Remember our goal. We want to walk with God. Remember what we know. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8: 28) Remember God’s promise. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8: 29) Remember how the Apostle Peter says it, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1: 3–4)
This phrase, “having escaped the corruption in the world” intrigues me. We lament the greed and waste and selfishness that lies all about us but the Apostle Peter states God’s grace has allowed us to escape. Literally, we have become fugitives from the corruption in the world by means of evil desires. We are those who have run away from the lusts of the world. Now, a fugitive lives differently than a normal guy so it stands to reason that the way we show mutual affection or demonstrate brotherly kindness will be different, too. The world, not having escaped the corruption that permeates it, not having “received a faith as precious as ours” (2 Peter 1: 1) may not and most likely will not react to our kindness the way we want.
Do you remember the scene from the movie The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimball? Dr. Kimball has made his way back to Cook County Hospital to seek information about the one-armed man that killed his wife but during an emergency he saves a young boy’s life. Is he congratulated or thanked for his good deed? No, those in charge want to find out who he is, detain him, and keep him from doing such unauthorized things in the future.
So, as we add mutual affection to godliness we’ll remember how a fugitive acts. Number one, in all that we do we aim to avoid calling attention to ourselves. If we can accomplish everything under the radar, we’re fine with that. Number two, we don’t take advantage of our friendships or put our friends in harm’s way. If we need to work out something together, we do because we love and trust one another. Number three, we do the things we do so that the truth will come out.
Our affection or kindness avoids the two extremes of superiority and idolatry. We’re not better than others because of our faith but neither are we chumps or wimps because of our faith. We are not boastful nor are we in bondage to the opinion of others. Our kindness just like our faith is up to speed when it exudes moral excellence, is based on knowledge, demonstrates self-control and patience, embodies godliness, and gives mutual affection.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself as you share the faith of the fugitive.
This is an excerpt from our new book, The Pathway of Grace: Learning to Walk with God set to be released in January 2014. Copy and paste http://eepurl.com/lqfeL and sign up today to find out more about the books, music, and events provided by Norman Ramsey Ministries and receive regular posts from me teaching the way of grace.