May 19

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 28
     Psalms 72
     Isaiah 19-20
     II Peter 1
''But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." (II Peter 1:5-7)
      Peter has triumphantly declared to us that we have become ''partakers of the divine nature." (II Peter 1:4-5) Now, it says that we are to “add” some things to our lives. Add means that we have to do something. Sometimes we forget that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.
      We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves - God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves.
  Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things and, in the initial stages, that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning - to instruct yourself in the way you must go.
      The Christian life is not always a mountaintop experience. There are times that seem monotonous and our duties seem to be drudgery. There are no flashes of light and no apparent glow in the life, and we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common, everyday task. It is a difficult time to add some of the things Peter mentions here. We say we do not expect God to take us to Heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we do. Regardless of the circumstances around us, we are to add these vital traits to our lives.
      We begin with faith, and to that must be added things like virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, and kindness. The end result is genuine love which is the greatest virtue of all. Love is an indefinite thing to most of us. We do not know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person for another and, spiritually, Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself.
      Love means that there are no visible habits - that your habits are so immersed in the Lord that you practice them without realizing them. If you are consciously aware of your own holiness, you place limitations on yourself from doing certain things -things God is not restricting you from at all.  This means there is a missing factor that needs to be added to your life.  When you totally are immersed with Jesus, then you are at home with Him at all times.
      So begin today to add these things to your life that can result with a complete love for Him, and for those around you in the Body of Christ. Allow God to work through whatever the circumstances are until you increase in Him, adding His qualities to your own life. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained through discipline. Now you know what you must do, so get moving!
It is known as the most serene Republic of San Marino, and is located in North Central Italy, near Rimini. This Italian country has about 28,000 people. San Marino proclaims itself as the ancient land of liberty. They have a freedom to worship but not to evangelize. There are only indigenous evangelical believers reported, but no evangelical church exists. Any effort toward evangelism can lead to imprisonment. Pray for God to give the real Christians in this country courage to stand up for truth.
''Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible."
Frank Gaines