“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep your from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their 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, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:8-11, NIV
And so the passage in 2 Peter continues. These are the closing thoughts of this section on overcoming darkness by Christ’s divine power. We possess the ability to participate in the divine nature, escaping corruption, and growing in our faith and the action that stems from it. We are given practical steps and pursuits to bring these concepts to life. As we continue forward in these actions (adding goodness to our faith, pursuing knowledge and using that to practice self-control, persevering forward in these qualities, gaining godliness due to these continual actions, and eventually developing a mutual affection that gives way to true love) they keep us PRODUCTIVE and USEFUL.
Ever feel useless? I sure have. It sucks. Well guess what? When we pursue these faith-filled actions and move forward in godliness, God is using us. We are forwarding his kingdom and therefore are nowhere near useless! Practicing these qualities fills us with purpose. The last thing I want is to be ineffective and useless with my knowledge of Jesus. If I forgo these important qualities and actions, I may as well be blind. I am failing to recognize that I have been cleansed of my sins! I would be quite literally failing to see everything in front of me. If I continue forward without allowing my faith to grow, build, and impact me—I am unfruitful. The message version of this verse is phrased “Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books”. Do not forget your purification! Do not cease to pursue sanctification. Be all the more diligent, knowing that your pursuit of Christ and his characteristics are amplifying his sacrifice. Whoever fails to live in these qualities and build off of their faith is metaphorically blind. They would be living in the past, failing to be present and working towards the future. But our past has been cleansed! There is all the more reason to seek faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. We ought to make every effort to move forward in that which Christ has called us to. Figure out which quality it is that needs increasing in your life, and concentrate on growing it! The pursuit of these faith actions will protect us from stumbling and instill a greater purpose within our everyday life.
If we consistently have a focus on the divine nature and are making every effort to rid evil from our lives, it will not be possible for us to stumble. (Of course we are human and will likely lose sight and take our focus off the finish line, thus stumbling. Oftentimes, we blind ourselves. This stumbling is a direct result of our failure to pursue the practical faith applications listed earlier in this passage. Alas, even when we stumble, his grace is good and he always welcomes us back with open arms. We must then choose to simply start again). “For if you do these things, you will never stumble…” SCRIPTURE STATES THIS. How incredible is it that we have a foolproof plan for avoiding uselessness and failure in this life? Are you taking advantage of this process?
Be encouraged my friends! Christ has overcome the grave and THERE IS NO DARKNESS THAT WE CANNOT OVERCOME WITH HIM ON OUR SIDE AND SCRIPTURE AS OUR WEAPON. Move forward in your faith and pursue fruitfulness. Know the truths you are called to, and take action in them. Make every effort to confirm your calling and election. Pursue these qualities not just lightly or sometimes, but in increasing measure throughout every aspect of your life.
Devotional written by Heather Christy. Graphic designed by Isaac Taleno.