“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)
There is no pleasure to be found in going in for a doctor’s visit and realizing that you not only were not prepared for the actual visit but knowing you had not done all that should have been done to be better!
Feeling better physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually requires effort. Feeling better physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually requires commitment! I found myself face to face with a less than stellar effort to meet my physician’s instructions … an event that required improvement!
The 20th century British author Aldous Huxley wrote, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
God calls us His “workmanship” in Ephesians 2:10. What a wonderful compliment God offers to those who surrender their will to His and choose to be one of His “chosen people” through faith and obedience.
As in any craft or profession of life, a process is involved. It is no different in our growth and maturity as a servant of the Lord. We don’t just start out being a fully armed and effective soldier in the Lord’s army capable to being on the front line in hand-to-hand combat!
Training, experience and a willingness to be “teachable” will enable each one of us to be more effective in an evil world where we can be shining as lights and offering hope to others through our example.
So where do we start? We start with ourselves and where we are and live. We start with our own little corner of the world … our own heart and life. God is not looking for perfect people to serve Him because there was only One who was perfect and He died that we might live!
There is an interesting and sobering passage of Scripture found in 2 Chronicles 16:9 which reads, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
God wants to work through those who make the choice to be loyal and have unswerving allegiance to Him! It is the principle of “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
I may not be able to effect any major change in the world in which I live, but I can with the Lord’s help effect change in my own heart, mind and life. Change that enables me to be the “workmanship” God wants me to be. Someone that allows the word of God to change them from the inside out!
Look at what God was able to do through His prophet and leader, Moses! Consider what God accomplished through Joshua and through the various characters of the Old and New Testaments. Men and women, young and old who were simply willing to start in their own corner of the world to grow and become a useful tool for the Lord!
So, what part of your life do you really want to improve on? It is always wise and proper for each of us to stop the treadmill of this world and reflect on God, His Word and how we are handling it.
Friends and brethren, each of us has the opportunity to improve our own corner of the world with the help of the One who made us, provides for us, is mindful of us and who will one day judge us! The ingredients necessary to be more useful include those of 2 Peter 1:4-11.
Will you start today?
Bill Fairchild, Jr.
P.S. How are you doing on your daily Bible reading?