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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Adding, Growing, Thriving!


2 Peter 1:5-11 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)

These verses have really been changing my life lately, which is why I included a longer passage today. My dad has been preaching through Second Peter 1 in his Sunday morning messages, and it has been SO good!! 

What I used to think when I read these verses ran something along these lines... "Add to my faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge...how will I ever know where I fall on this list?? Like yes, I have my faith in Christ, and I am working on virtue and knowledge, etc., but no one is ever fully virtuous, or knowledgeable, or Godly, or anything! How do I know when I've grown enough in one area to move on to the next?" 

I realize it probably sounds dumb, but that's how I understood it (which was wrong ;). Thus, I never ended up really applying these verses to my life, because I could never truly understand them! Here are some of the points my dad made as he was explaining.

1. Giving all diligence...
"Diligence" speaks of fervency and commitment. It is the purpose of your life to work on this.

2. Add to your faith...(etc.)
Here's the part where things finally made sense to me. He described this process like a tree. When you plant a tree, the seed doesn't think, "Ok, I need some roots. I'm going to create a massive, spreading root system. Alright, that's done, now I need a trunk, I'll shoot a trunk straight up, 80 feet high. Check. Now we'll need some leaves, lemme just pop those out of my big trunk...oh, whoops, forgot the branches, I'll put those out now, along with some twigs." Have you ever seen a tree grow this way?! ;P If you do, put a camera on it, because that's an extremely unusual tree. ;) How trees grow is all at once! They grow the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, roots, and bark, all at the same time. And this is how we are supposed to be growing in faith, virtue, and the rest--all at once! Day by day, striving after holiness and growth in every one of the things on this list.

3. For if these things be in you...
If you are diligently growing in all of these areas...

4. They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who wants to live a spiritual life that is "barren" and "unfruitful"? Any takers? No? Yeah, I didn't think so. We all want to be vibrant and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

5. But he that lacketh these things is blind...
If someone can't see far off, we call them "nearsighted". Someone who is lacking growth in these areas is spiritually blurry, nearsighted, even blind! How sad of a Christian life is this? :(

6. If ye do these things, ye shall never fall...
What if you went into a battle, or even a game, with the absolute, 100% certainty that you would win? As in, there was zero chance of you losing? Would you be nervous or scared going into it? Of course not! If something is dead sure, you don't even have to worry about it! In this passage, God just gave us a certain recipe for victory in the Christian walk. No fail. Impossible to lose. Ye shall never fall! So a Christian that is diligently seeking after and growing in all these things, will not be barren, unfruitful, or blind! He will be thriving, fruitful, visionary, and growing in the knowledge of the Saviour. 

7. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The phrase "ministered unto you" is translated similarly to a word used in the days of the Roman Empire. When a General successfully conquered a new land, or won a great battle, etc., a wealthy person in the General's home city would sponsor a great feast or a series of games. This person would provide everything needed for a huge celebration on the General's return. This is what "so an entrance" is talking about. What this is saying is that Jesus Christ will make the entry of a truly faithful servant into His kingdom to be glorious. It's SO an entrance. There is no word to describe the incredible beauty of this homecoming celebration, it's just so an entrance. And just as people praised the senator who would sponsor the games more than the general who was the guest of honor, thus the glory will go to our Lord. The One who ministered such a glorious entering in for one of His faithful and steadfast servants. This is how I want my entry into Heaven to be!! Don't you?
Mykaela

2 comments:

  1. Okay, first of all, I love these colors, and absolutely love the cover up top!! And okay, that didn't sound dumb at all lol It's easy to read it that way! Like, once you get one things down pat, THEN you can move onto the next thing. My favorite part of the whole post is you pointing out that we can NEVER lose. Praise the Lord! That's such an amazing thought for my life right now! I'm a child of God, and as long as I'm seeking Him, I can claim victory!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Elizabeth!! I'm so glad to get positive feedback! If there is ever anything you notice that is weird/un-user-friendly about the blog, please do let me know...I'm still trying to figure out the whole technical side of blogging. ;)

      Secondly, thanks for seeing my side of reading it that way. ;P Haha! I am so glad I am finally starting to understand it better, because it is SUCH a great passage! And you are so right--what a comfort it is to know that when we strive in God's strength to walk in His steps, we can't fall!! Praise God for His love and longsuffering to us. :)

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