Maturity is Mastering the Basics
Passage: 2 Peter 1:12-15
....It was 1961 and the Green Bay Packers had just started training camp. The previous season had ended with a heartbreaking defeat in the NFL championship game. The Packers squandered a lead late in the fourth quarter to lose the title game to the Eagles. It was a rough offseason for the players and when they returned to training camp the next season, they were fired up and eager to take their game to the next level. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi had a different idea, though. On the first day of practice he stood before the team, held up a ball, and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
....For the next month Lombardi covered the fundamentals of how to block and tackle. They opened the playbook and started over from page one. At one point, Pro Bowl receiver Max McGee joked, “Coach, could you slow down a little? You’re going too fast for us.” That year the Packers became the best at the basic tasks every other team took for granted. Several months later Green Bay beat the New York Giants to win the NFL championship.
....Someone said, “maturity is mastering the basics.” Peter understood this. He wrote to his friends, “I shall always be ready to remind you of these things even though you already know them and have been established in the truth which is present with you” (2 Peter 1:12). “These things” referred to the basics of God’s character and grace and their faith that he had discussed in verses 3-11.
....Peter loved going back to the basics. He saw it as a way to “stir” them up. More important, he knew that he did not have much time left to ground them in these basics because he knew that, “the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent” (vv. 12-14). Jesus had shown the apostle that the time of his homegoing was not far away.
....2020 was a rough and, in many ways, heartbreaking year. It would be natural to look for exciting and grand ideas designed to make up for lost time. Perhaps, however, we need a different focus as we enter 2021. Maybe, instead of trying to pick up where we left off at the close of 2019, what we need is to go back to the basics. Let me suggest three basics that we need to master for the Master. They are as basic as A—B—C.
....The “A” is “Alone” . . . spend alone time with Jesus as your daily priority. Develop a renewed discipline of listening to Him and talking with Him through daily time in the Word and prayer.
....“B” is “Build” . . . build up your family with His love. Jesus said others will know we are His disciples, “by the love you have for one another” (John 13:35). Build your family (both your at home family and your spiritual family) by worshiping together, meeting one another’s needs, being quick to forgive, and eager to yield.
....Finally, “C” is “Care” . . . care for others as you go about your day. Jesus looked upon the masses with a broken heart. He saw them as, “sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). The “social distancing” of 2020 might tempt us to prioritize the question, “what can we do in 2021 to get people back in the pews;” but Jesus never told the world to come to the church. He told the church to go to the world. And He set the example. Jesus cared about the needs, the pain, and the lostness of those around Him . . . and He did something about it.
....Maturity IS mastering the basics. Let’s go to the Master and let Him give us a refresher course in the A-B-C’s of walking with Him in our personal life, family life, and ministry life as we launch into 2021.