Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. Colossians 3:10
Jesus’ divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3.)
We begin with the measure of faith that God has assigned to each of us (Romans 12:3). We know that we are not fully Christ-like yet, but we have the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen (Hebrews 11:1). God gives us great encouragement by telling us that we already have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16.)
Now we apply diligence: a zealous effort to achieve our goal of adding moral excellence to our faith.
What is moral excellence? – The strength to do what is right; the courage to live out our faith and fight against temptation; how we maintain a clear conscience.
In order to develop moral excellence we must have a desire to change and improve our thought and action lives — “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6).
In order to change we need to take a close look at God’s standards of what is morally good and what is morally bad — “I will praise You with an upright heart, as I learn your righteous laws.” (Psalms119:7.) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms119:105.)
Then we think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent (full of virtue) and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8).
Now with this knowledge, we need to examine our own lives with God’s Word.
. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5).
. How can a young person remain pure? Only by living according to Your word. I have pursued You with my whole heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. Deep within me I have hidden Your word, so that I will never sin against You. (Psalm 119:9-11 The Voice).
. “You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do! … And then He added, “It is the thought-life that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts … All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you and make you unacceptable to God.” (Mark 7:15, 20-23.) (— Antidote: Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
The end result: “35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matthew 12:35-37).
God, I pray that You will help each one of us to guard and develop our faith so we can be prepared to fully trust You in our times of need. We all have personal concerns that need Your attention. We thank You for listening and answering. Help us to meditate on Your Word so we can add virtue to our faith. We all would like clear consciences – so help us in our choices. Thank You for Your great care and concern. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2 Corinthians 4:16 — 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.