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 .2 Peter 1:8
Ignorance towards God leads to a horrible death so knowing God and what he expects is crucial. Its not because there is a shortage of information about God, but man has been kept busy obtaining the things of the world and enjoying life to its fullest. Life is such that the world is able to believe there is no need for God? Man has the knowledge and the technologies of the world to keep him busy thinking about how he can make his own life comfortable. The ironic part of life is that man knows that God exists and what he is capable of doing, but they are not interested in finding out more about God.
Unfortunately men make plans without any consideration that God has plans of his own, plans that contradict those made by man. Man doesnít see that life exists from Godís perspective, but from the day of conception to the time that his life is spent, God is involved with the life of all men. Because men tend to disregard God, they are not overly concerned with information to make an informed decision about eternity. Instead, their ears are open to the rumors and assumptions made by other men who donít know anymore than they do about God.
God has a plan for your life that begins with hearing Godís plan and his commitment to save you from the sin that will eventually bring your life to ruin. When you listen to God you will learn that Godís goals are within your grasp and by working with God you will receive eternal life. God is closer to reaching his goal than most people think, because not everyone is ready for the reward that is based on what you have done with your life. God has openly proclaimed his plans to man for the future and revealed his requirements for man so he may obtain the best that God has to offer.
Plans that work always start out with sound information designed to achieve the desired result. If man desires to go to heaven, then he must have accurate map and a sure way to go to heaven. The second step of any plan is his personal commitment of putting that information into practical use. God will demonstrate his commitment by adopting you, which means you, must take being Godís child to heart. Christians enter the kingdom of God as a newly born child, thus the born again experience. In addition, the Holy Spirit will be with you constantly to guide you as you grow in the Lord.
In Godís mind success, prosperity, and productivity is not measured in dollars and cents. God has plans for his Kingdom and he needs people with characteristics like Jesus Christ willing to accomplish the outcome God desires. Because God thinks differently than man, he also has a different concept of what life is and how to achieve a positive outcome from his efforts. In Godís mind, real success in life is to have an abundance of life that you can share life with others.
We as men forget that God has given us a mind to use and a plan to work. Good plans are hard to come by and one that has proven to work in the past are worth their weight in gold. However, this is one plan that you have to accept by faith, based on the character of its origin. Godís plan is one that you must accept based on your confidence in the truth of his word and that God is capable of doing what he says he will do. As Godís child, you have been given the opportunity to participate in the many promises of God. God knows what he can do and what he has promised man but he requires evidence of your faith, even if it is only as big as a mustard seed. Faith requires you believe what God said is true and when you ask him to do things for you, know that your request will be done.
Why seek God or obey him if you did not believe he existed? The Bible tells us that man is without excuse because God has made himself clearly understood by the things he created. However, the word of God seems to contradict the ways of the world and obeying Godís word lacks the assurance that his promises will work. Trusting in an unseen God takes faith that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.
Believe it or not, not everything you do demands that you have Godís permission. However, every promise of God demands that you obey him to develop a Christ like character. When you obey God you take the ďI can do all things in Christ attitudeĒ which gives you a positive outlook on life.
On the other hand, can you trust people who lie to you, steal your stuff, or destroy the things you own? God will teach you to live with dignity and to respect others by loving them, as you want to be loved. The Godly perspective of morality is concerned with how your deeds affect the lives of other people. The character God asks you to develop is the same traits Jesus Christ had to build relationships that will last a lifetime.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableóif anything is excellent or praiseworthyóthink about such things. Philippians 4:8
The Characteristics listed in Philippians 4:8 are things people admire in others and worthy of being respected. Listed above are a few of the qualities that God wants to develop in each of his children. Other qualities include moral excellence, virtuousness, genuine love, sincerity, generosity and being loyalty to one another.
In reality kindness is an act of being good to others without considering how others feel about you. Jesus said, do to others what you would have them do to you, as a basic rule to live by. Being kind is motivation people understand and respond to. When you consider what goes around, comes around, itís not a bad precept to live by. Being good to anyone is sowing the seeds that will reap your well being in return.
Men suffer through times of pain, sorrow, pleasure and times when everything turns sour. Unfortunately, even in the best of times we respond to others by overwhelming them with our feelings. Passions can control our actions, therefore, we must be determined to control our emotions. The child of God must learn to rule their life in a manner God wants his children to develop. If our disposition is to agree with the commandments of God then must learn Godís perspective and learn to reflect the attitude of love.
