No silver platter

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him... And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-8)

Some of us expect everything on a silver platter. Others of us expect to work for everything we get in life. Somewhere in the middle are the rest of us, doing a little to get what we need, while hoping we might get a bit more without having to work too hard to get it. Which of us is doing life correctly? Just turn to scripture to find the answer. We are given EVERYTHING we need for living a godly life - receive all of this by coming to know him. All we are asked to do is to make every effort to respond to God's promises, but how can we do this if we don't ever get to know his promises?

We are given the faith to believe, then God asks us to supplement it by living according to his high moral standards - the standards he provides for us in his Word and by having observed those standards lived out in Christ's life. We learn of him and then from him. As we incorporate more and more of what he teaches us through his Word, we find our faith growing - not because we make it so, but because his Word helps us set down solidly growing roots. The rest we find in be solidly planted allows us to endure every challenge life throws our way. In time, we begin to observe fruit - fruit we did not produce but which came as a result of responding to God each and every time he speaks to us.

Most of us desire to live productive and useful lives, so we 'do' or 'try' certain things that we equate with productivity. God's view of productivity is responsiveness to him! We respond to his request to change certain attitudes and preconceived ideas of how we should make choices in life, and we soon find our 'moral compass' begins to change direction toward moral excellence. In time, we add a bit more knowledge as we spend time with him, leading to just a bit more self-control when we are faced with familiar choices that weren't the best for us and make new ones. Little by little, we see our faith growing and our 'spiritual endurance' increasing - what gave us so much difficulty in the past seems like a piece of cake now. 

There is no magic in achieving moral excellence, but there is always God's grace and his tender prodding that drives us on. Just sayin!


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