2 Peter 1:5 – Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you have these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being unproductive. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – When we move from one quality on the list to another, we are not done with the previous quality. We must work to improve each one.
My Advice – Never think that you have arrived in your Christian life. There are always new Christ-like qualities to pursue and already “attained” Christ-like qualities to improve.
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Trials will come. We need not be joyful about the trial itself, but we should be joyful about what it can produce in our lives.
My Advice – Persevere under trials. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the lesson. Ask God what He is trying to show you or teach you, and learn the lesson well.
Hebrews 13:20,21 – May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God will not call us to something that He has not equipped us to do.
My Advice – God has richly equipped you. Make sure you also use your talents to do His work.
Hebrews 12:7,8 – Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are two kinds of discipline. Discipline to bring correction and discipline to train and strengthen.
My Advice – As a Son, you will be disciplined. Welcome it as a sign of true “sonship.” Make sure you know which type it is and act accordingly: ask for forgiveness or ask to learn whatever lesson is being taught.
Hebrews 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Casual Christianity does not lead to maturity.
My Advice – Be intentional about your walk with Christ. Exercise it as an athlete in training that hardens his body, builds his endurance and hones his skills.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth.
My Musings – A great tragedy in life would be to live out our days in such a way that when we faced God on the other side, we felt ashamed because of the things that we had done that we should not have, or the things we did not do that we should have done. We can guard against that by learning the truth of His Word.
My Advice – Live your life in a manner that you do not need to feel ashamed. So as you face various situations in life, ask yourself if you would feel ashamed if God knew you had done this and shouldn’t have or that you did not do it and should have. Understand that it is not “if” He knows, He knows. That should be your best guide in decision-making.
1 Timothy 3:7 – Train yourself to be Godly. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Godliness is not our natural state. It is our transformed state. While we are immediately justified when we accept Christ, it takes time and training to become Godly and Christ-like.
My Advice – In addition to taking time for your physical shape (exercise) and mental/emotional shape (rest and relaxation), make time for spiritual training (Church, Bible reading, prayer, small groups, fellowship with other believers).