The children of God must carry themselves in a manner befitting their father in Heaven. We are the ambassadors of the kingdom of God on earth and represent our Lord to anyone wanting to go to heaven. Though we live in the world, we must avoid worldly passions and put the craving for the things of this world aside. Recruiting Kings and Priests for the Kingdom of God requires a higher priority than owning a palace in a foreign land. We must remember that the Israelites lived in tents until they entered the promise land and God remained in his tent until David secured the promise land. Let us also remember that Christ kept himself busy doing the will of God to the moment of his death.
God has given you a choice that allows you to do anything you want. However, God has warned you ahead time that you are responsible for your choices. Take the time to think things out before you act on them. For example is this the way God would want you to do it? Then make every effort to do everything you have planned to do.
Normally major goals are a combination of jobs that need to be done and planning helps to make each task count. Every completed job makes the overall goal closer to being done and they accumulate until the goal is reached. Goals can not be achieved unless all the work is done. However, there are times when everything you planned to do becomes a wasted effort and all you want to do is go home and cry. Unfortunately, going home does not get the things you need done. Regardless of how tough things can get you have to keep working for your goals to thrive.
Those who read the first chapter of 2 Peter have a plan to escape the corruption of this world. Peter encouraged the reader to add the qualities of godliness, faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love to their character. These qualities will take a combination of time and effort to develop and should be worked on simultaneous. You live in a corrupted world and these qualities will be needed every day of your life. Plan to work on these qualities for the rest of your life because the corruption of the world will affect you the rest of your life.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Can you imagine what has transpired in Godís lifetime? What has God experienced that gives God reason to think in the manner he does? Does his manner of thinking come from being immortal? God has refined every quality of his character to perfection and I canít imagine that it happened overnight. God has learned how to achieve his goals and is willing to help you achieve yours. When you are immortal you soon learn that things come and go and fads also come and go, but relationships can last forever. When you stop and think about life, life would be down right horrible without someone to share it with. Perhaps this was the reason God chose a life of being morally pure where he is concerned over how his deeds affect those in his sphere of influence and why he made love his disposition.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
God gave man the benefit of his power, love, and self-discipline when he gave the Holy Spirit to man. The Holy Spirit lives in man as a mentor, raising Godís children in the admonition of the Lord. Whatever you want to call it, obeying Godís word brings forth the following qualities.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
God gave man his spirit to develop the personal qualities for each of his children so they would be more like Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not endure a dull life, but had an exciting life helping others find the true life found in God the Father. One has to ponder the thoughts of Godís plan to nurture his children into the image of his son. Does possessing these qualities keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Are those qualities responsible for being fruitful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? One thing is certain knowledge does not make things happen, knowledge only gives you a basis to tell you what to do. Peterís plan is not complete as the precious promises of God are scattered throughout Godís word.
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. But if any of you do not have them, you are nearsighted and blind, and you have forgotten that you have been cleansed from your past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 2 Peter 1:8-10
Peter is asking you to take possession of these qualities in increasing measure. What Peter is saying is that by learning and doing what these qualities demand of you, you will develop the Characteristics of Jesus Christ. You wonít learn these qualities by doing them once and they will not become natural qualities over night. What Peter is saying is that you have to make every effort to adopt these qualities. Repetition is the builder of skills and developing these qualities into a Christ like life takes work. Increasing these qualities in increasing measure will turn you into a professing Christian with the skills of a professional tradesman, an ambassador and workman approved by God.
Unfortunately all too many know Godís plan and are still ineffective and unproductive. Knowing Godís plan does not put his plan into effect. God wants you to adopt his qualities of grace by refining the measure of the qualities that God has given you. To ensure this process God has given his children his promise that he will help you. God does not want anyone to perish, but at the same time he is not going to do everything for you. You have to make the choice to adopt these qualities and use them to Godís glory.
We have the promise of God that if we participate with God and his promises we can escape the corruption of the world. You live in a world that does not concern itself with the well being of other people and ever increasingly make the world a more difficult place to live in. By obeying God we develop the concern for the needs of other people and their rights to a life of happiness. At the same time obeying God is the best way you can affect the world in a positive manner. As Christian we need to leave a mark on the world that says God was here. In reading Godís plan of 2 Peter 1:3-11 you will learn of three other promises associated with adopting the qualities of productive people.
The first promise is that you will make your election a sure thing and a promise that enables you to risk everything you have for the prize. Secondly, God says you will never stumble. Itís a blessing to know that people respect you for your chosen personality. They stand back admiring your life, having a burning desire for your attitude and your ability to face the problems of life. Thirdly, something that needs no explanation.
You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2 Peter 1:11
You have Godís promise. 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.