2 Peter 1:5-11
I was able to afford to go to college because of scholarships and student loans and what I did not receive from those sources, I had to work to provide the rest. I worked through high school as a waitress at a Greek restaurant and I worked in college as a computer lab attendant, and a front desk receptionist. I also held the odds and ends of summer work such as secretary, grocery store cashier, and (my favorite) I planted flowers for a landscaping company that specialized in flower beds. Sometimes this meant that I didn't have time to study or practice as much as I needed to or wanted to. But I worked hard to make sure that I wasn't wasting both my time and money while I was in college and so that I would maximize an opportunity for higher education that I may never have again. Because I worked so hard to get there, I never forgot and was always thankful to be able to go to school. We should never forget the sacrifice Christ made for us so we could be saved; please look up 2 Peter 1:5-11.
Verse 8 tells us that if we possess the qualities listed in verses 5-7, we will keep ourselves from becoming ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of Christ Jesus. Verse 9 tells us that whoever does not possess these qualities is "nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins." These are very strong words and words that we seriously need to listen to carefully. Just like I remembered the sacrifices I made to go to school and therefore poured a lot of effort into what I did, we are to remember the sacrifice Christ made for us. This is not a condemning and guilt ridden memory of His sacrifice, this is a remembering that makes us grateful and we joyfully live in a way that honors God. Remembering that Christ sacrificed so that we are free from sin keeps us from going back to our sin.
Verses 10-11 gives us the feeling of great importance that we are not to waste our time, but we are to make haste and do the things listed in verses 5-7 so that we will not stumble. Reading through this, I feel a sense of urgency that these are the things that need to happen so that we will continue to live out our salvation. It reminds me of music school in the fact that I had to audition to get in, but that did not make me free and clear. If I slacked off and never practiced or did my homework, I could get kicked out of school. It is as if Peter is saying, "Don't do anything that is going to cause you to stumble - keep working! Keep going! There is a reward at the end!" Verse 11 reminds us of the great hope that we have at the end of this life - a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of Christ Jesus. That keeps me going! The thought of seeing my Savior face to face gives me the endurance to run this race.
Are you continuing to work on those qualities in increasing measure?