“Never stop learning.”

“Keep learning.”

“Don’t give up learning.”

I must have heard this admonition at least three or four times over the past couple of weeks.  Heaven help us if we ever come to the place where we think we have it all figured out.  Or that we’re too old or too young or too busy, or too anything to learn new things.

There is no where that is truer than in our walk with Christ on our journey through life.

God is always speaking, as long as we’re listening.

In Peter’s second letter to those living in faith in Christ, he writes:

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,  and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

Faith is not a badge we put on at the moment of conversion as if the race were over and the rewards already given.  Faith is the starting point.  Then, with our faith in hand, we run the race.

Virtue

Live with high moral standards.  That is a daily, conscious effort in this morally-declining world.  Up is down, right is wrong and wrong is right.  But we know where to go to cut to the chase and find the absolute truth, and that is always God’s Word.

Knowledge

God tells us in scripture that we are to grow in the knowledge of Christ, grow in the wisdom and knowledge that Christ gives, and, interestingly, that husbands are to live in an understanding (knowledgeable) way with their wives.

Self-control

The more we allow the Holy Spirit to rein in our hearts and lives, the more we will learn to restrain ourselves from the things of the world that create division from Him, and vice versa.

Steadfastness

This is a cheerful, patient endurance through all our trials, ever-increasing in hope that through it all our God is molding us into the image of His Son.  We learn to wait – to wait for direction, to wait for discernment, to wait for rescue, to wait for healing, to wait on our God and know that He hears, He loves us, and His timing and ways are perfect.

Godliness

Simply, less of me and more of Him.

Brotherly affection

Daily we are to grow in our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Love

This is agape, the highest form of love. It is the pinnacle of sacrificial, unconditional love that puts ourselves on the alter to serve another.

To grow in these godly qualities takes a willingness to be humble.  It takes being able to admit when we’re wrong so we can repent and grow.  It is taking regular stock of our hearts through scripture as the Sword “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) 

It takes walking out of the shadows into the bright and baring light of Christ and letting Him examine us, burning off those ungodly traits through the fire of trial, and knowing that those same flames burn with His love and grace and mercy and forgiveness.

Why? Why do we want to do these things instead of just coasting through life, knowing that we have salvation at the end of it?  Peter tells us in the next verse:

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Peter 1:8

I don’t know about you, but I want to be effective.  I want my life to count for good.  It was used for enough pain and sorrow before Christ graciously invaded my life.  I want to learn and grow and trip and get back up and try again, trust more, pray more, yield more, love more. 

In this one life I get, I want Christ to have His way in and through me. I want to learn the way of my Master and be prepared and unashamed when I meet Him face to face. 

But it won’t come by osmosis.

So I take the faith handed to me by the Holy Spirit, and together we run…

Grace and Peace in Abundance,