2 Peter 1:3-7 (New International Reader's Version)
3 God's power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. He chose us because of his own glory and goodness.
4 He has also given us his very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in his nature. He also did it so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings.
5 So you should try very hard to add goodness to your faith. To goodness, add knowledge. 6 To knowledge, add the ability to control yourselves. To the ability to control yourselves, add the strength to keep going. To the strength to keep going, add godliness. 7 To godliness, add kindness to believers. And to kindness to believers, add love.
Over the last month we have looked forward to the celebration of Christ's coming. We have enjoyed a season of anticipation and celebration for the great gift God has sent us. God has stepped into the world and on behalf of His creation He has given us His best. He has given us His Son and our Redeemer and King. In giving us His best, He has also made a commitment and promise to us that can never be broken, and at the same time He has given us the ability to receive His gift, His promises and His commitment.
As we look back onto the year passed, we need to recount His goodness to us. At the same time, as we look forward in anticipation to another year, we need to commit to Him to give Him our best. What is our best? The second letter attributed to the apostle and eye-witness of Jesus's earthly presence, Peter, touches on this in verses 5-7.
Our best is offered in how we live out our faith in Jesus Christ, and this is lived out in our goodness to others, our hunger to know God more, how we control our earthly desires, our endurance in the face of difficulty and persecution, our behavior and character before God, in how we treat fellow believers we serve with, and most importantly how we demonstrate love to all.
I have found that in times of trial and distress, the closer I get to Him, the more confident I am in the future. And the more confident I am in the future with God's help, the more I am able to serve others for Him. I have resolved to listen more to His voice in my heart, to turn from doing things my own way, and to follow His leading in all things.
In these last few days of 2010, consider how you have lived out your faith in Jesus Christ over the last year. Despite your circumstances, consider God's goodness and blessings to you and yours. Finally, commit yourself to following Him even more closely in the New Year, seeking Him through prayer and meditation. In all things, resolve in your own heart to give Him your best.