Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Powerful Sword

5-9So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
(2 Peter 2:5-9)

We sometimes struggle with what it takes to live a godly life, but Peter tells us that everything we need is provided to us IN CHRIST JESUS.  Our part in the relationship is to grow in intimate relationship with him – depth, awareness, and consistency is implied here.  We are called to receive his greatness and power – people who understand their calling will also understand the significance of what they have received IN Christ.  We are given each of his promises and we can count on these promises because of his love for us.  Peter says that the growth comes as we apply the Word to our lives – it has the effect of producing a life of moral excellence.  He outlines four things that the Word will do for us if we will spend some time faithfully exploring the depths of it.

1.   We will come to know God better.  We cannot read for too long without coming across the evidence of his love for those in relationship with him.  We see his compassion on sinners, his repeated interventions to keep them safe, and his own hunger to be known by his children. 
2.   We will come to a place of mature self-control.  The Word of God has a way of dissecting the various areas of our lives where we need to focus attention.  We will periodically find ourselves saying, “Ouch, I really needed that!”  There are habits that need to be broken, attitudes that need adjusting, and worries that need to be finally resolved.  This happens in the quiet moments of reflection on the Word of God.
3.   We will come to a place of learned endurance.  In other words, when the Word of God gets into us, it helps us “run strong”.  We find that we walk with a sense of assurance and don’t give us so easily on what seems impossible, is difficult to face, or is frightfully annoying.
4.   We will come to a place of godliness in our daily walk.  The ultimate outcome of spending time with Jesus in the Word is that we will be deeply affected by it!  It changes how we “do business” in our daily walk. 

It is not rocket science – get into the Word, let it get into you, and things will change.  No one who allows the Word of God a chance to do what it has the power to do will walk away unaffected by it!