Friday, July 1, 2011

What Does God Expect From Me? Part 2

2 Peter 1:1-1

This morning, I am writing this blog with perfectly clear sunny skies.  It is distracting to me because unlike my mother in Arizona who sees clear skies every day, there is always a cloud of some sort here in Buffalo.  I am also distracted because my backyard is very scenic with woods and a stream and I keep finding myself taking a peek at God's creation.  I also keep looking to see if the deer I saw a few days ago running down the hill to the stream will return at a time when I can watch them again.  Seeing the hand of God in nature never ceases to amaze me - I definitely experience God in being outdoors.  Just in Western New York alone, there is so much variety and beauty that I can't help but worship Him!  What an amazing Creator we have who loves us and draws us to Him.

In fact, this week I looked at what 2 Peter 1:1-11 tells us about God and how we should respond.  Please refresh your mind by re-reading 2 Peter 1:1-11.  Yesterday, I looked primarily at the first few verses and saw that we are reminded of God's great and precious promises and also how he gave us the ability to live out a godly life.  Verse 4 even tells us that we can "participate in the the divine nature..."  Verse 5 starts out with "in view of all this..." (in NLT), and this is where we begin to take a look at what that means for us.  Peter is basically saying that when we think of all the promises of God and His nature we should do these things.  Peter says that we are to "make every effort to add to your faith..."  I want to stop right there, because the English translation almost misses the urgency of the voice in this verse.  The Greek word for "make every effort" is spoudē which means to do something with haste or diligence or to be striving after something.  To me, this conveys a message that this is very important and should not be ignored and we should begin doing this immediately.

Peter then begins to list what we should be adding to our faith:  goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.  Next week, I am going to look at these qualities more closely; however, I just don't want to miss the fact that Peter's voice in these verses is of urgency.  In view of all that God is and all that He has done for us and remembering that He has equipped us to live out our calling - we need to be working on adding these qualities to our faith with diligence.  God did not give us the tools to live out our faith just so we can continue living a sinful life style and plateau in our faith.  God gave us the tools so we can continue to grow in Him.  Please look at verse 8.

Peter tells us that when we work on these qualities in our life, they will keep us from becoming "ineffective and unproductive" in our knowledge of Jesus.  This is where looking at the character of God throughout the Bible and looking at the big picture is important and helps us to develop our faith, but it doesn't end there.  When we develop our faith and believe in His salvation, we need to live it out.  When we live it out in our lives, our faith will continue to grow because our knowledge will grow.  The cycle will continue on as we grow closer with God.  I don't know about you, but I do not want to be ineffective and unproductive in my knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I don't want it to be just in my head, I want it to be who I am.

I am not done with these verses!  This week went by so fast for me and I honestly had no idea I was going to be parked on these verses for a while.  Please bear with me, because God is growing me through this!

Do you want an effective and productive faith?

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