Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shine Like Stars

2 Peter 1:5-6

Yesterday, I shared that I was waiting to see how my yogurt turned out so I thought I would share the results with you.  It tastes much better than store bought yogurt and I know I will make it again!  I also shared how the live and active yogurt cultures take over the milk and change its flavor and consistency.  We know that the Word of God is alive and active and it will change us over time and it will help us to put into practice godly living.  Last week I studied how God has given us everything we need to live a life that pleases Him and yesterday I looked at what it meant to add goodness to our faith.  I looked at how that includes not just what we do, but also what we think about.  If we lack for any good thoughts, we know that God is good and we can think on Him.  Please turn to 2 Peter 1:5-6.

Peter writes that we are also to add knowledge.  The Greek word used for knowledge is gnōsis which is referring to a general knowledge about Christianity and the law and moral wisdom.  It is also referring to an advanced knowledge of our faith.  We are to continue growing in our knowledge about God and how that applies to the way we should live.  Paul wrote about the importance of gaining knowledge of Christ in Philippians 3:7-9; please look it up.  He used such strong language when he said that everything else is a loss compared to gaining knowledge of Christ.  We gain such precious knowledge by reading the Bible and spending time praying that God would help you gain understanding.  We also gain knowledge by going to church and Bible studies that have us dig into the Word and challenge our thinking.

We are also told to add to our knowledge self control.  It is as if Peter was saying that not only do we need to gain knowledge of our faith and Christ, but it takes self-control to put it into practice.  I would liken it to a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes.  In order to truly fight the disease, they must gain knowledge about the lifestyle that they need to follow.  They learn about the foods that they should avoid and the foods that they should eat and about the importance of living an active lifestyle.  None of that knowledge will do them any good until they put it into practice.  It isn't until they have the self-control it takes to eat the diet they need to follow that they will see changes in their blood-sugar level.  Our spiritual walk requires the same self-control.  We need to have self-control to live out what we are learning about God and how He wants us to live.  The more we exercise self-control, the more those habits will become a part of who we are.

Let us add to our faith goodness and to goodness, knowledge and to knowledge, self-control.  Putting these into practice will change the way we think, feel, and behave and we will truly shine like stars.  Please look up Philippians 2:12-15.  Once again, we are reminded that God works in us and gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.  Let your behavior shine so that people can see the difference that God has made in your life.  He has given you everything you need to do this!

Are you adding knowledge and self-control to your faith?

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