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Peter & John — 1 John 2:3-11

1 John 2:3-11 NIV
[3] We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. [4] Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. [5] But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: [6] Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. [7] Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. [8] Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. [9] Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. [10] Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. [11] But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Dear God, I think I am going to focus on the words in verse five that say, “…love for God is truly made complete in them.” It feels like this is John’s thesis. This is what he wants for his readers.

So we are all going to sin. We’ve done it in the past, and we will do it in the future. I’m sorry, and I wish I weren’t, but I am a sinful person who still judges, lusts, covets, and lives in fear of others. I still seek affirmation from others and have been known to sell out in order to get that affirmation. I am truly sorry for these things. I am sorry for the moments when I take my eyes off of you. I am sorry for looking elsewhere for my satisfaction. I can say that your love has not yet been made complete in me.

That self-flagellation being said, I think I can say that I feel like I am better today that I was a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago and 30 years ago. How do I know? Verse six says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” I am better at living as Jesus did than I used to be. I do judge, lust and covet less than I used to. I am bolder at allowing others to not praise me and not seeking their favor. I am better at pursuing you in prayer. So I am not living up to verse five yet, but on a scale of 1-10, I might be at about a 5 right now. But 4, 3, and 2 are just a moment away if I stake my eyes off of you. It’s a little like Peter walking on water with Jesus. He shot to a 10 and then sank (pun intended) back to a 4 in just one moment of taking his eyes off of Jesus.

Father, I want to start this day by looking at you, trusting you, and glorifying you by your reflection living through me. That starts in this moment. You are my God. I worship you. Thank you. Really, thank you for everything. I’m sorry for when I’ve failed.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
 

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Peter & John — 2 Peter 1:3-11

2 Peter 1:3-11 NIV
[3] His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. [4] Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. [5] For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; [6] and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; [7] and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. [8] 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. [9] But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. [10] Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, [11] and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Dear God, the progressive list that Peter gives in verses 5-7 seems like something I should have memorized by now, kind of like the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5. Let me see if I can break it down into a more digestible format.

  1. Faith: We start with our faith in you.
  2. Faith + Goodness: I don’t know that Peter thought this ordering was inflexible, but I’m a little surprised Goodness is the first batter up after Faith. I might have thought Self-Discipline or something like that. But he chose Goodness.
  3. Goodness + Knowledge: If you’re going to have Faith and Goodness, but then you don’t start educating yourself about God through scripture and prayer then you will be left empty. A baby Christian who never grows.
  4. Knowledge + Self Control: So then if you are going to have Faith, Goodness, and Knowledge, you will need to be able to control yourself as well. That means in denying yourself of your vices, your carnal nature such as temper and self-righteousness. It also means self-discipline to pursue Knowledge.
  5. Self Control + Perseverance: Perseverance is what it becomes about. When I was first a Christian at the age of nine, I was like a lot of nine-year-olds in my lack of understanding of time and fatigue. All nine-year-olds think they can just sprint a mile and not give up. When I was nine, I had Faith, and I added Goodness, but then I didn’t add the other things and my faith failed over and over again. It wasn’t until I added Knowledge, Self Control, and Perseverance to the equation that my life changed.
  6. Perseverance + Godliness: Godliness is added over time only after Perseverance has exposed me to you long enough. I am more godly than I was yesterday and I will hopefully more godly tomorrow than I am today.
  7. Godliness + Mutual Affection: Ah, community. Community is the bonfire that keeps our coal going. I was talking with a friend this morning about how you built us for community. Within that community, we need to have empathetic affection for the others around us.
  8. Mutual Affection + Love: And if we are going to have that Mutual Affection, it is nothing if we don’t have your Love. Again, I don’t know that this list is necessarily in order. I would think that Love might have come earlier in the list, but this is Peter’s list, not mine.

Father, help me to be complete in all of these things and then help me to be a light that guides others to this same completeness. Help me to not miss any of these components. Probably the hardest one is perseverance. Help me to press on. Help me finish this race well. Help me to be your man in every area where you have me serving.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2019 in 2 Peter, Peter and John

 

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