STUDY TEXT: Matthew 6:6, 7:24; mark 6:45, 46; Luke 5:15, 16, 6:12, 13, 7:24; John 5:24
MEMORY VERSE: 2 Peter 3:18 “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
CENTRAL TRUTH: Personal devotions strengthen our relationship with Christ.
- Obey Jesus Words
- Consistent Devotions
- Mature Spiritually
- Diligent Effort
- Important Priority
CONSISTENT DEVOTIONS – John 5:24, 39, John 8:31, 32.
Devotions consists not only of prayer, but in also reading God’s Word. God’s Word produces us with instructions concerning our daily living and our eternal life, John 5:24. When we study God’s word, we also realize more and more who Jesus is, He himself said that the scriptures ‘testify of me,’ verse 39.
Salvation is a present possession — one that is lived out by obeying Jesus’ teachings. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed,” John 8:31. Praying and reading the Bible are not ends in themselves, but the means to the end. Devotions are the means to come before God and delight in His presence, to taste, to know and then to go!
Jesus promised we would know the truth about Him and this would set us free, verse 32.
QUESTION: What are we set free to do?
The knowledge and the application of Christ’s power to deliver us from sin sets us free to serve Him.
DILIGENT EFFORT – 2 Peter 1:5-11
One of the purposes of daily devotions is to produce spiritual maturity. Although Christians receive salvation freely, we still have a part to play in our spiritual growth. We must develop Christian virtues in order to mature spiritually. Peter instructed his readers to give “all diligence,” 2 Peter 1:5. We cannot be lackadaisical about our spiritual maturity. The word “add” literally mean ‘to furnish lavishly.’ Christian maturity is not an option. Our lives are to reflect God’s gracious provisions for us.
QUESTION: How are the Christian virtues listed in 2 Peter I :5-11 to be exercised?
Each virtue is to be practiced in such a way that it will lead to the next, until all are present. Faith exercised in relation to a Holy God will bring moral and spiritual power, supplying us with victory over sin and moral excellence. Knowledge is the knowing of God’s Word and His will for your life. Knowing God’s purpose for your life will help you to exercise self-control. Patience, or perseverance, sees events from God’s viewpoint. With patience, we wait for His coming and His punishment of sin in the world.
Because of the hope of His While spiritual maturity is a coming, we put on “Godliness“. We are devoted to God and have a desire to serve Him in every aspect of our lives. Godlines will also be exhibited in “brotherly kindness.” When we realize the needs of others, we will reach out to them in love. Added to brotherly love is the selfless love that extends even beyond the family of God. This love reaches out to all who are in need.
Peter was careful to point out that the failure to develop these qualities is a willful neglecting of our salvation. If we neglect these virtues, we will be barren’ in our Christian experience, verse 8. He said we would become blind to our condition, verse 9; if we are not growing in spiritual maturity. When we diligently work toward this maturity, w solidify our spiritual lives. Keeping vigilance on our Christian experience will keep us from falling, verse 10. And in verse Il, Peter assured his readers that an intense effort to develop these virtues will result in reaching our goal the eternal Kingdom.
While spiritual maturity is a product of our relationship with Christ, it does not come automatically. As Peter stated, it must be pursued with diligence. Daily we need to spend time in the Word and prayer to strengthen our lives. We then will be fruitful and stable in our Christian walk.
IMPORTANT PRIORITY (2 Peter 3:18)
Sometimes we leave a trail of unfinished tasks. Despite our best intentions, we have stacks of unread magazines, unironed laundry, and unpulled weeds. Yet the most important task, our spiritual growth, must not be neglected.
In 2 Peter 3:18, Peter admonished his readers to spiritual growth. One of the major ways his growth takes place in our lives is through our daily times spent with the Lord.
QUESTION: What event should motivate us toward spiritual growth?
Peter’s injunction to spiritual growth follows a section concerning the return of Christ. Part of our preparation for His return is to become spiritually mature. We want to be prepared for His coming, and as mature believers, we also want to see others prepared as well. With our hectic schedules, we may be haunted by a sense of having failed to do the important! Our dilemma, though, is more than a shortage of time; it is jumbled priorities. Urgent tasks crowd out the important ones. One writer called it “the tyranny of the urgent.”
Jesus set His priorities, not by looking to see what needed doing, but by doing what His Father desired. We need to determine that we are going to grow in grace and make the effort that it takes to do so.