Saturday, October 4, 2014

Do these things and you will never fall

Let's take a look at the book of Second Peter.

[2 Peter 1:1 KJV] Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
[2 Peter 1:2 KJV] Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
[2 Peter 1:3 KJV] According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
[2 Peter 1:4 KJV] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What sort of exceeding great and precious promises? If your Bible has any study helps in the back of it, look up "Promises". I went to the internet and searched for "Promises of God", and found right away which has ten great verses. One of those verses is 2 Peter 1:4, so I'll list the other nine.

[Jeremiah 29:11 KJV] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

[Matthew 11:28 KJV] Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
[Matthew 11:29 KJV] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

[Isaiah 40:29 KJV] He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.
[Isaiah 40:30 KJV] Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
[Isaiah 40:31 KJV] But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

[Philippians 4:19 KJV] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

[Romans 8:37 KJV] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
[Romans 8:38 KJV] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
[Romans 8:39 KJV] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[Proverbs 1:33 KJV] But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

[John 14:27 KJV] Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

[Romans 10:9 KJV] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

[Romans 6:23 KJV] For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now those are some pretty serious promises, aren't they? And those are just a few. Those promises represent the backing we have. If I told you I was going to open a chain of doughnut shops in town, you might want to know what sort of backing do I have. It would take a lot of financial backing to open up a chain of shops in any town. We don't have financial backing, but if you look at those verses, do you see the sort of spiritual backing we have? We have immense spiritual backing!

God has given us some exceedingly great promises.  He isn't done giving yet, though. Let us read on.

[2 Peter 1:5 KJV] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[2 Peter 1:6 KJV] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[2 Peter 1:7 KJV] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

I will dare to say that we don't automatically get all these at once. Rather, God stands at the ready to give, but we have to be ready and willing to receive and exercise them. See there in 2 Peter 1:5 how it starts with "... giving all diligence"? That's the indicator that we have to do our part. Ask, seek, knock on the door. Bang on it, if necessary. The book of James, in chapter 1, indicates that if we want more faith, ask for it, but ask like you mean it. So you get some faith. Add some virtue to it. What is virtue? Being trustworthy, being honorable. And after that, you go after some knowledge, and through the other things mentioned here in 2 Peter 1. Building strength on top of strength. Not on your own, but rather through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 I heard an example this week of weightlifters in the gym, with one spotting for the other while doing bench presses. The Holy Spirit is there to spot for you, because you will not be tested beyond what you are able. Now that doesn't mean you won't be tested. In fact, you should expect to be tested right up to your limits, with the spotter ready to grab the weight at the critical moment.

[1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV] There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

So you see, we have the Holy Spirit to grab the weight at that moment when it would be too much. But tested we shall be.

[2 Peter 1:8 KJV] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[2 Peter 1:9 KJV] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
[2 Peter 1:10 KJV] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
[2 Peter 1:11 KJV] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So that's your Jesus workout plan for life.  If you have trusted Jesus with your heart, you have been purged from your old sins. The rap sheet has been shredded. Remember that, and move forward. Look there at 2 Peter 1:10 again, "...if you do these things, you shall never fall". Now this isn't saying you won't have setbacks in life, or even seasons where you just don't see anything happening. But if you do these things, they will serve you as personal checks that your calling and election are sure. You shall never fall. An entrance is prepared for you into the everlasting kingdom of Jesus. Amen!