Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Last Book - The Last Day

Due to unforeseen changes in my life, 2  Peter will be the last book I cover and this the last day.  As I am sure you have noticed I have no longer been consistent with my entries.  I think this is a strong indication that the life of this blog has come to an end.

I have enjoyed looking going through the books of John, Romans, Hebrews, Ephesians, Galatians and others.

I apologize to my faithful readers whom I have recently let down by falling short of daily entries.  I thank you for your prayers when I told you I needed them.  I continue need them.

May the Lord Greatly bless you as you continue getting to know our Savior through the writings of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Playing Cards

I went to a funeral where the highest praise anyone could give the woman was how well shr played bridge (an American card game).

God has revealed to Peter that he is about to be killed for his testimony (2 Peter 1:12-15).  And yet he takes the time to remind his readers to seek after bodily character and love.   Hw wants them to remember these things long after he is dead.

Do we emphasize godly things to the point that after we are dead, that  is what people will say of us?  “He/she always encouraged me in my walk with God.”  Or will they say be,  “She/he sure loved playing games.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Sure Promise

If I want my life to be fruitful, I must not only try to be virtuous, kind, godly, knowledgable, patient, control myself, show brotherly kindness, and love, I must diligently pursue them.  That is to put every effort into making them be part of my character.  Every action is to be measured by this standard.

The Holy Spirit tells us through Peter, if I don't,  I am blind and have forgotten that 
God purged me from my old sins (2 Peter 1:9).  But if I make these part and parcel to who I am, how I respond and give every effort to act this way, then I will never fall.  

Notice, he did not say I would never fail (make a mistake), but I will never fall, meaning never be away from God. God judges the heart, not just actions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not Enough Time Can Be a Good Thing

Peter also says if we diligently pursue faith, virtue, knowledge,  self- control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness; and  love, we will not be idle.

To maintain this type of character takes a strong commitment and lots of work.  There simply isn't enough time to be idle.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Be Spiritually Successful

Have you ever wondered if your life had any spiritual value to others?  Have you ever felt ineffective, useless, like your Christian influence over anyone else was minimal if not nonexistent?

Peter says if we diligently pursue faith, virtue, knowledge,  self- control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness; and  love, we will not be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gaining Spiritual Eye Sight

To kindness we need to add love (2 Peter 1:7).  Without love, our kind act can be condescending.  

It may seem counterintuitive, but being aware our own foibles, our faults, our weaknesses will help us appreciate and love others.  Our self righteousness blinds us to who we really are, neither can we see others clearly.  When we experience losses due to our shortcomings and we see how our behavior has harmed others, we are far more patient when  we experience loss as a result of other peoples choices.

Jesus put it this way, "Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" ( Mathew 7:4).

To honestly love we must be able to accept the fact that we are all equally in need of a savior.  We must recognize both healthy and poor behavior so that we can do the loving thing that fits the circumstance.  Sometimes love is telling someone no.  Sometimes love is saying yes.  Open and honest communication will go a long way to understanding what is the most loving and kind decision.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Blinded by Spirituality

Job’s friends are a prime example of virtue, knowledge, faith, self control without brotherly kindness.  

One of Job’s Friends called Eliphaz told Job that he had seen a spirit that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.  From this dream or vision  Eliphaz concluded that Job had to have done something wrong for all the bad things to have happened in Job’s life, and he urges Job to repent of whatever evil Job has been secretly committing (4:12-21).

Job responds,  “When I say my bed is a comfort to me , my couch shall ease my pain; then you scare me with dreams, and terrify me with visions, so that I rather hang myself than live.  I loathe it!”

Eliphaz thought he had faith, virtue and knowledge, but if he did he was sorely lacking in brotherly kindness to someone who had just lost his entire family and his income. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How My Faith is Made Ineffective

Let’s say I have faith - I believe God can do anything.  I have virtue - I don’t steel, kill, or lie.  I have knowledge of God’s word and his commandments.  I have self control; I don’t over indulge in anything.  And I am patient.  I am willing to wait for things. I consider myself very godly.  I have all the things going for me on Peters list thus far; faith, virtue, knowledge, self control, patience and godliness (2 Peter 1:4-5).

But…I am unkind.  I tell other believers what I think is wrong in their lives.  I obnoxiously share my faith.  I make everyone dread what I will say or do next.  In my own eyes I am righteous.

 If you have ever dealt with anyone like that, you know the devastation and death it can bring.  That is why we need to diligently add kindness (2 Peter 2:6).  Without it, I make all other qualities void. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lady in the Choir

Years ago I had a lady in the choir corner me and say some very unkind things to me.  I attempted to apologize for any unknown infractions, and I explained the reason for my choices in the kindest way I knew how.  My explanations were acceptable to her.  She wanted to be angry at someone and I was the most available person at the moment.  She then proceeded to verbally attack the pastor’s wife.  

It was not enough to have faith, to have virtue, or to know how to act.  I needed to use self control to keep from reciprocating her offense toward me and our pastor’s wife (2 Peter 2:6).

Monday, January 5, 2015

Self Discipline

Let’s continue our analogy of planning to go to Paris.  I have done my research and know where Paris is located.  I know how much I need for the airplane ticket, hotels, tours and meals, but I do not have enough money to go.  Now I need self control (temperance).

I need to save up the money to go.  I need to spend less on going ti the movies, eating out, going on shopping sprees, and buying chocolate.  

So it is with our walk with God. It is not enough to have faith, to be virtuous, to know right from wrong.  We must discipline ourselves to act in the way we know is right (2 Peter 1:6).

Friday, January 2, 2015

Paris Anyone?

Lets say I want to go to Paris.  It is one thing to make the decision to go, but I need to know where Paris is and how to get there.  

I cannot drive my car there from America.  I will most likely have to take an airplane.  I will need to know much money I need to buy the airplane tickets.  How much do I need for hotel rooms, food and tours I want to take?  Who will take care of my three chihuahuas  while I am away?  One needs knowledge.  

So it is with faith and virtue.  At times, despite my good intentions, I have learned that my actions were harmful more than they were helpful. Research and learning is necessary even in the world of faith (2 Peter 1:5).