Monday, September 19, 2011

Cultivating Passion for God

2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The past two blogs has dealt with defining the essence of the Christian life in its three main aspects: namely that it is practical, supernatural and doctrinal.  As Peter penned those words by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he laid down one of the grandest summaries of the Christian walk in God's word.  But now he did not merely leave us in the realm of theory.  Peter puts legs on his grand summary and gives us a seven step process to cultivating Passion for God.  This Passion for God involves living daily in the supernatural, practical and doctrinal realms. 

Much more to the faith walk than just faith
Following our conversion to Christ by faith, their needs to be fruit issuing forth from the root of faith.  Though we are saved by grace through faith alone, we are to remember that in the faith walk we are being sanctified by a faith that should never be alone.  Notice what Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:5-7 in cultivating Passion for God:

1. In your faith supply moral excellence 2 Peter 1:5
2. And in your moral excellence, knowledge 2 Peter 1:5
3. And in your knowledge, self-control  2 Peter 1:6
4. And in your self-control, perseverance 2 Peter 1:6
5. And in your perseverance, godliness 2 Peter 1:6
6. And in your godliness, brotherly kindness 2 Peter 1:7
7. And in your brotherly kindness, love.

Cultivating Passion for God is your responsibility
Did you notice the underlined word in all seven phrases?  "Your".  This tells us that in cultivating passion for God, I need to make the promises of salvation my own.  I need to take possession, ownership of my passion for God - that is - personal involvement.  As a Christ-follower, you and I are not called to be merely spectators in the stands but participators on the field. 

God's Grace is necessary to cultivate passion
Now it may sound like that cultivating passion for God is a matter of us getting up enough gumption to go ahead and just do it.  However the scripture here is quick to point out an important twin truth - namely that God's grace is necessary.  As you look at those list of qualities (the ones in blue), whose are they?  Are they generated by you - or are they given by God?  Remember, 2 Peter 1:5-8 is based off of what we saw in 2 Peter 1:3-4.  It is through the partaking of the Divine nature that I am given these seven graces.  Many of them in fact are described by Paul in Galatians 5 as the "fruit of the Spirit". 

So even though cultivating passion for God is my calling, my responsibility, my duty and should be my delight; yet it is only made possible by God's Grace.  Galatians 2:20 summarizes this twin truth for us: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Oh may you and I Cultivate Passion for God by the Grace He gives us.  For it is by the Grace made readily available that you and I can indeed live the supernatural, practical and doctrinal Christian life.

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