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God's Precious Promises Part 2

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GOD'S PRECIOUS PROMISES Part 2

THE NEED FOR DILIGENCE

clip from movieThis clip is a reminder that God has a part and we have a part. We often assume that God’s part is all we need. But, my prayer is after today we will be persuaded that God’s promises require some effort on our part. In fact, my prayer is that we will realize that the promises of God do not come to us without DILIGENT faith.2Peter 1:1Let’s go back for a minute and review what we have already said. We said to you that God has given us all a ‘like precious faith’ (2Peter 1:1). We also said that this faith is given to us that we might obtain God’s ‘precious promises’ (2Peter 1:4). Furthermore, we pointed out that the reason these promises are called ‘precious’ is because they are very VALUABLE. (The word ‘precious’ means of considerable value.) Therefore, we might call these promises RICHES. Ephesians 1:16-18No, not earthly riches, but rather riches of God’s GLORY (Ephesians 1:16-18) The ultimate promise, the ultimate riches is to share in God’s own glory (2Peter 1:3GN)! Moreover, these riches are what enables us to escape the corruption of this world (2Peter 1:4; 2Peter 1:4 GN)! • Some people believe that through science and technology we can escape any corruption (ills) of life (video ‘lightning in glass’). But, the corruption that is in the world is caused by ‘lusts’ or passions of the flesh (verse 4). The last time I checked, there is no drug or invention that can eliminate the flesh.Others have abandoned any attempt to try and escape the corruption in this life. Instead, they have learned to cope with it the best way they can, and simply hope for some kind of compensation later (video ‘man in shadows’). But, my Bible tells me that those who do not escape the corruption that is in the world will perish in it (2Peter 2:12)! Then there are those who feel we can transcend (rise above) corruption with the mind (our thoughts/meditation—video pink, blue and yellow light). These people love to quote Romans 12:2. Yet, they conveniently forget this verse begins with, “Be not conformed to this world…” In other words, we’re not changed by simply thinking any thoughts. We’re changed by thinking God’s thoughts. This is a classic example of how we like to turn to mysticism and magic in order to avoid the hard work of spiritual growth (being steadfast in the faith, patience, and in diligence). 2Peter 2:20 The fact is, we escape corruption by partaking of God’s nature (2Peter 2:20). Here “knowledge of Christ” represents what happens when we partake of God’s divine nature (2Peter 1:4-8). We might say it this way—to know Christ is to share in His divine nature. Moreover, sharing in His divine nature is how we escape the corruption that is in the world (2Peter 1:4-8).How do we partake of God’s divine nature? Not without DILIGENCE IN THE FAITH2Peter 1:5-7 Notice that these ‘precious promises’ (or riches) won’t just manifest by themselves. Instead, we must ‘add’ or SUPPLY them by diligence in our faith (2Peter 1:5 NASB). Proverbs 10:4Riches, be they spiritual or earthly, cannot be obtained without diligence (Proverbs 10:4). People assume riches will add themselves without any effort on our part (Luke 16:10, 11). There are people waiting for their “ship to come in”. They don’t realize that that expression comes from ancient times when kings would send ships to distant shores in hope that they would return with great wealth and riches. However, if a king never sent out any ships, none would return! There are people waiting for their ‘ship to come in,’ but the only problem is they have never sent any out! If we don’t put forth any effort or faith, why should expect to receive riches, be it earthly or heavenly (Luke 16:10, 11)? If we’re lazy and slothful with earthly riches (mammon), then we’ll be lazy and slothful with true riches (God’s precious promises)! 2Peter 1:5 ASVNotice the words “adding on your part all diligence”. Although God has given us a promise, we still must add our part, which is diligent effort. Diligence means to put forth every effort (2Peter 1:5 Lexham). 2Peter 1:8 Notice, it’s not enough for these ‘things’ (qualities) to be in God or in the apostles. They must be in you (2 Peter 1:8 ESV)! If they are, they are PROOF that you have not been ‘idle’ in the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:8 ASV; Matthew 20:3). How many times does Jesus have to come and find us ‘idle’ (unproductive) in the knowledge of God?Some might say, “I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to do it.” If this is you, then you don’t have a TRY problem; you have an EYE problem (2Peter 1:9). Blindness spoken of here is a particular kind of blindness—nearsightedness (2Peter 1:9 NIV). Nearsightedness is the inability to see things in the distance.Peter ALSO calls those who are nearsighted (or faithless), forgetful (2Peter 1:9). In other words, faith problems are, at their basic level, memory problems. Faith is not just the ability to see future things (things not yet). Faith is the ability to see future things as former things (things that were)! Therefore, we might say that… the same thing that prevents people from seeing what’s not yet, keeps them from remembering what has been! If you can’t remember (or see) what God has done, how can you know (or see) what He will do (1John 3:2, 3)? Only those who see who they are now (sons of God), can know who they will be (like Him). The hard part is finished. The easy part is all that’s left. Tell me this, which is more difficult—building a house or furnishing it with good things?If we’re going to obtain the ‘precious promise’ of God’s divine nature, then it won’t just require diligent effort. It’s going to require diligence IN THE FAITH (2Peter 1:5 NASB). We’re going to have to diligently adding these qualities while exercising faith! Those who WON’T do this are idle, lazy and slothful. Those who say they CAN’T do this are blind, faithless and forgetful!Let us not be either blind or lazy. Let us not sit back and wait for it to happen. Let us make it happen. Let us exercise faith with steadfastness and with all diligence. Let us not become weary in well doing, but let flee this present evil world by following after righteousness and pressing towards the mark for the prize of the HIGH calling of God, which is to share in His divine glory and virtue!

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