January 12th 2017 [Day 12]
IT ALL ADDS UP.
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, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 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. [2 Peter 1:3-4]
Then please note [2 Peter 1:5-9] But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who fails to go after these additions to faith is blind indeed, or at least very shortsighted and has forgotten that God delivered him from the old life of sin so that now he can live a strong, good life for the Lord.
So again we notice that God’s promises come with certain conditions! We so easily quote 2 Peter 1:3-4 but forget to tag on verse 5-9 which clearly teaches us that:
- We are to make “EVERY EFFORT TO RESPOND TO HIS PROMISES!” See it isn’t just a case of name it and claim it. How do we respond then? ‘Supplement your faith!’ ADD these things also! So, we respond with faith, then that faith pleases God and He then rewards those who diligently seek Him. But look closely!
- Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence. So, we express faith, then to that faith we ADD character or moral excellence! And then we add more! [Check out verses 1-9 in a few different versions!] Try baking a splendid cake with just flour! No sugar, no butter, no eggs, no currents and spices etc! Now imagine faith is the flour and the other ingredients are what we are to add to the mix! Can you see where this is going? Imagine someone with great faith but with no love or brotherly kindness or humility added to the mix. Hmmm, go think on that one! I’m sure you have come across them?
- And [ADD] to moral excellence knowledge etc. So, we can clearly see here that it is not just claiming a promise, but fulfilling the condition/s God requires of us. Some may be thinking ‘but that’s works not grace!’ Okay, so what does James teach us? But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. [James 2:18] And Paul clearly teaches us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace through faith and NOT BY WORKS! However, verse 10 is every much part of verses 8 & 9 and vs 10 teaches us that though we are not saved by works, yet we are recreated in Christ Jesus TO DO GOOD WORKS! So, what are we waiting for? LET’S DO THIS THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Prayer: Gracious and loving heavenly Father God. I thank you that through Christ Jesus I partake of the divine nature through your great and precious promises. And yet I understand also, that it’s not a case of my sitting back, folded hands on a sort of glorious and divine gravy train waiting for handouts! No, there’s stuff to do. My faith needs hands and feet and I need to add all these other things to my faith. Therefore help me to do as James counsels, to do good works according to my level of faith, Thank you Lord, amen.