December 29, 2023
Think of these practices as an outline for your spiritual life, not strict laws to follow. Knowing that these practices are invitations by God to bring us closer to Him motivates us to grow in these, whether it be a daily practice, or a practice as the occasion affords us.
As we practice these disciplines, God is restoring our humanity and training us to be partners with Jesus in His great love for people. This training is not just for this life, but for the glorious life with Jesus in His coming Kingdom (Revelation 3:19-22 ).
What is the purpose of these practices? It's to become like Jesus. The goal is conformity to Jesus. How? As we partner with Jesus in his love for all people, we become more and more like Him. As apprentices of Jesus we seek our Master's instruction on how to love like He loves. This lifestyle doesn't just happen. It happens when we keep our hearts in alignment with His. Proverbs 4:3 "Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts." We learn these practices from those more mature than us - people like Dallas Willard, C. S. Lewis, Brother Lawrence, the earlier church fathers and , of course the Scriptures, from which we learn from the examples and the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles and the Prophets.
Here, the Apostle Peter teaches us what to suppliment to our faith - 2 Peter 1:3-11.
His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 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. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brother affection, and brother affection with love.
For IF these qualities are your and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Therefore, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. For is this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.