Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3525

Jump Start # 3525

2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”

  Hope is a powerful experience. Hope keeps us in the game and it keeps us going. A man was standing by a chain link fence along the third base side of a little league game. The man hollered out to the kid playing  third base, “What’s the score?” The third baseman said, “Twelve to nothing.” The man said, “Which one are you?” The kid said, “We’re the nothing. But we haven’t come to bat yet.” That’s hope. Hope keeps you looking for that lost item. Hope holds on to the idea that thing will turn around and get better.

  Paul reminded the Ephesians that there was a time when they had no hope. That is one of the saddest places to be, hopelessness. When the medical team tells a family there is no hope, the cloud of death surrounds them. When rescue efforts stop trying it is because there is no longer any hope.

  Our verse follows a list of several qualities of the Christian’s character that often is commonly called the “virtues of a Christian.” Add to your faith, virtue. To virtue, add knowledge. And, on and on Peter builds, finally ending with love. Lacking these qualities leaves one spiritually blind and useless. Our verse reminds us that if we do these things we will never stumble. Never stumble—that’s hope.

  Now consider:

  First, this is a realistic hope because we have added these qualities to our character. Love, godliness, self-control, kindness, knowledge, these are the very steps that keep us close to the Lord. Peter doesn’t manufacture some theological principle that makes no sense nor is realistic. Once saved, you’re always saved and it doesn’t matter what you do, flies in the face of what the N.T. teaches. Peter’s confident hope was that you have become what God wanted you to be. Your choices. Your steps. Your faith. Those things have made all the difference. This is why you will never stumble, because the way of the Lord is sure and right.

  Second, our verse uses the expression, “practice these things.” Practice is more than a one time event. Those who have played sports understand the word “practice.” Long. Hard. Tiring. But all those practices got you ready for game day. The piano teacher instructs her students to go home and practice. It’s the only way one will get good. Peter is telling his readers to “practice” kindness. Go practice “self-control.” Practice godliness. Practice love. And, the majority of these qualities are addressed in how we treat others. Kindness isn’t pointed to the way we treat ourselves, but others. Love is pointed outwardly towards others.

  So, the interaction of life, is how we practice these things. At work, practice these things. When other are cruel, you be kind. When others are ungodly, you be godly. When others set no limits, you practice self-control. And, there is something unique about those who practice. In time, they get pretty good at what they are doing.

  I read an article about a young man who wanted to be a writer. He got to talk to an author who had published several great books. The author told the young man to sit in your chair for hours upon hours and write. Write every day. Write when you don’t feel like it. Write when it’s hard to write. Day after day after day and then, you’ll begin to get good. That’s practice. That’s being diligent. That’s the idea Peter has. The only difference between Sunday and a Monday for us, ought to be where we are. Who we are, remains the same. In the classroom, in the store, in the cubicle, in the pew—we belong to Jesus.

  Third, one cannot stumble while he is engaged in doing good things, the things of God. Our stumbling takes place because we are no longer looking at Jesus and we are no longer practicing the qualities of God. We stumble when we listen to the world around us. We stumble when we stop practicing the things of God.

  What a profound statement of hope: You will never stumble. Each year, many do stumble. Some fall flat. Some never get up again. And, their lives show it. Their hearts are lacking faith. They no longer practice self-control. They have given up on virtue and love. They are listening to another voice. They are looking in another direction. And, they stumble. They fall. They crash spiritually.

  Peter’s words are that this will never happen to you. It will never happen to us. It won’t happen as long as we are practicing and adding to our faith and looking to Jesus. What great hope.

 One doesn’t have to keep a four-leaf clover near by. We don’t pray with our fingers crossed. There is a promise. There is a hope. There is a truth. You will never stumble, if you do these things.

  Great reminders for tough times…