Last week we heard another message of how to live the transformed life. Over the years we have heard so many of these messages that we are beginning to believe that they may be one of the causes of why the Christian community is struggling to make a stronger impact on today’s culture.
If someone keeps selling you the importance of reading the Bible, listening to God, and building relationships (all very good), from a humanistic perspective, than why is God even necessary? It seems like we have to do it all our selves. But is that how God designed us?
Again the bullet points from the minister were very good. However, as usual it emphasized one person’s narrow perspective without the goal or purpose for the methods employed. The question that always seems to arise during these messages is why doesn’t the minister simply preach what the Bible says. We are referring to 2 Peter which main purpose is to highlight how a person can live a fruitful life in Christ.
The author of 2 Peter emphasizes the main reason for his letter is to encourage you “to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.(3:18)” Chapters one and two outline the details. In Chapter 1:3-8 we are told to build our faith (trust) upon love, brotherly affection, godliness, steadfastness, self-control, knowledge, and virtue. By pursuing these values from a Christ-centric perspective, the Bible states that we will increase in spiritual fruit and effectiveness. What many of us have come to learn is that the transformed life is more about God and less about us. When Paul wrote that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, he was emphasizing Christ and de-emphasizing you and me. We are repeatedly told throughout the letter the different means to expand our knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.
Which leads us to the question: Isn’t the best way to truly come to know anyone is by living with them? When we walk with someone and share life with them don’t we eventually come to know who and what they believe in and how they approach life? Isn’t that the same with our Lord? Isn’t it when we study about the life of Jesus Christ, who He is, what he did, and what he plans to do, and begin to hang out with him, that we come to know him better? Don’t we grow as we walk through life and experience his grace upon us? And as we live in Him and as He lives in us, don’t we slowly grow in His grace and develop a more intimate relationship with Him? It seems what we really need to learn is how to love Him with all our heart, mind, body, and strength. When we do that, don’t we begin to experience the fruit of His Spirit? Isn’t it then when we step back and realize how we are being transformed into His image not by what we do, but by what He is doing? The truth dare to be told: we simply hang on to Him knowing that the best is yet to come.
Wonderful Father, Son, and Spirit: Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Thank you for loving us and sharing your life with us. Thank you for being faithful and committed to us. Help us to focus all our strength, heart, mind, and soul toward you. In everything we say, think, or do let it be done for your glory. As you bless us, expand our world so we may be a blessing for others. Help us to be an effective disciple of yours. Help us be a “little Christ” toward the people we meet today. Help us to desist and you to fully express yourself in us and through us. Again thank you for your plan of redemption and allowing us to participate with you in your Kingdom and family circle. Help us be your light in today’s world. Help us to totally submit to your leadership, ministry, and calling. When we meet others, let them see you. Amen.
Yours In Christ,
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