Monday, September 10, 2018

September 11, 2018

"Make every effort to add to your faith goodness..." II Peter 1:5a

It's that dreaded day again.

We will find ourselves conflicted once more. A big part of us would like to forget that it happened and yet we discover it changed us forever, so that's impossible.

If you haven't already, you will be deluged with the horrifying videos of the planes hitting the towers, the thick black smoke billowing from the gaping holes in the twin towers, the people jumping and then the buildings crumbling.

I don't know about you, but I feel much the same emotions now that I had seventeen years ago.

The most enduring images for me will always be those brave firemen and rescue workers running in when panicked people were running out.

When you think of that image you will have a good understanding of what Peter is saying in this verse.

"Make every effort" literally means "bend every energy".

"Bend every energy" toward what? Toward adding goodness to your faith!

What does that mean exactly?

The idea behind "adding" means to support something you believe in, like patrons in ancient Greece would contribute to the actors and producers of the Greek dramas. It is literally putting your money "where your mouth is".

So, Peter is saying that if we have faith we must support it by displaying "goodness".

The word used for "goodness" could be translated "virtue" or "excellence" or "moral courage". So, faith is expressed when we have the "moral courage" to do what God says is right no matter what the situation.

Faith is remembering that God has given us "everything we need for life and godliness" when we are confronted with a moral decision to choose the good God desires or do what is easy.

That is why these brave heroes exemplified goodness during that tragic event. Because they had faith in their training and believed in the goodness of their cause, they made every effort to fulfill their mission.

Today, I will be dwelling on that challenge as I view the videos again and again.

September 10, 2018

"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life 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, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;" I Peter 1:1-5

I am blessed with a wonderful mother. She does many things well but one thing she does best is cook! Since she raised seven of us she learned to cook for big groups. After shopping for the food and bringing it home and cooking the meal and setting the table she call us when it was ready, "Come and get it!"

Everything had been done by her for us but she was not about to bring the meal to us, that is the one thing we had to do for ourselves. "Come and get it", she would call and she never had to call me twice!

That is like Peter in these verses. When he says, "Make every effort" he is in effect saying, "Come and get it!"

He takes great care and delight in detailing the marvelous things God has prepared for us through His Son, Christ Jesus. According to Peter, God has given us "very great and precious promises" and He has given us "everything we need for a godly life". After doing so and explaining it, in verse 5 it is as though He says, "Come and get it!"

Just like my mother, He will pay the price and do all the preparation to make a great spiritual feast available and He invites you to the table BUT He won't force feed you. It is up to you to come and get it! That is the effort you have to make!

Even now, as I write these words, I remember the many times I answered the call of "Come and get it"! Gladly I would make the effort to hurry to the table to enjoy the delicious dishes she had lovingly prepared for us! In view of all she had done for us responding to her call and coming to the table wasn't much of an effort - but it WAS an effort! The greater effort was usually pushing away from the table!

In the same way, we should welcome the call to enjoy all that God has provided for us - "everything we need" - and with great joy "make every effort" to "come and get it"!