Monday, October 31, 2011

Made to Crave: Week 3 - Day 2

Week 3 - Day 2
Workbook - I'm Not Defined by the Numbers

2Peter1:3-8 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.

pg 68 It is through biblical promises that we find the courage to deny unhealthy desires...Getting healthy is not just about faith, goodness, and knowledge.  We have to add to that foundation by choosing to be self-controlled and choosing to persevere even when the journey gets really hard.

Look at the phrase "if you possess these qualities in increasing measure".  These qualities are like stepping stones.  For example, you can't get to perseverance without first having self-control. These stepping stones are a model for your Christian life.  The first step is faith, which is your faith in salvation.  The faith you have when you are saved.  As you grow in your faith and as a Christian your faith leads to goodness - or in the NLT 'moral excellence". You begin to live a life that turns away from sin and turns to God.

As you live a godly life you are continuing to grow as a Christian and gaining knowledge, you are getting to know God better.  This knowledge leads to self-control, you are increasingly able to have discipline over temptations and desires.  Increased self-control gives you the ability to have greater perseverance - to keep going no matter how hard it gets.

Godliness is your godly character, you are seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Brotherly love is the love you feel for other Christians, you love them as your family.
And finally, love - the NLT says it this way "and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone."

If you are not at that final step, having genuine love for everyone (yes, that would be every single person in the world, even the worst of the worst), then you need to back down those steps and find out what step you are on in your Christian life and keep working on moving up.  If you don't continue to grow as a Christian you will become consumed with yourself.  A failure to grow means we have forgotten what God did for us.  Instead, we want to grow further away from our old life and closer to God.

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