Monday, September 24, 2018

September 25, 2018

Peter is making the case for spiritual maturity. I think it is a pretty strong case when he starts out by stating that God has given you EVERYTHING you need for godly living.

God placed those graces and virtues in you when you received Christ. Now it is up to you to develop - or work out what God has put in.

"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" II Peter 1:5-6 

The point of having faith is to live it out in every day life. Otherwise, what good is it?

We have already considered the virtues of goodness and knowledge. Next is the rare virtue of self-control. 

Do you have it?

If people don't master self-control they often choose one of two other approaches to life:

Some choose self-dedication - living only by selfish motives to gratify desires and lusts. That is fine for infants and toddlers, but not so good for terrible two year-olds or adults.

This self-dedicated life-style often leads to another destructive way of dealing with life I call the self-medicated life.

Self-destructive behavior results in pain and brokenness. Some of the pain is self-inflicted and some results from the destructive behavior of others. When you have emotional, spiritual or mental pain, those hurts must be dealt with. How do you choose to soothe your pain? A bad choice can actually intensify the pain.

Some choose to self-medicate with "comfort food" and the more comfort they need the more food they eat.

Some self-medicate with alcohol and it the process become over-dependent on it or use too much.

Some self-medicate by spending money and buying things.Overspending and indebtedness creates more pain.

Pain is very real and unavoidable in life. Jesus experienced pain when He walked the earth. He understands pain! That is why He invited you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Have you taken a serious look at what is causing your pain?

How do you deal with your pain?

Is your "medication" of choice relieving your pain or deepening it?

September 24, 2018

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control" II Peter 1:5-6

I mentioned that I observe three primary ways of approaching life:

Those who are self-dedicated
Those who self-medicate
Those who are self-controlled

Today I want to work with the first approach - self-dedication.

What do I mean by self-dedication?

A self-dedicated person is one who is primarily dedicated to satisfying himself, his wants, his needs, his appetites, his whims and his pleasures. His credo is:

If it feels good I’ll do it!

If I want I will get it!

Life is short and I want to max it out.

Hugh Hefner has been one of the leading proponents and adherents of this hedonistic life-style. These people seem to believe that happiness comes from the outside in

In the New Testament Jesus told a story of a very wealthy man who was doing so well that he ordered bigger barns to be built to hold his bountiful bumper-crop! With so much wealth he now had no worries and decided he would live a self-indulgent life. But he didn't make it through the night and his life ended.

Jesus called that man a fool.

You and me and Hugh Hefner and this Rich Fool all have one thing in common. We all have a God-shaped void in the core of our beings. Until that void is filled we can never be contented and only God can fill that void. Trying to find satisfaction in anything else will only bring frustration and disillusionment.

Maybe that is why Jesus said, "But seek first my kingdom and my righteousness and all these others will be added to you as well."

Where are you looking for happiness and satisfaction?

Can you recognize any self-indulgence in your life?