Friday, May 15, 2009

Develop & Exercise

II Peter 1:5-7 (AMP)

"For this very reason, adding your diligence to the divine promises, employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in exercising virtue develop knowledge (intelligence), and in exercising knowledge develop self-control, and in exercising self-control develop steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in exercising steadfastness develop godliness (piety), and in exercising godliness develop brotherly affection, and in exercising brotherly affection develop Christian love."

The Greek word for patience in this scripture is hupomone. Hupomone means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

It is derived from the Greek word Hupomeno, meaning to stay under (behind), for example; to remain; figuratively; to undergo, for example; to bear trials, have fortitude, persevere: abide, endure, take patiently, suffer, tarry behind.

Hupomeno is derived from the Greek words Hupo & Meno. Hupo is a preposition which means under, beneath, through, underneath, below. In comparison it retains the same general applications, especially of inferior position or condition, and specifically covertly or moderately. Meno is a verb, meaning to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy: abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry for.

Patience is a call to action not a state of inactivity. Patience is not passive, but a constant state of patient continuance and expectancy. Just as important, is to do so covertly or moderately. In a way patience is a type of fasting, fasting from putting myself above a given situation or moving forward before God has said to move. It's important to be covert or moderate about patience; cheerfully enduring. As it's said in Matthew 6:17-18, "But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

I have been called to be Christ-like, godly, righteous. When I see these words on their own, I see Priests and Rabi's in their robes. I think pride and self-righteousness. I feel turned-off by the use of these words, and my thinking turns to rebellion. Satan has twisted the meaning of what God intended to be good, so I would be distracted from the gift God is trying to give me through righteousness in Christ. God has given me revelation knowledge for my life. Exercising is something that one has to do continually to maintain prime physical condition. God does not want me to achieve righteousness, but to develop and exercise it. He gives me the key to this in II Peter...Patience. The key to becoming (a constant action) more like Christ is to exercise ( a constant action) patience. All the while, continuing to increase or add to my diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, and self-control, which will lead to brotherly affection and eventually "the greatest of these is love." (I Corinthians 13:13)

Father God,

Help me to cheerfully endure, to remain hopeful, to be constant and not waiver, to come expecting with eagerness, conviction, praise, intelligence, self-control, acceptance and love. You are Holy, and I desire to be like you. Mold me into your image. Discipline me so that I may be called a child of God. I humbly submit my life to You. Your kingdom come, and Your will be done.

In Jesus name,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Promise of Hope

Father God,

Help me to care for your flock. I am a willing worker, eager to serve. Show me how to be an example of your love.

Humble me, Father, and show me where in my life I need to submit. I claim your promise to hold me up and care for me. I release all of my anxiety to you. I release all of my worries to you. I need not worry about what I should eat or where I should live, for I am valuable to you.

Send your Holy Spirit to quicken me keeping me alert to your plan and the dangers that would distract and seek to destroy me. Through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will exercise self-control and I will not give in to the temptations of this world.

You have called me into your eternal glory. I will resist the devil and stand firm in my faith for you have promised to restore me; I am strong, firm and steadfast in the power of Christ Jesus.

You chose me. You love me. I believe in you and accept the Word of truth and life. Write your words on my heart. Whisper words of truth in my ear. I rebuke all confusion. I dispel Satan's lies. I remember your words and your promises. I accept your grace, encouragement and hope. Encourage my heart and strengthen me in every good deed and word.

In Jesus' name,