Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Energetic Cooperation

2 Peter 1:5-7
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (NIV)

Peter previously explained that God is committed to saving all who will trust in Jesus, and sanctifying all who believe His promises (2 Peter 1:3-4). But what about us; are we to be simply inert and enjoy believing, while God does everything around us? No! When we were called into the Kingdom of God, He wanted us to be in relationship with Him; to work with him in His 'family business'. So Peter now identifies some of the spiritual disciplines that are necessary in any workplace, and essential if we are to work effectively with God.
But before the catalogue of attitudes and behaviour, Peter underlines that half-heartedness is not an option. We must 'make every effort'. Like a soldier in training or a student doctor, a careless attitude makes them a danger to themselves and others. And so it is for followers of Christ. It is useless talking about how Jesus has changed your life, if you make no effort to do what is right and good (and forsake the bad). It makes no sense to assume that you know everything and have no need to learn - because that is not true; and the more we get to know God through His Word, the more useful we can be. Self-control is vital in any family and workplace; and in God's Kingdom, those who will not discipline themselves cannot be trusted in ministry.
Keeping going, when everything around and inside you screams for you to stop, demonstrates the cooperation of the believer who refuses to step back, with the Lord who give us the power to advance. Godliness is the likeness of Christ in our natures; kindliness in the recognition of mutual honour in God's family. And, love is the ability to keep giving whatever is needed for God to be glorified. Christians like that in the workplace are like gold; solid, dependable, constant, reliable, trustworthy and of great value. They may be ridiculed for following Jesus, but they will be admired for their standards, values and productivity. But, as for those who just talk about faith, their hollowness is evident to all.

Dear Lord. I am ashamed to have been too passive in my faith, somehow assuming that holiness will stick to me if I go to church! How much my character still needs to be reformed, changing my focus of life so that Christ-likeness becomes my primary goal. Please help me to practise the faith I profess and to set objectives for progress in personal disciplines, so that I can be better equipped to work with You. For Your glory's sake. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams