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DEVELOPING A GODLY HEART

Peter wrote, “2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him (Christ) that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”, (II Peter 1:2-4).

Peter further points out that as we partake of His nature we will become like Him in character and action. “5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (II Peter 1:5-8). When one comes in obedience to the will of God, he is a “newborn” child, (I Peter 2:2). He is then to grow in the Lord by adding that which is inherent with God to his way of life (II Peter 3:18; II Timothy 2:15). This list of characteristics is bestowed on those who

partake of His nature as he diligently seeks to improve his way of life, (II Peter 1:5).

The process begins with active faith and Peter encourages “add to your faith”. He lists virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love as characteristics which will help us to become like God or to partake of God’s nature, (II Peter 1:4-8). He then tells us that if we apply these to our lives we will not fall from our relationship with God, (II Peter 1:8-11). The Hebrew writer stated, “1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 1:1-6).

Paul pointed out the change that must take place in leaving the works of the flesh and adding the fruit of the Spirit to our lives, (Galatians 5:19-23). He then stated “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”, (Galatians 5:24-25). In his letter to Titus, Paul offered exhortations that related to Christians of all ages (Titus 2:1-10). He then stated, 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

If we are to be like our Father in heaven, we must “lay aside” those things that are worldly and take upon ourselves the identifying marks of God’s children. He wrote, “1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (I Peter 2:1-5).

Have your choices given you a “godly heart”? Moses told Israel to make a choice. He stated, “19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Will you choose to develop a “godly heart”?

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