“His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature.
“For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are your and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
We close out our fruit of the Spirit study today. I’ve learned a lot studying the fruit of the Spirit with you over the last nine weeks. NINE WEEKS!!! Had no idea when we entered into this covid-19 world that we would be spending this much time without being able to see each other in person.
First, “Thank you!!!” You are an amazing church. It is such a privilege to do church with you all. Thank you for your faithfulness and resilience during unprecedented times.
Second, “I really miss you!!!” I miss worshiping with you. I miss running into you at Starbucks. I miss your hugs, smiles, and laughter. Know you are regularly in my thoughts and prayers because you are loved.
Finally, this brings us to the word of the day. Peter encourages the church to “make every effort to support self-control with endurance.”
Self-control, self-mastery, self-restraint with endurance.
What apt words for our unprecedented times: self-control and endurance.
That’s the thing about self-control and endurance: self-control and self-restraint isn’t self-control and self-restraint without endurance. We do not have self-control, self-restraint, and self-mastery by doing it once. It is a never-ending practice of surrendering to the will of God that self-control, self-restraint, and self-mastery becomes an evidence of the Spirit of God working in us.
Little Church and Lakewoodgrace, we are in this for the long haul. God is at work in you and me to make us more like him as he develops the characteristics of the Spirit of God in us. Stand firm in your faith and lean into the presence of Christ as you allow the Holy Spirit to build up love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in you. And, I promise I will be doing the same thing.
Have a blessed weekend!
Pastor James <><