The Weekly PowerBreak – “Make Every Effort”

There’s a standard today that is often seen from those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ and the standard is mediocrity. Mediocrity can be defined as being in state of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate. In other words, if you are doing things with an attitude of “just get by” you are offering God something that is less than acceptable. On the other hand, if you trying to be perfect you are often driven by pride which also makes what you offer as unacceptable. What are you to do? Offer God your best effort and leave it at that. How do you know whether you have offered your best? Put it to the test of whether you made every effort.

2 Peter 1:5–7 (ESV) — 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

We can take a great lesson in application from Peter’s words. Notice the reason behind the call to make every effort was based upon the passage prior. Namely that God has lavished upon us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

2 Peter 1:3–4 (ESV) — 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Since God has been gracious to give you all you need, then it makes sense He would expect us to make every effort to use what He has provided. But the motivation doesn’t stop there. Peter follows the admonition to make every effort with a review of the blessing of making every effort and the result of not making every effort.

2 Peter 1:8–9 (ESV) — 8 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. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Wait! There’s more… Peter summarizes by a call again to make every effort or to be diligent by restating the blessings found in making every effort.

2 Peter 1:10–11 (ESV) — 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So why wouldn’t a person make every effort as admonished in this passage? The answer is found in 2 Peter 1:9 – “so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” We get nearsighted by focusing upon ourselves rather than upon God and His eternal purposes and timely blessings. When we are so focused upon ourselves we tend to forget what we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, namely the forgiveness of all our sins at the price of His life on the cross. When we forget we are vulnerable to attacks from Satan, the world, and the flesh and the next thing you know we seem to have lost the passion we once had and turn to giving God a “get by effort,” which is neither satisfying to the soul nor pleasing to God.

If that be the case notice the call to return from the Lord Jesus Christ in His words to the Church at Ephesus:

Revelation 2:4–5 (ESV) — 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Come back by remembering, repenting, and serving God with your whole heart as you did when you first came to Christ. In other words, turn from this lackadaisical half hearted no focus service to making every effort in giving your best.

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker