Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Devotion 4.7.16

The excuse is perhaps the greatest casualty given to us during the fall of man.  Yes, sin and death are a result of our fall from God's perfect creation, but the excuse was the first sin out of the bag after defying God.  After God finds Adam hiding in the garden, he asks, "....Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3)

Excuses are not traits of excellence..  We rationalize or justify ourselves as to why something or someone keeps us from getting something done.  Anything but myself and my lack of action bears the responsibility for me not being the man I want to be.  Phil Mickelson didn't win the Houston Open last weekend, and in his response, he said, "I like playing in this tournament, but I was working on my game management for next week, not to win this week." (Next week being the Master's Golf Tournament.)  That might be true except he has won the Houston Open (2011) and has come close before.  That makes his rationale sound more like an excuse, which might have been better stated by saying, "I wasn't playing at the level I want in order to win."

Peter notes we are meant to pursue the excellence that comes from God.  The passage is one that is worthy of memorizing: "His divine power has granted to 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, nd godliness with brother affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1)

The promise of our faith makes us "partakers" of the divine nature, God's excellence.  So, what do we do with that?  Hopefully, our prayer is that we seek Christ's gift of excellence in all we do, intentionally.  As Peter notes in his progression from knowledge to love, we work intentionally to be examples of the grace we are given (as he notes later, it is our calling).  We pray for forgiveness when we fail, but we offer no excuses.  Rather we pray we get back to the excellence God has planned for us in our lives.

Hope Men's Ministry

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