Read: Daniel 4:1-37, 2 Peter 1:1-21, Psalm 119:97-112, Proverbs 28:17-18
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Relate: I used to go to a camp every summer down in Cortland. I loved it for two reasons: the girls and archery. There was ranking system they had for archery and each summer I would work my way through those ranks from Junior yeoman all the way up to American Archer. Looking back now, I am amazed that I was able to hit that target from fifty yards away with those cheap camp bows and arrows when I never used to wear glasses and couldn’t even see exactly where on the target I was hitting.
React: More than just some great memories, archery has given me one of my favorite analogies for salvation. When the Bible talks about being saved, it is using one of three concepts: justification, glorification, and sanctification. We are saved, we are not yet saved, and we are in the process of being saved. Justification is the release from the bow. The moment we surrender to God, he sets us free and our destiny is set. That destiny is glorification. It is hitting the target. We aren’t there yet, but one day we shall hit that bulls eye, heaven. It is in this hope we are saved. Until that time, we are in a process. We work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Like the arrow, we have a journey to make from the bow to the target. This is sanctification.
So how do we work out that salvation? Well, you start with faith. Build on that goodness (moral excellence) and on that knowledge and on that self control and on that… This list Peter gives us here is a perfect example of how we work out that salvation. It shows us how each building block builds towards the next. Most of all it reminds us that everything is topped off with love. Salvation is a process and I’m not there yet, but I can see how far I have come by how well I love.
Respond: God, help me to be more like You. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for the promise that one day I will be saved. Until that day, help me to work towards that goal, steadily, faithfully building each day upon the next, adding one virtue upon another topping everything with the love You have shown me.