I am not in to climbing heights, it scares me to death. Seriously, I cannot do it, never have been able to without tears, even in an airplane it scares me to leave the ground but once up I'm OK. I tried to climb Mt. Mcgloughlin in Southern Oregon I was doing great so I told my family to go on ahead and I would catch up. I am a dreamer I guess because they did go ahead and all of a sudden I came out in the open and right in front of me was the back side of the mountain straight down nearly and I just froze, I couldn't go a step farther and I was sitting on a rock trying to control myself but no one was around and all of a sudden these two little boys came around the corner, couldn't have been more than five or six and their two dads and I really had to wipe my tears in a hurry. I took their picture for them with nothing but space behind them and they went on their way and I started back down the mountain. I will tell you what happened later, it was pretty scary and the last mountain that I ever tried to climb.
Today, I wanted to climb Peter's ladder with you if you don't mind, it is quite sturdy and we can both handle it and it isn't scary at all, in fact it is quite informative. It is one of my favorite parts of the Bible, full of promises. Would you mind if I asked you to read the first four verses of Second Peter 1 and then we will start up the ladder, so do that now and we will continue.
Verse 5 says "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue (first round) ( virtue means goodness, and goodness means the quality of being good), and to virtue, knowledge, (second round,we all know what knowledge is but here it is talking specially about the knowledge of God and we get that by studying the word of God.) and to knowledge, self-control, (third round, we all know what self-control is) and to self-control, perseverance (fourth round, which means persistent, we must be persistent in our climb and get all that we can out of it.)and to perseverance, godliness, (fifth round, which means god-likeness, which can be accomplished through the power of God in us, we cannot make ourselves god-like) and to godliness, brotherly kindness (sixth round, and that is self-explanatory) and to brotherly kindness, love (seventh round, now this is not talking about the kind of love this world thinks about when you say love, it is talking about agape love, which is God's kind of love for others.)
If we climb this ladder successfully there is some promises in verses 8,9 & 10. "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed form his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble." That is a great promise, isn't it?
These rounds on this ladder need to be diligently applied to our lives, now I know that we can't do this all at one time and God doesn't expect us to but we can read it over and over and pray over it until it becomes a part of us. That's why I like this particular chapter, because I have read it so many times and I am still working on reading it again and again, so don't give up and you will have victory after victory and won't even realize that the power of God is doing it's work in you. It just happens as we study His word.
Tomorrow maybe I can finish telling you the rest of my mountain climbing experience. We will see if I can work it into my worship then. So until then be of good courage and climb Peter's ladder faithfully each day until you have it down pat. Remember the promise, 'if we do these things we will never stumble.' I know you can do it with God's help, so can I, so let's do our best, it is God that works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure," and it is His good pleasure, so let's let Him do it for us. OK? Grandma Joan