Whenever you feel lost and unsure of how to start up again, go back to the basics.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character,spiritual understanding,alert discipline,passionate patience,reverent wonder,warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG
Basic Faith – the first step, the abandoned sin, throwing of oneself upon the mercy of God and walking forward into the unseen with the belief that you are not alone to develop.
Good Character – staying true to what you believe in the little things and letting those small choices of integrity overflow into the big things as you grow.
Spiritual Understanding – the moments you can’t explain, but know are true.
Alert Discipline – not allowing time, tiredness, busyness, past baggage, old excuses erode right habits, receiving grace and energy from God.
Passionate Patience – being able to expectantly wait for one thing while wholehearted working for another. Choosing to focus on being obedient, not on the results of being obedient.
Reverent Wonder – the awe of seeing God with the wide eyes of a childlike heart.
Warm Friendliness – the smile, the hug, the gentle knowing atmosphere of those who are confidently walking in their purpose.
Generous Love – being able to love those closest to us without fear or conditional embraces and the ability to love those we barely know with an authenticity that only comes from intimately knowing God.
These are my own definitions of the list in 2 Peter 1:5.
These are not a to-do list, this is a Jesus-help-me-be list.
May you find your way back to the basics and thrive by the grace of God in each one today.
“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” Psalm 18:34-35 NIV
My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. That you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you. That you would be released from the restlessness within you as you receive a new determination to go forward in faith.
God will give you what you need right now to fight the battle before you.
You are stronger than you know because your strength comes from Jesus and His right hand sustains you.
Don’t give up, you are sustained and trained through the power of His love.
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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.” 2 Peter 1:2-3 NIV
God’s divine power through Jesus has given you everything you need to live the life God made you for.
That doesn’t mean it will be easy.
If it was easy, you wouldn’t need God’s power to do it.
You will need Him.
You will need His power to keep going in spite of the obstacles, the setbacks, the failures, and the frustrations that you will face this year.
“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.” Isaiah 30:18
When the boys were in elementary school they got out at 2:20 pm and I would try to get to the school at the latest by 2:00 pm so I could get a good spot in the pickup line. If you have ever experienced the stress of picking your child up in the craziness that is the end of an Elementary school day, you know how important this is.
One day I had to pick them up early from school and as we walked from classrooms to the car, Kyle looked at all the cars waiting in line and said: “Oh, they are already here?” Then he said, “I thought you just got here right when school is out”. I said, “Nope, if I waited until then I’d be way in the back of the line, so I get here early so I can be right on time for you.”
As I pulled in to wait in the pickup line the next day, I thought about Kyle’s perception, “I thought you just got here right when school was out.”
We forget that most things are not always as they seem but only as we see them. Just as I made a point to be at the school early so that I could be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see and don’t know about in our lives.
The verse above was fulfilled through Jesus and through Jesus God’s will can be fulfilled in your life.
God is not finished with you.
He is going ahead of you and preparing the way for you.
His grace and power are ready to be right on time when you need it.
“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians. 5:2 Message Version
The Scripture above doesn’t say: Mostly what God does is judge us. Mostly what God does is condemn us. Mostly what God does is punish us. Mostly what God does is give up on us.
No, mostly what God does is love us.
He holds nothing back but gives us more and more and more. He loves us whether we feel it or not. He loves us when we are doing good or not. Can’t earn it. Don’t deserve it, nonetheless…what God mostly does is love us.
It reminds me of a phrase from the book, The Shack by William P. Young: “The nature of love is that it is freely given and received freely. God loves the lost and saved the same. He loves, period.”