2 Peter 1
James 3:16 Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
James 3:18 Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
2 Peter 1:3-9 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him… by his marvelous glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These promises enable us to share his divine nature, and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires…
James 4:1-4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. …friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God…
As I continue to pray about and prepare for our new group of orientation students, I was really struck by the contrast in these 2 passages. James 3:16 tells us that wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. Therefore it’s probably true that when you see disorder, there is probably selfish ambition driving it in some way. James continues this thought in chapter 4. James 4:1 He asks the question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 1:14-15 James simply says, “Temptation comes from our own desires (not necessarily evil desires), which entice us and drag us down. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
I thought it was interesting in 2 Peter 1:4 the 2 primary benefits that Peter describes that will come when we know God is, (1) sharing in His divine nature, and (2) escaping the world’s corruption caused by human desires. How interesting. The world’s corruption is caused by our desires. James 3:16 is absolutely true, “Wherever you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you will find disorder and evil.” When we pursue our own desires James 1:4 calls that friendship with the world. Furthermore James says, “If you want to be a friend with the world, you make yourself and enemy of God.”
But, James 3:18 gives us the alternative, “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” How do we plant seeds of peace? One thing is for sure, it is not by pursuing my own selfish ambition! Planting seeds of peace is going to take denying my selfish ambition, and living out Phil 2:5, taking the attitude of Christ. Which brings us back to 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need to live a Godly life through KNOWING HIM. Christ was humble. Christ did not pursue any selfish ambition. Everything he said and did was completely focused on doing what His Father wanted. (John 5:19-20, John 5:30) If we want to escape the corruption that is in the world, we need to deny ourselves, take on the attitude of Christ, and plant seeds of peace, by the power of Christ in us!
- Don’t live by selfish ambition
- Seek to plant seeds of peace
- Continue to grow in your knowledge of God, so that you can become more like Christ.
- Seek to live like Jesus did in John 5:30, “I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.”