The power of “effort”…

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2 Peter 1:His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness… For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A key word in this passage is “effort”. While it’s true we cannot attain salvation via our good works, we are expected to expend effort, energy, and diligence in response to the gift of salvation. Without effort we will become “ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Yesterday was a HUGE sports day. There was some great NFL football action (though my Dallas Cowboys lost – again) and a World Series game at night. As I was watching these world-class athletes compete, I thought about the endless hours they put into their preparation, mostly out of public view. They understand they must “work” in order to be their very best.

Peter is telling us we must do likewise when it comes to our lives of faith. We didn’t earn our way onto the team, but now that we’re on the roster, we are expected to produce. What are we supposed to produce? Goodness. Knowledge. Self-control. Endurance. Godliness. Mutual affection. Love.

In other words, our lives should reflect the character of God.

This is a challenging passage for me this morning. Where do I have the opportunity to reflect the character of God to others today? Where is my effort paying off? Where am I not giving my best? Hard questions…

Heavenly Father, we thank you this morning for your grace that claims us and makes us part of your family. We can never repay you for the eternal life you give to us, but we can respond – with effort. Show us where you are calling us to represent you today. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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