"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness: and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleaned from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers (or sisters!), be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
I sat down this evening to read my bible and spend time with my Father. I opened to the beginning of 2 Peter and got as far as this scripture and was stopped (for many reasons).
I recognize that 2 Peter is a book of warnings and exhortations in faith. But, man, does he start with a doesy!
As I read this scripture, so much came to mind. Infact, CJ and I discussed at length, if the order of this scripture was a ladder or a circle. The idea of the ladder is that you have to accomplish each thing one step at a time, finishing one, in order to get to the next. For example you start with faith and add goodness. From goodness you seek and find knowledge in the Lord, through classes, church, and of course studying the bible. As you begin to understand the "walk" better, you realize that there is much flesh that needs to be carved off. So, you begin to dig deeper into self control. Can you truly walk through perseverance without self control???? And it goes on.
The idea of the circle is that you are constantly learning more and more of all of these things. Who truly has accomplished complete self control. Or godliness? Or for that matter faith? Life and the Lord bring new challenges that help you to re evaluate each of these virtues.
In the end, CJ and I agreed that it was both a ladder and circle effect. It is hard to persevere, if you haven't learned self control. However, no one, except for Jesus was perfect. We have not arrived in any of these areas, perfectly.
I was strongly stirred that there were certain areas that God is working on me in. Self control being a biggy for me. But what brought holy fear into my heart, was reading that I would be "ineffective and unproductive in my knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ugh.... the very last thing I ever want to be on this earth, is ineffective and unproductive for the Kingdom of Heaven.
And to be "nearsighted or blind" and forget the past sins, means that I have more of an opportunity to fall into my old sinful life again.
What a warning. What an incentive to say "no" to those temptations that are causing my flesh to stumble. And what an understanding of why I want to accomplish self control in a more definitive way in my life.
Posted in: on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at at 10:29 PM