Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Our nation has lost its Social Conscience

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   II Peter 1:8-11
When I was working the field of alcohol and other drug prevention there were always parents who would defend providing alcohol to minors stating, “We all used to have our parties.  It’s just a part of growing up.”   The truth is, when I was growing up there was a social conscience that kept even intoxicated young men from perverted and antisocial behavior. There is no longer a social conscience to protect or a moral compass to direct those blinded by their addictions.  Your child on alcohol or drugs or with others intoxicated has no boundaries and no respect.  This is dangerous beyond belief.
By now you are asking, “What in the world does this have to do with the passage of scripture above?”  I want you to understand how desperately this world needs persons of character who will stand up for what is right and not bow down to the fears of being politically incorrect. This world needs authentic and powerful disciples who will be ready to pick up the pieces when all of this crumbles…and it will.  Sin destroys!

When this crumbles will you be one this nation will turn to?
What have you added to your faith to make you a disciple of Christ and a witness to God’s saving grace?  How many years does it take to become mature enough in your faith to be able to stand alone and walk in strength? There is no more answer in years to that question than there is how many years it takes for a boy to become a man or a girl to become a woman.  Maturity is not measured in a chronological framework.

·      The statement, “I grew up in church” says nothing about whether you ever “added to your faith.”
·      The goal of discipleship is to develop disciples who develop disciples.

The Bible writers very often begin their letters by wishing their readers grace and peace. Peter makes no exception in this letter, but takes it a step further and, in our text; he talks about how this will come about.

We tend to think that there is nothing we can do to bring God’s grace on ourselves and that if we could, it would no longer be grace. Therefore we become passengers on a spiritual merry-go-round. Grace is unmerited favor, and nothing can take away from that, but the Bible does teach, in Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, and 1 Peter 5:5 that if we humble ourselves, which literally means surrendering our will to His, we can expect to be recipients of grace.

While grace is indeed the pure gift of God, He is able to supply it in greater measure to those of His family who set their hearts to do the things He says. The next three days as we dive further into these passages we will reverse the order to help us understand the importance of the things Peter advocates for us to experience an abundant faith life.

Scripture to Claim:

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

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