I Peter 1:13-16 (NLT)
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Think clearly. Exercise self-control. Look forward to salvation. Live as God’s Obedient Children. Do not live to satisfy your own selfish desires. Before you didn’t know any better, but know you do. You must be holy in EVERYTHING you do. You must be holy because He is holy! This is what it means to respond to the Promises of God for our life. To accept one’s role as son or daughter of God living it out to perfection. This seems so practical but what about grace? Where does grace find a place in such a lifestyle? This is the acceptance of God’s Grace and Love to abandon the old life that revolved around our own desires to be the person who God created us to be, Jesus died so we could be become, and the Spirit lives to transform. Grace is not an excuse to continue to live in darkness but step out of sin and move into the Presence of God. Grace is the freedom to choose life over death and blessing over cursing. Before there was no such offering, because our sin had God’s People bound to death and the grave. You now have the ability to respond to all of God’s Promises accepting them as your own. But you must respond properly.
It is time for all of God’s Children to RSVP. The initials RSVP are on every invitation. They stand for the French phrase - "répondez, s'il vous plait" which means quite simply “please reply.” God is looking for a response to His Invitation. He invites you to enter covenant with Him, step into His Presence, and live with Him forever. It would be rude not to respond. Everyone responds one way or the other either accepting God’s Love, Mercy and Grace or rejecting it by choosing another way of life. After over twenty years of birthday celebrations for our children, there is nothing more aggravating then trying to plan a party without a requesting a response from attendees. But what I have found to be true is that people have become so busy and overwhelmed with life that no one hardly ever responds anymore. They just show up or don’t bother to come at all. I wonder if God is experiencing the same rudeness from His Children, too. Yes, sadly I believe that He is. Nobody is reading the whole invitation. They never get to the part where it is their responsibility to respond. God has prepared a Way for you to experience eternal life. It is a good plan including everything that you will need to properly respond and be successful. What is your response to God’s Invitation? He tells you to come as you are. But He doesn’t mean that you will stay that way only that He has provided everything you will need to be changed and transformed into the Holy and Consecrated One that He promises to bless and prosper. Without a response, there will be no celebration only sadness, longing and death one day. We must properly respond to the Lord today. It is time to pay our respects and RSVP to God.
Revelation 3:20-22 (NLT)
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
My daughters are huge fans of the series of movies called the “Princess Diaries.” The school girl in the story discovers that she is the next in line to inherit the throne of a small kingdom. She is swept away from her ordinary life to be transformed into a princess. What little girl doesn’t love a fairytale? The hope that her prince will come and rescue her from the ordinary to step into the extraordinary. But as evidenced in the “Princess Diaries” so it is in life, transformation is difficult especially when it requires self-control. To be molded and shaped into a new creation will requires some necessary changes that are uncomfortable and uncertain from a human perspective as God changes us into the person we were created to be unlike what we are on the earth. Ultimately the young woman must decide whether or not she will accept her role as princess or return to her old life. We all make the very same choice as we decide how to respond to the knocking on our heart as the Lord requests entrance to change and transform our life into the marvelous new creation that He has promised it will be. It is not enough to hear the invitation, but we must respond to accept our new role as son or daughter of the king including our inheritance of promises and blessings that come with the role. What has been your response so far? Have you answered the call but never opened the door to allow the Lord to come into your heart? Maybe you have placed His Spirit in a corner, not allowing freedom to change your life from mediocre to miraculous, what are you waiting for? It is time to RSVP before it is too late.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)
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.
As in everything else God does, He has outlined a proper response to respond to His Promises. Faith is supplemented with moral excellence. Moral excellence is directly associated with the Knowledge of God. Knowledge leads to self-control as it becomes wisdom. Self-control allows for patient endurance. Patient endurance allows to become godly people who are willing to stand on faith and wait with confident hope. As we become more god-like, we will move deeper into His Presence experiencing all that awaits us in His Safekeeping. Godliness unifies us with God and His Purpose allowing every promise to be released and the power to wait in complete confidence that it will come. Not many people reject an offer to an extravagant party, but spend all their time and resources preparing to attend. We have been given an invitation to experience Eternal Life. We are offered the opportunity to live forevermore with no more pain, suffering or death – yet we still ignore the invitation. We throw it in a junk drawer waiting for a rainy day. It lacks substance or importance so we do not strive to make it a priority. We must make every effort to respond to God’s Promises and this is how we do it:
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Faith is the beginning of accepting God’s Promises. It is our first response. If you do not believe that the Lord can or will do what He has promised, you will never be able to live what you believe. Therefore, we must make every effort to develop faith as our foundation. The Word of God tells us that His Promises are received by faith. (Romans 4:16) Faith is our first response to God’s Promises. Without it, it is impossible to please God or move any closer to Him. Doubt fills us with fear that only fosters our unbelief. You must have faith to move forward and receive all that God has promised.
Hebrews 1:2-3 (NLT)
And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
Like Jesus Christ, we are to be examples of godly character. Faith produces moral excellence in the life of a believer who has chosen to live what they believe rather than what they see. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Your faith must be expressed in moral excellence. This is in no way the world’s standard of life but allowing our character to be transformed into the Image of Jesus Christ. We should like the Lord above human reproach. Jesus was humble. He submitted His Life as an offering to this world which required that the Lord sacrifice His Pride and Power as Son of the Living God to become human. Faith produces moral excellence. You cannot live by faith and live in the sin and darkness of this world which is completely contradictory. You must live by faith which requires higher standards for your life. You are responding to God’s Promises which are the best possible outcome for your life.
Hosea 4:6 (NLT)
My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.
Churches and people have watered down the Word of God including the Blood of Christ so much so that not many people know what God expects. We have misused grace as a get-out-of-hell free card choosing to live anyway that we choose yet expecting God to always bail us out or reward us for bad behavior. Such behavior is to take advantage of the Love of God. This is not a relationship at all. Moral excellence comes from Knowledge of God that is acquired through an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. You will never know His Expectations or how to please Him without personally acquainting yourself with Him on a daily basis. People will die due to a lack of knowledge even some who call themselves Christians but never bothered to acquire faith that produced moral excellence that was based on true Knowledge of God but rather some fairy tale god spun up by people.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
The Holy Spirit lives in you to take Knowledge of God and turn it into wisdom that will change the way that you live. The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness that are a direct result of self-control. Self-control is very valuable to a believer enabling them to produce spiritual fruit that is necessary. Too many times we try to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our own life through the things of this world when all along the Spirit of God will do the work if you feed it with knowledge, self-control will come as day-by-day we make a concentrated effort to know God more. The more you know the Lord, the more you will want to know. As your life is transformed, you will be hooked on His Love. Self-control arises as we live what we believe based on our knowledge of Almighty God and commitment to be more like Him!
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Self-control empowers us to endure. Endurance is essential in developing godly character. Endurance requires self-control as our flesh begins to give up or tap out. It is the little bit of force that pushes over the finish line just before we quit. Why is endurance so important? Well, Jesus says that only those who endure to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13) Have you lost your self-control? Find your faith and you will have moral excellence as you live what you believe. Develop moral excellence as you get to know the God you serve more intimately. Knowledge will become wisdom that promotes self-control. As you learn self-control, endurance will be stretched across the finish line and you will begin to experience victory after victory. Hope does not lead to disappointment. God loves us. He has given us His Spirit to remind us every step of the way, even when our muscles are screaming and our heart is broken that He loves us so.
I Timothy 4:8-9 (NLT)
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.
Godliness is what we are after. It is the best possible response to God’s Call on our life is to be like Him. Such alignment and adherence develops faith as we learn to trust Him more. Moral excellence becomes our mission to delve deeper into the things of God rather than the things of this world. Knowledge of God produces wisdom as we turn what we believe into how we live. Now we have self-control and are more inclined to stay on course and not so easily distracted. The next thing you know, you begin to endure. Every little trial and trouble does not become a major setback but catapults you into the reservoir of God’s Love and Promises for His Children. As godliness prevails and we become more like Him, the fruit of His Spirit produces a harvest in our life that is more satisfying than anything man could ever make happen. Godliness allows faith to flourish – pressed down, shaken together and running over from our life into the lives of everyone we encounter. This is the response that God is after. He wants His Love to overflow from our life into the lives of every person encountered throughout the day that they will experience faith that will flourish into the Blessings of God for their life. Grace allows us to pursue godliness and be successful in such an endeavor. Have you responded properly to the Lord’s Call on your life? If you are breathing than it is not too late to open the door of your heart and allow His Love to overflow from it. There are many steps because this is a process. Your life is the platform of faith turned to confident hope that should produce love at every turn and bend in the road of life. You are to be holy simply because He is holy. Godliness works in our life now AND forevermore. It is a win-win situation!
I Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)
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. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
God has given us EVERYTHING we need to live a god-like life. We receive it just by knowing Him. It is increased as we know Him more, love Him more and trust Him more. The Lord has given us many great and precious promises. If we will only open the door to our heart as He knocks, it is ours for the taking. What is your response to God’s Call today? Will you open every door in your life to the Goodness and Grace of God produced by living a godly life? It is going to take self-control to endure as the enemy wages war for your body, soul and mind. Will you allow God’s Spirit to fight for you empowered by the Word of God that you have supplied by seeking Him day after day? The Lord is asking today – will you please reply?
Ezekiel 11:18-20 (NLT)
“When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their vile images and detestable idols. And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.”