I am excited to continue our new teaching series entitled "Mandatory Moves". Each week this summer, we are looking at different thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that every Christian MUST eventually take up if they want to remain identified with Jesus. Since the call of every Christian is to be like Jesus, it makes sense that we need to actually become like Jesus if we are going to be faithful to that call. We learned from the Apostle Paul last week (in Philippians 3:12-15) that it is immature to think that Christianity is a "one-time decision" rather than a journey "heavenward" in which we "press on" and "strain toward" what is next as we continue to transform (individually and as a church).
This week, the Apostle Peter gives Paul a hearty "amen" (in 2 Peter 1:3-7) as he contends that we should "make every effort to add to faith," growing more like Christ in ever "increasing measure."
So, exactly how much effort should we put towards this, Peter? Every effort, he says. And Peter in this text, unlike Paul, actually makes a list of some of the qualities that every Christian should make this effort to add. So, I suggest we begin where Peter begins, and he begins with the word "faith." (2 Peter 1:1;5)
Among other things, the Bible describes faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
How are you doing in the area of faith? How "sure" are you of God, for example? How "confident" are you in His goodness, activity, and promises? Jesus was supremely confident in the unseen. Peter did not start out that way, but as we will see today, he did take ground on this, and demonstrated it in his actions in ever-increasing measure as he walked with Jesus.
Today, I propose that every Christian must make the move of faith. This means moving from a temporal perspective on life to an eternal perspective. And from a focus on material things to a focus on spiritual things.
As Paul so concisely said in his day: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Colossians 3:2) I believe this is the means of making this mandatory move.