Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. OíConnor
Main thought: to examine how we can grow our love
If you loved a mountain climber and wanted to get to know him/her more and more, what would you do? You would probably take up mountain climbing so that you could grow in knowledge of the one you love. To take up mountain climbing successfully would involve first studying how to mountain climb and then listening to others that have grown through the challenges of the climbs theyíve had and then going with someone that has had much experience to learn from. So it is with our relationship with Christ. We donít just hear about the Good News of His Love for us and say that sounds good and become intimate lovers of Him overnight. Itís a lifelong process, which involves effort. But, in our efforts to know the One whose voice weíve heard, weíve got to constantly be on guard with our motives as to why we are laboring. For we are seeking after One who looks at the inner most being of our hearts and not our physical appearance or at our talents. 2 Peter 1:2-14 †2 (6) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in (7) the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His (8) divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true (9) knowledge of Him who (10) called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent (11) promises, so that by them you may become (12) partakers of the divine nature, having (13) escaped the (14) corruption that is in (15) the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith (16) supply (17) moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, (18) knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, (19) self-control, and in your self-control, (20) perseverance, and in your perseverance, (21) godliness, 7 and in your godliness, (22) brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor (23) unfruitful in the true (24) knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is (25) blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his (26) purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His (27) calling and (28) choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never (29) stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into (30) the eternal kingdom of our (31) Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be (32) abundantly (33) supplied to you. 12 Therefore, (34) I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in (35) the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it (36) right, as long as I am in (37) this earthly dwelling, to (38) stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that (39) the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, (40) as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
17. 2 Pet 1:3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 35. Col 1:5f; 2 John 2
23. Col 1:10
I think many people will be quite surprised when they enter Heaven and then realize that everyone will not be at the same level of reward. I feel that it will be much like many of our jobs we have here within a large business. All employees may have the same health benefits like all in glory will have life everlasting in Christ, but just as there are various positions here with corresponding rewards, so will there be there. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work. For God not to reward each individual in proportion to his or her heartís effort to serve Him would be totally against the nature of God. Look at our life here. Each person is given life and yet there are different positions we all have. Yes, salvation is free, but the rewards we store up in heaven are not. Matthew 6:19-21 19 "(1) Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But store up for yourselves (2) treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for (3) where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Becoming rich here means learning how to store up our possessions for ourselves. Becoming rich there means learning how to surrender our worldly possessions as He directs us. Becoming wise here means gathering much knowledge about the world around us, becoming wise for eternity means learning how to grow in relationship with Christ.
Notice how God wants us to grow and increase in our Knowledge of Him through the application of His Word, which comes through the submission of our will to His; 2 Peter 1:5-7† 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith (9) supply (10) moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, (11) knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, (12) self-control, and in your self-control, (13) perseverance, and in your perseverance, (14) godliness, 7 and in your godliness, (15) brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. The end result will be a heart that has grown in relationship with Christ and thus a life that will result in the following; 2 Peter 1:8-11 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor (16) unfruitful in the true (17) knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is (18) blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his (19) purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His (20) calling and (21) choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never (22) stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into (23) the eternal kingdom of our (24) Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be (25) abundantly (26) supplied to you. Itís in experiencing Him that we grow to love Him. Itís through the listening to and then applying of His Word to our hearts and our lives that we experience Him. Just as one needs to apply themselves to the challenge of mountain climbing to grow in their relationship with a mountain climber, so too we need to learn how to grow ourselves within the obedience of His Word that we may grow up in Him. Heavenís leaders will definitely not be a bunch of naming it and claiming it Christians but they will be those who have learned to pour themselves out so that Christ may be glorified. Iíve seen the results of the pride of man vs the empting of Christ out for my sins and this world and I say give me Christ and His Ways! My heart desires to dwell in the place where Christís Love and Righteousness reigns supreme.
Heavenly Father, ever teach us how to allow Your work to be accomplished in our hearts and our lives so that we may have much reward to glorify You with when You call us home. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen.
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