Sunday, February 4, 2007

Monday Morning Devotions

Read 2 Pet 1:10
Anniversaries can be useful. They can be times where you can measure your life's progress. This past summer was my twentieth anniversary as a Christian. The Fall marked twenty years of fellowship with my oldest Christian friends and my first group Bible study. It was twenty years ago this month that I first walked into my home church in West Virginia. Ten years ago I began engaging in activity that led me into full-time Christian service. I never thought that as I reached my twentieth year in the Lord that I would see a sudden rise in the number of friends who are forsaking the Lord for sinful sexual relationships. I have been astounded by the number of men and women who are leaving their spouses just this past year. One has been one of my closest friends. The number of children affected are many. This does not have to be.

Peter declares that we can engage in positive actions that would keep us from stumbling. Does this imply we would reach a state of faultlessness? Of course not. Nor is Peter advocating living according to our own strength. We live by God's grace. But we can cooperate with God, using Biblically approved means, "Means of Grace," to prevent us from falling away. Peter summons us to examine ourselves. We are to evaluate how well we are living up to Biblical standards and how intimate our walk with God has been. Our examinations can take place while reading and meditating on the Word, prayer, fasting. Also, we are to examine ourselves before Communion. The great value this examination produces argues for frequent Communion. (What a pity that Churches engage in Communion only a few times a year for fear of it becoming an empty ritual!) The counsel of brothers and sisters is also valueable. If our faith is to become vital, Peter calls on us to add to it virtue(our actions), knowledge, self-control, perserverence, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Failure to grow causes us to forget who we are in Christ and what we have been delivered from. Failure to grow causes us to return to the world we were saved from. Lastly, we are to be partakers of the divine nature. In fact, our destiny is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. We progress in Christ-likeness as we act upon God's promises, as we meditate on them and then through faith act on them. As each promise is realized in our lives, we grow in experiential knowledge of the Triune God. This is the reason I publish these short devotions on Monday, so to encourage you to become partakers in the divine nature.

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