Summary: What do you know? Does this knowledge change the way you live?
Series: A Complete Christian Message # 3
Once again this morning, I want to direct your attention to the opening lines of Peter’s second letter. It’s a hope-filled passage, one packed with promise. Lord, I could use some hope today? How about you?
Hasn’t life been something for us recently? I was home for lunch on Thursday and I heard noise in the kitchen. In came my boys. “What are you doing home from school?” I asked. They said that they were released early because of floods in Belvidere. So, now we add “flood days” to “snow days” here in these NE United States. I am sure some of you have flooded basements.
Floods, cancer, temptation, marriage woes, financial stress .... I’d like to invite you to give those things to the Lord as we invite the Spirit to make this passage alive and informative today.
To Know – Key Factor of Maturity
Text: 2 Peter 1: 1-11
God has a grand vision for us that includes life, freedom from the corruption of sin, and fullness of the character of Jesus Christ. He’s looking for ordinary people who will participate with Him in a process that makes them into champions!
Remember some of the stories of ordinary people who became champions on 9/11, ten years ago?
I think of Todd Beamer, a sales rep, on another flight. He had no thought of becoming a hero, but the character he had cultivated over the years, emerged as he realized United flight #93 was about to become a weapon of destruction. He led several other young guys in a rush on the cockpit and died when the plane hit the ground. But his actions almost certainly saved many lives of some target in Washington, DC.
I believe that the Spirit’s challenge to us is to let God shape us into the kind of person who lives as an ordinary hero, finding ways to save a life here and there, to offer encouragement, to point the lost to Christ, to give love to the hopeless.
Last week I talked about the first challenge – Goodness. The text says, “Add to your faith, goodness.” After conversion, a priority must be to commit to developing a life of excellence in honor of our Lord, as an act of worship. This includes moral purity and a life devoted to God’s own holiness. Paul urges Believers to this in Romans 12 where we read: I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship
Today, we focus on: Knowledge.
Are you a learner? Is part of your prayer, “Lord, teach me?”
“To know....” is a blessing!
My passion to figure out why things work, what under the hood, so to speak. From the time that I was five years of age, I destroyed my toys, taking them apart to see what was inside, how the motor’s worked. I read voraciously to try understand life, people, and history.
I find the sheer volume of information available sometimes overwhelming.
We cannot possibly process, in any deep way at least, all of the data that flows into our brains on a daily basis. One writer observes that an average American processes more information in a day than an American living in the late 18th century processed in a year. Another said that a Sunday edition of the NY Times contains more words than Jonathan Edward’s entire library. I don’t know how true that is, but it seems reasonable.
That is one of the reasons we live in a society of specialists. We reply on experts to master narrow fields of knowledge and then to provide us with advice and guidance in everything from the maintenance of our machines to the care of our bodies.
Many Christians are intellectually lazy, preferring to let the Pastor handle ‘truth’ for them. They find doing the work of studying Scripture, of thinking through what God desires of them, of learning how to navigate the road through trials and temptations difficult. So they choose to lose themselves in trivia, wasting vast amounts of time on things of no consequences, surfing TV channels or the internet.
And, too, there are Christians who fear asking questions, as though asking why implies lack of faith!
But, the Word directs us in our quest to become complete Christians with this – “Add to your faith, Knowledge.”
God wants us to be committed to pursuing TRUTH. The truth cannot be established without gaining understanding, without a serious commitment to inquiry and a willingness to adjust our point of view and even our way of life as we gain more information. One of the saddest, indeed, pitiable persons in the world is the person who thinks that he or she has grasped all truth and the implications of that truth. I know you have met these fools. They are marked by their arrogance.