By Marni Montanez
2 Peter 1:3
New Living Translation
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
God, who needs no one, gave His Son, Jesus, as a gift of salvation so that we, who believe on Him, would live eternally with Him. After giving our life to Jesus, we were equipped with spiritual power and wisdom to live according to His plans and purposes. But before we can be unleashed to use these gifts with maturity, our character needs to be built and shaped into a person who will not bend to the hardships of life or the attacks of the enemy. It is in our close walk with God that we learn how to be holy.
Endowed with Godís divine power, we can move forward; we are strengthened to make choices that lead us away from sin and into a place of unique separation from the world. Filled with the power and presence of God we are able to do things we never thought possible.
Just as the Lord guided the Israelites through the desert by using a cloud by day and a fire by night, the Holy Spirit is our guide by day and night and every moment in between. And just as He fed them manna in the desert to sustain and nourish them, we were given the holy bible to sustain and nourish our spirits. Within the context of His Spirit filling us and being our companion, our purpose is revealed to us and although we have different gifts, character and abilities, our ultimate purpose is to glorify God. These gifts allow us to minister to others the way God created us to minister and we must take responsibility to hone these gifts so that we move with excellence in them.
When we were transformed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, Sin no longer had power over us; we have the freedom of choice not to give into temptation. In Christ we have the ability not to sin, but if we do sin we are given the choice of repentance.
God requires us to use our gifts and He gives us what we need to use them. We are the ones who get in our own way of being successful in our walk with God and in ministry. But even then, God gives us the power and ability to deal with whatever it is we need to deal with in order to heal from it. . It seems that God designed our frame in such a way that in our physical weakness and emotional vulnerability, as Christians, we can do nothing but depend on God in every facet of our life.
Challenge: stay close to our Creator and listen for His voice. Yes, we have gifts within us and the power to live like God, but in order to be able to use our gifts or live wisely; we need to lean into Him.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.