I don't know about you but for me salvation is the greatest promise I could ever receive. That Jesus Christ would step down from his heavenly throne to pay the penalty for my sins and misdeeds is a promise beyond compare. The second greatest promise is that I can live an effective life that never stumbles or falls and receive a rich welcome into God's eternal kingdom.
In his second letter recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, Simon Peter, a follower of Jesus Christ, describes a nine-step process that will render us both effective and productive in the true knowledge of Jesus Christ. In other words he promises that if I incorporate certain qualities into my life I can live a victorious life void of bumbling, fumbling and stumbling.
The foundation of this effective life is Jesus Christ; the inspiration is the Holy Spirit. Apart from Jesus and the Holy Spirit the best life cannot be attained.
The building blocks of the effective Christian life are:
These nine essential qualities are intertwined and work together to produce your best life in Jesus Christ.
Diligence describes the measure of effort necessary to attain the effective life. In order to attain the victorious life we must put forth an earnest effort to make it happen.
Faith is the assurance that what you cannot see actually exists. Faith is only worthwhile when placed in an object that is real and has the ability to assist you in your pursuit for the effective life. This type of faith includes putting your trust in yourself, others and of course God.
Moral excellence is an attitude precipitated by faith in God. When you place your full trust in God then regardless of whether you have the know how you will want to live a life pleasing to God; you will want to live a holy and righteous life that brings honor to God.
True knowledge is a second attitude precipitated by faith in God. Jesus Christ said, "And this is eternal life to know God and His Son who he has sent." When you decide to accept God and His Son as Lord of your life you will want to know him so as to know how to please him. We learn about God and His ways by reading the Bible and attending classes at a Bible teaching church or school.
Self-control is winning over the temptations that are innate within you. It is difficult to live a life pleasing to God by practicing self-control if you do not know God's requirements. Gaining true knowledge of God and his ways through sound biblical teaching will give you more tools to practice personal discipline and live the effective Christian life. Consistently practicing self-control by subduing your natural appetites will give you the spiritual muscle to overcome other obstacles thrown at you by the world and the evil one.
Perseverance is the ability to consistently overcome the temptations hurled at you by the world and the evil one. Practicing self-control and perseverance afford you the opportunity to live a life fully dedicated to God and his kingdom. Constant defeat will bring guilt and shame and an inability to focus your energies on achieving the best life God wants for you.
Godliness is a sincere devoutness to God and His causes. When you give your all through self-control and perseverance then you will develop an unyielding devotion and commitment to God and His Kingdom. You will possess a spiritual and personal confidence bolstered by the Holy Spirit that will draw others to want to know and honor God and His Son, Jesus Christ as well.
Brotherly kindness is: loving others because you truly value them. When we give our whole lives to God in faithful devotion to Him then we will be completely concerned about what God is concerned about. A Christian who does not love others is an oxymoron (as is a Christian who does not smile). God is most concerned about people. When you put your faith in God to live the abundant life he intended for you to live then you will be concerned for all people from every place on the planet. In Jesus Christ there is no caste system. There is no favoritism. Every human being who ever lived is welcome to join God's house, to be adopted into God's family. Your best life experienced is done so when lived in conjunction with others. You cannot live the effective Christian life alone by yourself.
Unconditional love is the culmination of a life lived in loving fellowship with God, yourself and others. When asked about the greatest commandment Jesus replied, "To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as you love yourself." Living the previous eight qualities will lead you to possess the most important quality: love.
These are nine building blocks of the effective Christian life. If you live by them you will be victorious every single day of your life.
Unfortunately, we are not perfect and even the best Christians on the planet stumble over temptation once in a while. Thanks be to God that he has given us a remedy for when we do fall. The Bible tells us that when we fall that we only need to confess or agree with God that we have sinned and the Lord will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This cleansing is based not on our personal merit but on the blood Jesus shed on the cross. So if you fall don't moan and groan about it. Pop right back up, agree with God that it was a bonehead move and walk on in God's loving hand.
God wants you to win! Put these nine qualities to work for you and you will live an effective Christian life and gain a rich welcome into God's eternal kingdom.