2 Peter 1:5-11 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (KJV).
The number one reason people walk away from the church is because they stop ‘giving diligence’. If you ‘do those things, you won’t fall away’. If you’re not doing those things, you’re short-sighted or blind.
Another translation New Living Translation:
2 Peter 1:5-11 “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
“The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
“So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Work hard to prove that calling of God in your life. This takes dedication and study and time and effort.
When a person gives themselves over to what they feel is their calling, such as football or music or whatever, they work at it constantly, with all their heart and soul and strength. It takes over their lives. People who feel a calling to be a doctor are so dedicated it consumes them. This is what they feel they need to do with their lives. They eat, sleep, and breathe their calling.
‘Work hard to make sure.’ It’s not when you have time, it’s a priority, it’s THE priority.
When do you talk about your calling? Those who are dedicated are excited about it. Those who ‘make every effort’ give it their all.
God has chosen you for a purpose. He has put you here for a reason. He wants to give you something, to train you for His purpose.
A drill sergeant in Boot Camp sees strengths and weaknesses in his people and pushes them towards those things. A pastor sees strengths and weaknesses in people supernaturally and leads them in that direction.
Discerning of spirits is all about knowing what a person is all about, their strengths, weaknesses, hurts and what God wants them to do. A pastor will encourage you in the direction that the Lord is calling you to.
The battle rages. We are in a war. There are generals and captains in His army. We’ve got to follow them.
First, you’ve come to God and you’ve decided to surrender and make Him Lord. The clay doesn’t direct the potter. The potter knows what the clay is good for, what He created that clay for—whether it’s a pot for plants or a pitcher for water.
You haven’t chosen God. He chose you. You come to Him.
1 Cor 1:26-29 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
If you don’t feel worthy, you’re right. You’re not, but you’re exactly who God wants to work in and through. What are you doing to prepare? The moment you start living for the Lord, the moment you get the Holy Ghost, you receive power to be God’s witness. This is what you do to make your calling and election sure.
Make your calling sure:
- Surrender to God—Repent, Be Baptized in Jesus’ Name, Receive His Holy Ghost
- Submit to a man of God—your Pastor
- Study God’s Word—by yourself and in a Bible study group, take notes, apply it to your life every day
- Spend time with God’s people
- Pray Every Day
The Holy Ghost will bring God’s Word to your memory. If you read it or listen to it, God will help you remember. He will give it to you when you need it.
God can use you, let Him!
God is more than able to use you for His glory. The more inadequate you feel, the more you’re the one He wants. The harvest that God has promised won’t come in until you work for it. You’ve got to go and get it.
Everyone is called to witness.
1 Chron 12:33 “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.”
They knew their place and weren’t of a double heart, flip-flopping. They were honored for that.
Approach your calling with fear. This is serious, important, and precious. Whatever God wants you to do, do it with all your heart. Walk in your calling, make your election sure. That’s when God can really use you and that’s when He gets the glory! This is your ministry.
When you start to think you’re not useful to the Kingdom you begin to slack off, let down your guard, and things creep in that will pull you down further. Make your calling and election sure. Do what you know you’re supposed to do. Don’t back off and don’t slow down. From this point on, every major decision you make, ask yourself, ‘Does this get me closer to the goal God gave you or does it take me a step back?’ If it doesn’t get you closer, it’s not from God. Get a hold of God with everything you have.
If God has given you a gift to do something, flow in that, and do the best that you can do.
Rev 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Overcome yourself, your habits, your traditions, the things that keep you from doing your best to prove that you’re the chosen, one of the people who God has called. You’re here because you’re chosen. You have a part and a place and a purpose.
Love people and do what God has called you to do. Get that burden and work with all your heart at whatever your ministry is—cleaning, serving, greeting, singing, playing an instrument, teaching, preaching.
Be encouraged to be all that you are called to be in the Kingdom of God! There’s a lost and dying world that needs you and the hope that you’ve been given. They’re looking for a place to belong, a family, people who care, a God who can change their lives.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Skip Christo.
For full audios of our sermons, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!