Make Every Effort

God is working in each of our lives with increasing measure.  Growth, maturity, whether in the natural or spiritual, is a process.

2 Peter 1:3-11

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, MAKE EVERY EFFORT (our will to choose) TO ADD to your faith (begins with faith – the simplicity of believing, trusting, committing, depending, relying uon Jesus).

to your faith, goodness – act upon our moral conscience, to act upon what you know to be good, right from wrong, appropriate from inappropriate.

to goodness, knowledge – from our basic moral consciousness, we increase our knowledge of God’s ways with His Word, the Bible.  His standard is not like our human standard.  There is a difference between God’s ways and humanity’s ways.  There is a difference between following God and humanism.  It is more than just doing good. 

to knowledge, self-control – the more we know and understand of God’s way, the more we are challenged by our flesh, by our old sinful nature and to submit to the Spirit and not to the flesh.  Self-control is the exercise of walking in the Spirit versus living by the flesh.  It is learning to say ‘no’ to the flesh and ‘yes’ to the Spirit of God.

to self-control, perseverancethere comes a point that we say to ourselves, “I can’t go on, I don’t want to try,” this is where God’s grace increases in us to endure and not give up, and press in even more.

to perseverance, godliness (Christlikeness, pure, holy) – as we are stretched, we come to a develop within us a level of maturity that is Christ-like… a perseverance that we can relate in a degree of what Christ endured on the cross.  “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”  Phil 3:10

to godliness, brotherly kindness – we come to the revelation and understanding of something more profound… that life has to do more than just about ourselves but with others.  We progress, if you will, from a focus on ourselves to the concern for others.

to brotherly kindness, love (agape)…as we begin to care about others, we discover the gift of love…the concern for the well-being and the highest for others.  Faith ends at love, the highest quality of moral character.

 For IF you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge (ability to know intimately not head knowledge) of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Recognize that the course of spiritual transformation begins with faith and ends with love.

The analogy with my workout routine. 

Using the analogy of my workout, the Holy Spirit is our trainer, our helper, our counselor, or coach who instructs us on what to do, encourages us, nurtures us to excel and to do our best.  In the end, we still have to make a “choice.”   In the end, we still have to make an effort to act upon what we know.

In my exercise program, it is easy to resist or say “I can’t take it or I can’t go on”…  Your mind says no but the reality is that you can.  Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we can push our bodies to perform… similarly sometimes, we don’t realize how much we can push our faith level… exercise our spiritual muscles… exercise our spiritual discipline (like reading through the Bible, waking up to spend time with the Lord, going to Bible study, prayer meeting, and even finishing your discipleship final). 

You can with God.  Because in his divine power, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

Are we making the effort?   We need to make every effort, to do our part… are you ADDING TO YOUR FAITH… goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love?

God wants to continue to work in each of us to bring us to a place of maturity and knowledge of God. We are growing in increasing measure.

In order for growth, change, and transformation, we must make every effort.

Pastor Daniel