Summary: We have been given so many wonderful gifts from God as believers. But Peter calls us to deepen our effectiveness as believers through practice.

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Passage: 2 Peter 1:5-11

Intro: We see them standing on the 18th green with a trophy and a check, or on the stage receiving the grand prize, or at the net on center court with the prize.

1. wow, $1 million for playing a game.

2. but really result of prioritizing the development of a particular skill or talent

3. each had raw talent that they honed so that they would be the best.

4. the Bible compares the Christian life to sports, but there are some things that make our experience unique.

5. while super talent is rare, believers all get the same treatment.

6. not gifts or talents, but what it takes to achieve the great prize.

7. saw last week, “everything we need”

8. Peter hinted at a choice in vv1-4.

9. look further, becomes much more specific in next 7 verses.

10. the potential of vv1-4 can be realized in our lives, but it requires that we make a choice and then act on it.

I. I Want to Know Christ

1. there are plenty of things we want

2. be rich, be smart, be strong, be athletic

3. Peter has challenged us to a new priority in v4

PP “participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”

4. God’s original purpose was that we would be like Him, “in His image”

5. spoiled by sin choice, but made possible by removal of sin by blood of Christ

6. faith in that powerful death and resurrection has brought us to the door of greatness!

7. every believer in Christ stands completely capable of pursuing and achieving this miracle

8. so now equipped, able, called, Spirit-indwelt, full of powerful potential, “make every effort to add” v5

9. two powerful words translated here.

10. “to bring alongside of” + “to supply generously in addition to”

11. careful not to focus on our own human effort.

12. this is a call to use in our human experience what God has graciously given to us.

13. and specifically to seek to unwrap the dramatic changes in character that will free us from the tyranny of the flesh to mirror the incredibly effective and fruitful life of Christ.

14. clearly Peter is calling us to make a choice, to identify a priority that will cause us to take an entirely new path.

II. Expect Challenges

1. the qualities listed in vv5-7 are unusual

PP “goodness”=moral excellence…

2. many mirror fruit of Spirit, all are direct challenges to the way humans habitually do things

3. the pursuit of this kind of dramatic change is what makes some decide Christian maturity is not worth the effort.

4. each of these characteristics flies in the face of our flesh, our self-centeredness.

5. our flesh responds to these characteristics like a five year old boy to spinach…”Nooooo !!!”

PP Calvin and Hobbes

6. so many of these challenge our natural response, our “it’s all about me” mantra

il) we cannot pursue “love” in it’s truest sense and remain selfish. They are =polar opposites

7. expect resistance, expect excuses, expect a sudden increase of alternative priorities, of rationalizations to remain as you are!

Il) a person who begins a new diet and exercise program, aches, pains, hunger, etc.

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