I'm John. No, I'm Peter. No, I'm James. No, I'm Mathew... Don't believe everything you read." Ever hear that voice? Another lie. (I've never heard the multiple personality's one, but thought it up today. It may be someone ahs heard that one. Kind of funny though since we know the truth.)
2 Peter 1:19-21 (NCV)
19 This makes us more sure about the message the prophets gave. It is good for you to follow closely what they said as you would follow a light shining in a dark place, until the day begins and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Most of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in the Scriptures ever comes from the prophet's own interpretation. 21 No prophecy ever came from what a person wanted to say, but people led by the Holy Spirit spoke words from God.
The prophets in the Bible got their words from the Holy Spirit. It kind of is the same today. I never thought my blogs would touch people in their lives. However, the Holy Spirit speaks to me and I write. For instance, today I started out with nothing to say. Writer's block you could say. So I prayed to God to give me the words to encourage and strengthen His people. Once I did that, the words flowed. I believe it was the same with the prophets. They were moved by the Holy Spirit to write what they wrote.
I do not want to boast about anything I write. What I do boast in is what God is doing in my life and through my life. I can do nothing without my Lord. All I do is because of Him. Thank You Lord.
Prayer: Father God, wherever we are in our walk with You Lord, I pray we would continue to try hard to grow in the next step of our faith. Help us not to come complacent in our walk with You. Do not let us grow stagnant. Help us to be the flowing steam of living water that we should be, washing over everyone we meet. We pray for all of the gifts mentioned today that each an every one of them would be a part of our lives. Give us faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, service to You, kindness for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and love. These things I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
In God's Love,