A Lesson in Addition
And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith . . . (2 Peter 1:5)
While it is good to have strong faith, faith is not enough. You must add to your faith. What does God require us to add to our faith? The Christian life begins with faith and is carried on with faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) According to 2 Peter 1:5-7, we are given a progression of things we must add to faith.
- Add virtue to faith. Virtue is simply moral excellence.
- Add knowledge to virtue. We must know Godís will in order to do it.
- Add self-control to knowledge. Knowing is not enough. We must maintain self-control and use our knowledge in the appropriate circumstances.
- Add perseverance to self-control. We must have patience to endure during our worst trials.
- Add godliness to perseverance. Godliness comes only from God Himself. We become godly when we know God in an intimate way.
- Add brotherly kindness to godliness. We are to be kind toward all others and not only to family members.
- Add love to brotherly kindness. We are to love one another as Jesus has loved us.
This list shows what we must add to our faith in order to grow spiritually.
In summary, let us . . .
Add to our faith virtue;
and to virtue knowledge;
and to knowledge self-control;
and to self-control perseverance;
and to perseverance godliness;
and to godliness brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness; love
Peter says if we follow this progression, these things will (1) keep us from being barren, useless, ineffective and idle; (2) keep us from being unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8)
Give diligence to make your calling and election sure. (2 Peter 1:10)
Election is the gracious and free act of God by which He calls individuals to become part of His kingdom, and they become beneficiaries of His love and blessings. According to the Bible, election is described in three distinct ways.
Election refers to God's choosing of Israel as His covenant people. He chose people such as Abraham, Moses, David, and others for special services and privileges. You are God's elect. You have been chosen for a great work. Get busy!
Election refers to the act of placing specific individuals in some office or giving them the task to perform some special service. If you are a leader of any kind in any church, community or organization, be serious about your election.
Election refers to the selection of individuals to be children of God and heirs of eternal life. We have been given a great opportunity to be in God's family. Let's not take it for granted. Let's act like we are children of the King because we are!
God has chosen us to bear witness to Christ. We have been elected to be holy in conduct, like Christ. (Ephesians 1:4) The ultimate goal of our election is that we might bring praise and glory to God. (Ephesians 1:6)
Make your election sure.
In Case of Fire
But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10)
God promised Noah that He would not destroy the earth again by water. He put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of that covenant. (Genesis 9:15) The next time the earth will be destroyed by fire.
We have escape routes in our homes, schools, churches, and businesses just in case there is a fire. We have fire drills in these places just in case there is a fire. We have fire insurance just in case there is a fire.
What kind of soul insurance do you have "just in case there is a fire"?
God sent His Son Jesus to die in our place as a ransom for us so that when the fire comes, none of us will perish. Accept Jesus Christ right now if you have not already done so. Obey and follow the commands of Jesus in case there is a fire so you can spend eternity with Him.
Read your soul insurance policy so you will be protected in case of fire.
Are You Looking Forward to Something?
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:13-14)
We all have something to look forward to...getting a new job, relocating, going on vacation, getting a new house, getting married, having a baby, celebrating an upcoming birthday, etc. We often look forward to major events with great anticipation and expectation. We long for the day to come when these events finally take place. But what do we do while we wait for that day to come? We prepare in advance for these major events.
The above scripture describes something we should all look forward to: a new heaven and a new earth. We should look forward to a new heaven and a new earth because that's our home of righteousness. In the meantime, we have to continue living here on this earth. But what do we do while we wait? We prepare in advance while we wait for a new heaven and a new earth.
We should love God with all our heart and follow all His commandments. We should make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God.
Stuck in Sameness
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
Are you bored? Are you boring? If you do the same things the same way on a regular basis, then you must be bored. If you do the same things the same way on a regular basis, then you must be boring even to yourself. You are both bored and boring because there is no change in you physically or spiritually. In order to unleash your potential and experience more excitement and joy, you must grow in every area of our life.
Perhaps you attended your tenth or twentieth year class reunion and you were so disappointed because the people were stuck in sameness. They wore the same hairstyles, the same old fashioned neckties and the same big framed eyeglasses that they wore while in high school. You could deal with those things, but when it came to the same old talk and the same old mannerism, you were tempted to scream: "You are stuck in sameness!"
Some Christians are stuck in sameness. They go to church and sit in the same seat every Sunday. On cue, they say, "Hallelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!" They do the same things, say the same things, and there is no evidence of growth. They don't do anything differently because they are stuck in sameness. There is no evidence of them bearing fruit or getting excited about the praise, prayers, or the worship. There is no evidence that they have spent time with Jesus since they sat in that same seat the previous Sunday. God wants His people to grow into a deeper relationship with Him that becomes evident through outward expressions.
Purpose in your heart that you are going to start doing things differently. Start small and move to bigger changes. Change your hairstyle. Wear smaller frame eyeglasses or better still, get contact lenses. For women: change your accessories. If you typically wear scarves, change to wearing brooches and vice versa. For men: if you are accustomed to wearing a certain necktie, get unstuck by wearing something different; perhaps a pink one!
So much for the physical attraction. What can you do to get unstuck spiritually? If you have been reading just one scripture per day, graduate to reading a whole chapter of the Bible. If you have been praying only in the morning, try praying morning, noon, and night. If you do not meditate, begin to do so. If you do meditate only a short period, increase the time. Let God know you are serious about the things of God. Make some changes in your life. And that means leaving your comfort zone. Oh, yes... if you change your seat in church, not only will you see things from a different perspective, but you might also get to meet and share a hymnal with someone new.
Being stuck in sameness might be comfortable, but if you continue to do the same things you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. Being stuck in sameness is much like sitting in a rocking chair. You are moving, but you aren't going anyplace.
If you are stuck in sameness, begin to make minor changes now for major results in the not too distant future. Get unstuck out of your sameness!