Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Conversations with Peter - Part EIGHT: Knowing Jesus Better

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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.  With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.  Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.   2 Peter 1:5 - 9 (TMSG)
All of the qualities of life we’ve been exploring in this series come down to a single thought today:
The purpose of Christian development is so we will know Jesus better!
Every bit of faith, good character, spiritual wisdom, keen focus, patience, unrestrained worship, friendship-friendly generosity are not put-on for showing the world how nice we are; it’s all for reminding us how unbelievably blessed we are.
Earlier in this passage Peter reminded us that we are the recipients of “great and precious promises”.  Those promises are all connected to the character of Jesus, and, as good apprentice carpenters we are to build on what God has placed within us – faith to live the life of Jesus.
I begin every day with a sense of great thankfulness (and relief) that my old sinful life has been wiped off the books.  Do you know what deepens that every day?  I’m glad you asked.
What heightens, deepens, broadens and magnifies my appreciation for salvation and the life in Christ is how hands-on Jesus is with me.  He cares enough about me to be the Master-builder in my life.  Consistently Christ lays-out before me opportunities to grow in one area of my life or another.  He challenges me to put up a beam of friendliness here, fasten a joist of patience there.  When I’m confused there will be his blueprint (Scriptures) that opens my understanding and appreciation for how everything will fit together in the finished project.
That which I’ve discovered in the past four decades of walking with the Galilean Carpenter is that when I allow myself to be involved with the character of Christ (faith, good character, spiritual wisdom, keen focus, patience, unrestrained worship, friendship-friendly generosity, etc), it is not I who am building Russell, it is my association with Jesus that is changing me.
The reality of my life is that I’m always undergoing some form of renovation.  This building project won’t be done until I am at last in His presence. 
But, for now, I’m exceedingly grateful my Lord chooses to work on (and with) me!  And I’m blessed to know Him better every day.
For You, Today
Do you see change in you? 
What’s different about you than when you first gave your heart to Jesus? 

Let this be the focal point of your praise today – that He loved you too much to leave you the way you were!

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