The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/19/2010

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Once There Was A Silly Old Ram


"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance (2 Peter 1: 5 & 6).

As we have been looking at this list of "graces" that Peter has laid our for us, there seems to be a logical progression. So what we have observed so far is, that if we are to grow in the knowledge of Christ it begins with our conviction and trust.(faith) To our faith we are to add a striving for excellence. (virtue) To our virtue we are to increase in that which relates to God's will. (knowledge) For the past few devotionals we have focused on the adding of the ability to control our worldly passions and desires. (self-control) Like a few of the aforementioned, different Bible translations render the word perseverance differently. The KJV calls it patience and the RSV, steadfastness. Whatever the word used, the connotation is what needs to be apparent. The question today, is why perseverance is the trait that needs to be added to self-control.

The word perseverance implies a tenacity. An ability to stick to a purpose or aim, even if what we are sticking to is difficult. How good is self-control if every time there was some difficulty, we waver or give in? Self-control must be persistent! I think this is why an inspired Peter puts perseverance in this spot. We can look at the trait of perseverance in two ways. A dam that holds back water is persistent. An anchor that holds a boat in place under adverse conditions shows persistence. But this type of perseverance is a passive one. The dam and the anchor are only holding something in place. Both are necessary, but perseverance means more. It is more like the perseverance shown by Nehemiah and his people as they rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem under adverse conditions. Perseverance is like a ship, not at anchor, but actually sailing despite a storm. This is not a passive, but an active perseverance. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Heb. 12:1). It's a race....It's active! In the very next verse, the writer tells how Jesus exemplified this by "enduring" the cross. Part of perseverance entails the ability to bear up under hardship and difficulties, and continuing...... trying to do even better next time. More about this is ahead...

Have a wonderful day...A RAK might just be in order... Love mark Phil. 4:11On

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