Being Ineffective

Going around in circles (from 2012-macbook-air)“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.”   2 Peter 1:8 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (3:01)

In this verse Peter mentions a critical truth that believers don’t often think about today in their walk with the Lord. It’s also a truth that should be emphasized in our busy world. Peter writes that it is possible to be ineffective or unfruitful in our knowledge of the Lord.

We can come into a true relationship with the Lord, spend our lives “working” for Him and yet not live the life He wants us to live.

Living a fruitful life for the Lord doesn’t happen automatically after we come to faith in Him. Through superficial thinking, followers of Jesus may assume that the Lord will automatically take control of their lives and direct them as He wills.

We are saved by the grace of God and through the sacrificial death of Jesus. But after accepting this salvation, we have the responsibility of putting certain qualities into place in our lives that will enable us to grow in our relationship with Him and live the life He wants us from us.

This process has been termed spiritual formation.

The qualities Peter listed in the previous verse are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Peter reminds us that not only should they be present in the believer, but they should also be increasing.

God doesn’t automatically dump these qualities into our soul and spirit when we come to faith in Jesus. Instead, He enables us to grow in each of these qualities through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

But in order for the Holy Spirit to develop these qualities in our lives, we must engage in activities that enhance this growth.

These activities are commonly known as spiritual disciplines.

Christians today are often too busy “doing for God” without having established a solid foundation of these spiritual qualities. This is why many Christian ministries eventually falter or lose effectiveness.

Probably the best-known book on this issue is Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.

As Christian physicians, we all desire to live effectively for the Lord. Learning and engaging in the spiritual disciplines will keep us from living ineffective lives.

Prayer- Lord, help me be conformed to the image of Christ!

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