Sunday, March 15, 2015

Make An Effort

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.  Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Phew!  That’s a long list!

Let’s break down the progression of character development.

Start with moral excellence.  What does God require of believers?  My confirmation students say “Be a good person.”  That’s a good start, but it’s not the goal.

Add knowledge.  Know God through His Word.  Experience His presence and work in your life.  Hear His Voice.  You’ll come to understand His desire for your life and be able to control yourself, endure hardship, and wait with greater patience.  You’ll become more like Christ who exhibited a unique love for His followers and every individual, regardless of their beliefs, social standing, or lifestyle.  Unconditional love is the goal.

This growth from simple morality to godly love requires work.  Peter frames the progression by saying “respond to God’s promises by making every effort to supplement your faith with generous amounts of ….. so you’ll be more productive and useful to Him.”

Make every effort.  I know.  We are saved by grace and not by our own works.  It’s true!  Praise God!  But with some effort we can become more useful for God’s Kingdom, and more fulfilled in our relationship with Him.

Is there more to following Jesus than being a good person?

Like a productive garden, a rich relationship should be tended regularly.  To be reminded to plant His Word in your heart, follow me on Twitter @Cathy_Chung or subscribe at Seeds of Scripture.

#seedsofscripture #Lent #goodperson #savedbygrace #christiancharacter

No comments:

Post a Comment