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This incredible artwork by Tamara Peterson inspired me to do a word study of 2 Peter 1:10 while worshipping with Darlene Zschech to the beautiful hymn, The Potter’s Hand … You gently call me into Your presence, guiding me by Your Holy Spirit, Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes, I’m captured by Your holy calling, Set me apart, I know You’re drawing me to Yourself, Lead me Lord I pray…Take me, Mold me, Use me, Fill me, I give my life to the Potter’s hand, Call me, Guide me, Lead me, Walk beside me, I give my life to the Potter’s hand…
2 Peter 1:10
NASB: Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.
Amplified: Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.
Barclay: So, brothers, be the more eager to confirm your calling and your choice. For, if you do practice these virtues, you will never slip.
GWT: Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God’s calling and choosing of you secure. If you keep doing this, you will never fall away.
NLT: So, dear friends, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away.
Phillips: Set your minds, then, on endorsing by your conduct the fact that God has called and chosen you. If you go along the lines I have indicated above, there is no reason why you should stumble
Wuest: Wherefore, brethren, exert yourselves the more, and bend every effort to make for yourselves your divine call [into salvation] and your divine selection [for salvation] things that have been confirmed, for doing these things, you will never stumble.
Calling (klesis from kaleo = to call. “Klesis” refers to the divine call by which Christians are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. God’s invitation (klesis) to man to accept the benefits of His salvation is what this calling is all about, particularly in the gospels. It is God’s first act in the application of redemption according to His eternal purpose (Romans 8:28). Klesis can also refer to a call unto Christian service or ministry. That the calling is to more than a Christian profession is clear from the experiences which Paul associates with it. No one can be a chosen one unless he is a called one. The initiative always comes from God. Klesis is an urgent invitation to someone to accept responsibilities for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does the calling; the station in life or social role which one has. Klesis, a calling, always used in the New Testament of that calling the origin, nature, and destiny of which are heavenly (the idea of invitation being implied); it is used especially of God’s invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon writes: “By the word “calling” in Scripture, we understand two things—one, the general call, which in the preaching of the gospel is given to every creature under heaven; the second call (that which is here intended) is the special call—which we call the effectual call, whereby God secretly, in the use of means, by the irresistible power of His Holy Spirit, calls out of mankind a certain number, whom he himself hath before elected, calling them from their sins to become righteous, from their death in trespasses and sins to become living spiritual men, and from their worldly pursuits to become the lovers of Jesus Christ.”
Choosing (ekloge from eklegomai [eklego] in turn from ek = out + lego = select, choose, eklegomai meaning to choose or select for oneself, but not necessarily implying rejection of what is not chosen. In the passive sense ekloge refers to God’s selection for a purpose or task. In other words it represents a special choice.
Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest states: “In God’s foreknowledge and purpose, there is no insecurity, no uncertainty; but in our vision and apprehension of them as they exist in and for us, much, until they are pointed out. The exhortation is that the believer should make sure of the fact that he is saved by seeing to it that the Christian graces superabound in his life. There is no idea here of making sure that we retain our salvation but that we possess salvation.”
Pastor J. Vernon McGee writes: “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure”—he means, of course, more sure. In other words, the security of the believer is objective; it is something that cannot be disturbed. However, your assurance can certainly be disturbed by the life you live. If your life is not lived in sincerity and truth, you are bound to lie on your bed at night and wonder if you really have been born again. While it is true that Christ has done everything necessary to save you and keep you saved, your Christian life to be meaningful is something that you have to work at. I have been married for a long time, and I never have to lie awake at night and wonder whether or not I am married; but to make my marriage meaningful, I have to work at it, and I have been working at it for a long, long time. Likewise in your Christian life, “make your calling and election more sure.” That is, let it become subjective in your own heart—to know that you are a child of God. “For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” I have talked with many Christians who have gotten into sin. It is very interesting to me that I have never yet talked to one who had the assurance of his salvation before he got into sin. You see, the person who lacks assurance lacks a solid foundation under him.”
David W. Folsom, author of the book Assets Unknown, estimates that there are over one trillion dollars worth of unclaimed property in the United States held in federal and state accounts, waiting to be claimed by the rightful owners. These assets include stocks and bonds, unclaimed pension and insurance benefits, and uncashed dividend checks. This staggering figure illustrates the “high cost of forgetting what you own.” As Christians we are “co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17); we can’t afford to lose sight of what God is holding in store for us.”
Do you know people who have walked away from God’s calling on their lives? If you look only at outward appearances, you may be tempted to give up on them. But don’t write them off spiritually or distance yourself from them. Pray for them. Ask God to fill you with his love for them and to give you spiritual eyes that see them from His perspective. Believe that God is able to renew their hearts and save them. Ask the Holy Spirit to draw them back, and anticipate the day when they will turn away from disobedience and return to the arms of their Father. It is easy for all of us to have faulty ideas about God. If we base our view of God on the media’s opinions or on what liberal professors say about Him, we will have an incorrect picture. If our opinions about God are the result of pain left over from childhood or from our experience with an unloving or absent earthly father, we may see Him through a dark filter and not accept His love for us. But God revealed Himself in His Son. And His Word is His love letter to us, calling us to come home to His heart. Jesus declared who God is and showed God’s heart to us so that we would be drawn to Him and could know Him. His life, miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection have given a glorious revelation of the Father. Through His Word we can see the Father accurately in His splendor, love, grace, and light.
To what life has God called you? Preaching or teaching God’s Word? Caring for young children? Serving God in the business world or taking the gospel to a foreign land? Whatever our calling, our best intentions and good deeds will accomplish nothing of eternal value apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s when we die to our own abilities and surrender our work to God that He infuses our feeble efforts with His irresistible Holy Spirit power. When we seek the Lord humbly in prayer, admit our inadequacy, and ask for His grace and sufficiency, He will divinely enable us to fulfill our calling. He and He alone can make us worthy of the life to which He has called us.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for revealing Yourself in Your Son Jesus. Wipe off the lens of my heart that I might see You accurately and love You more each day. Thank You for Your Word, which reveals Your love and Your calling for my life. Thank you for Jesus, who has made it possible for me to have clear vision with which to see You, Father. Thank You that my effectiveness in Your calling doesn’t depend on my abilities. In Your grace, impart Your irresistible Holy Spirit power to me so that I may live the life to which You have called me. Make me a vessel of Your glory so that those who see my works will look past me and be drawn to You. Thank You for always calling me to draw near to You. That is my desire, so I look to You to work within me Your irresistible Holy Spirit power and energy to rise morning by morning to meet with You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
Look up – Meditate on 2 Peter 1:10. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look in – Meditate on 2 Peter 1:10. Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”
Look out – Meditate on 2 Peter 1:10. Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