Friday, January 11, 2013

Guaranteed Key to Effectiveness

I have to confess, it 's hard to write what’s on my heart without sounding like a motivational seminar.  Bravo to John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar and so many others who have inspired and motivated us to be better at work, home and even in our spiritual lives.  My wife worked 10 years for the largest Success Motivational company in the world, so I have been exposed to heavy doses of the success motivational community.  However, what I am about to share is not hype, it is not a prelude to sell a book and it will not require you to pull out your wallet.  But, if you adopt these seven qualities I can guarantee success.  Better yet, the guarantee is not mine, it is from the only One who can make such a promise and deliver, almighty God.    

That being said, I have come across seven qualities that can be so life-changing that I must share them with you.  These qualities guarantee you will be effective and fruitful.  The key to these qualities is that you must keep them and you must continue to increase in them.  Otherwise, you will become ineffective and unfruitful.  You would be compared to one who is so nearsighted that they are in effect, blind.  That’s how critical these seven qualities are to your Christian life. 

Ready? Here they are.

1) Virtue
2) Knowledge
3) Self-control
4) Steadfastness
5) Godliness
6) Brotherly affection
7) Love

"So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.  
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ."1

“Faith must express itself in action (goodness) and this experience deepens our knowledge of God. Knowing him will deepen our knowledge of ourselves and where we need to exercise self-control. This in turn calls for perseverance, which is developed by keeping in view the worthwhile goal of v 4—godliness. This attitude to God facilitates a new openness to our fellow-Christians (brotherly kindness), and this in turn blossoms into unreserved and unrestricted love—the coping-stone of the whole edifice (cf. Col. 3:14).”2


The choice is yours.  Increasing in these qualities will grow your relationship with Jesus and produce fruit.  Ignoring these qualities will make you forget from where you have fallen (Rev. 2:4-5) and render your Christian life ineffective.  It seems so obvious, so simple, yet Peter reminds us because just like the Church of Ephesus, we quickly forget what Christ saved us from and abandon the love we had.  It is epidemic.  It takes ongoing effort and conscious choice to add or keep growing these qualities in your daily life.  But here’s the reward, “if you keep these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10

How will you implement these qualities in your life today?  How will you remind yourself of these qualities a week from now?  Who can you share this with to keep you accountable a month from today?  Keep increasing in these qualities!

Read 2 Peter 1 today and make plans how to keep these qualities alive.

                                 
1  2 Peter 1:5-11, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson.
2  New Bible commentary: 21st century edition. 1994 (D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer & G. J. Wenham, Ed.) (4th ed.) (2 Pe 1:5–9). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

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