This week I led a midweek Bible study at church. My text was 2 Peter 1:3-11:
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 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. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The eleven of us gathered had a good time looking at the verses and discussing their meaning, and how to apply them to our lives. Early in our conversation one of the men present made a reference to the older portion of the population in the congregation. He referred them to the “experienced” members. I liked it.
So there I was, surrounded by several of the “experienced” members of the congregation, talking to them about “making every effort.” How crazy was that? I’m not sure I would be able to add up all their combined years of following the Lord. They were at a phase in their lives when perhaps they could rest in their walk. And then it hit me: being there was part of their making every effort. One woman had a walker and two others came in with canes, but there was no place they would rather be. They are living proof that the pursuit of knowledge and a deeper relationship with God is life-long, and the process is well-worth it.
Being there with them really started me thinking about what I am doing. I found myself taking stock of my effort level. I have a lot of room for improvement. Some of the holiness people I used to know made reference to how we are “saved, sanctified, and on our way to heaven,” but their lives appeared to be more “saved, sanctified, and satisfied.” I pray that God never lets me get satisfied. Like Paul, I want to press on (Phil. 3: 13). How about you?