I would guess that all of us want to get better, be better or do better in some area of our lives. The New Year is a time in our culture for making commitments called resolutions to improve in some area. I believe the Bible has something for those that would like their lives to count. My recent studies in God’s Word reminded me of one Biblical promise for growth and effectiveness as a follower of Jesus.
We kicked off a new series this past weekend titled “Reboot 2017.” Many of you know that I am a computer guy and a geek. I have been working with computers almost since the beginning with the IBM PC. The “reboot” was a common troubleshooting step used to attempt to address problems with those early computers. The term has continued on to today, even though it might be described as power cycling a device to restart it. The Reboot was used to restart a computer that had “hung” or stopped working. It was also used to speed up computers that were slow or not working properly. The “Reboot” was actually a fresh start for the computer. The truth is that we too can be in need of a “Spiritual Reboot” in our own lives. It may be the we have drifted in our relationship with Jesus Christ (the Bible would teach the need to repent). There are also times that allow our lives to be cluttered with good things that hinder our walk with God.
We decided to take advantage of the New Year and the cultural emphasis on resolutions to focus on the Biblical priorities in our lives. I will be looking at the Six most important Biblical areas in the follower of Jesus’ life. This week it was on the need to prioritize my relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are interested in the message you can check it out here.
The Bible is filled with exhortation for the believer to invest in their relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Peter writing to Christians puts it this way, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,…” (2 Peter 3:18a) Many of you know we have two of the Apostle’s letters in the New Testament. It is interesting to point out that while both letters are written to the same group of believers, they each have a different emphasis. The first letter encourages these followers facing persecution to remain strong in the faith. The second letter, written at the end of Peter’s life, encourages them not to be apathetic or indifferent to their spiritual growth. It is in this second letter we are instructed to make spiritual growth a priority. ““Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” (2 Peter 1:10) Now there can be much confusion on verses like this. It does not say that we are working to earn a relationship with God. It does remind us that we need to live up to who we already are in Christ (assuming that you have accepted Christ.) There are some incredible truths in this book, but I only have time to point out the next verse. “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8) The emphasis on character development in the previous verses encourages us to live out Biblical truth in our daily lives. It is our ownership of God’s truth that makes us effective and fruitful as Jesus’ followers. This is why our priority on growing in Jesus is so vital in our lives.
So, what changes could you make today that would put this truth into practice over the next 12 months?
-Pastor Joe Parkinson