Make Every Effort

Did you know that you already have everything you need for life?  How about everything you need to be godly?  That’s right!  God has already granted you those gifts. Read with me in 2 Peter 1:3-10.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness 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 and escape 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; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

So we should start each day proclaiming, “This is the best day of my life!”  Why?  Because what makes life good and rewarding is under our control. God had given us everything we need, so we can control our relationship with Jesus, our prayer life, or even our reaction to the circumstances of life.

Many of us spend much of our lives worrying about things that are out of our control. We diminish the Holy Spirit when we live our lives as if we do not possess all that we need for life and godliness. In fact, verse 4 in the passage reminds us that we even have the ability to escape the world’s corruption.

But notice verse 5-9. There is a catch and it requires some work on our part. We are to “make every effort.”  It’s amazing how hard we’ll try on things that mean a lot to us. Does God mean enough to make every effort for?  We should give our walk as a Christian every effort because we are partakers of the divine nature. We don’t become better Christians by being passive. So what do we make every effort for?

FAITH

Verse five begins with the foundation of faith. Without a firm foundation of faith, everything we attempt to put on top will eventually crumble, especially under the weight of this world.

GOODNESS

Added to faith is goodness.  We must get appropriate for a child of God. Let’s not forget that a Christian should look drastically different from the world. When the world searches for a light in dark places, they should see the light of Jesus shining through us.

KNOWLEDGE

Following goodness is knowledge. We have to work at knowing God. We can’t complain that we’re not close to God if we’re not trying to get close. Do we love God enough to set our own agenda aside and spend time with him in his word?

SELF-CONTROL

On top of knowledge we find self-control. Self-control is not blaming God for our sins but making every effort at controlling our own sinful nature. People blame the Holy Spirit for their own lack of effort at times. They expect the Holy Spirit to just take away their desire for sin. We must draw on the Spirit to give us the power to choose wisely, be we’re still responsible for making those choices ourselves.

PERSEVERANCE

There will be times when we want to give up. A Christian walk is not necessarily meant to be easy. Jesus warned that if we truly follow him, we are sure to face persecution and difficulties like he did. If the world hated him, the world will hate you as well. We must fight the urge to give in when the going gets tough. Just look to Jesus on the cross as our ultimate example of perseverance to the end.

GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE

It all culminates here. We seek to be come more and more like God every day, a God simply described as love (1 John 4:8).  It takes work, but we should be worshippers all the time. Focus on God, loving him and others as he loved us.

But we are given one warning…forgetfulness (vs. 9).  We can forget our redemption from our past sins. We can forget who our first love is supposed to be and become nearsighted. We can begin to focus on the things that won’t last. We must make every effort to stay the course, to practice the qualities above and we’re promised that we’ll be effective…we’ll never fail!

-Joe

 

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7 thoughts on “Make Every Effort

    1. Joe Butler

      Thank you for the encouragement. I love to read the Bible and its instructions on Godly living. I hope my application of this scripture has strengthened your faith as it has mine.

      1. That’s the great thing about the Bible Joe, it’s inexhaustible,the truths are to live by and guide us till we see Him face to face. Thank you I’m also encourage by hearers and doers of the Word such as yourself!

  1. mgsunshine

    “God had given us everything we need, so we can control our relationship with Jesus, our prayer life, or even our reaction to the circumstances of life.”

    This is so reassuring. I’ve made very poor choices in the past and sometimes I get a little scared because I don’t want to return to folly. I don’t want to be like the dog who returns to its vomit or the washed pig who goes back to the mud. I’m determined not to go that way again. The way of my own will. God is so faithful. He has taken the time to show and explain to me how temptation works – it’s a process and He’s revealed character weaknesses and deficits within me so that I’ll know how to avoid those same sins it seemed like I kept falling into over and over again over the course of my life.

    This post is definitely one that I’ll be referring to often. Because it gives me confidence to know that God equips us with what we need to succeed in our Christian walk.

    1. Joe Butler

      Thanks for your honesty in your comment. I have no problem admitting that I struggle daily with sin and have to constantly look to God’s word for guidance. I remind myself that if I try to handle my life and struggles on my own, I will only find failure. It’s through my weakness that I find strength in God.

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