Wednesday, November 9, 2022

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

"According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and vir­tue: WHEREBY ARE GIVEN UNTO US EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowl­edge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience god­liness; And to godliness brotherly kind­ness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you to abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgot­ten that he was purged from his old sins Wherefore the rather, brethren, give dil­igence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:4-11)


Usually around the end of the year businesses begin taking inventory; taking stock of what has been sold and what has not! To see whether the business or enterprise has made money or not. Often, businessmen find out what they have been dreading all year, that their businesses didn’t do so well!

We can remember back to times of tremendously high interest rates, infla­tion and excessive taxation. Some countries fared better than others and some businesses better than the rest.  Whether their fiscal year comes to an end on the thirty first day of October or December, every businessman knows that after 12 months of operation, he must take stock!


The ulti­mate question the bookkeeper and the auditor answers is, Did we go in the black, red, or did we just break even?  Every farmer must evaluate - on a yearly basis - how his operation paid off.  The financial statement tells the story in the business world.  Mr. Kaye, the Auditor General of Canada, recently brought his report of the operations of our Govern­ment during this past year to Parliament Hill.  The government officials were rebuked, the opposition members went on the offensive, and to say the least, his report was shocking!


How did we do NUMERICALLY, FINANCIALLY and SPIRITUALLY?  What kind of individual growth, as well as corporate growth, did we have?  How many did we reach for Jesus last year? Now, is a good time to answer the question that the hymn writer asked, "How many are the lost that I have lifted, how many are the chained I've helped to free, I wonder have I done my best for Jesus, when He has done so much for me"?

My personal feeling is that the last day of the year is a good time to take inventory.  To take stock of our accomplishments for God's kingdom and for our fellowmen this past year.  However, I also think that we ought to take time on a weekly basis to evalu­ate our efforts and the results we are having throughout the year!

If a farmer is constantly losing money or making little or no profit, then certain­ly he will do something to change the situation; perhaps change to a different grain, begin using different fertilizer, improve his methods of breeding or change variety.  

Can we - in the Church - do less for God's Kingdom that a farmer would do for himself! If our methods or "modus operandi"? is not giving us the desired result, let us seek the Lord for direction and our brethren for advice.  Certainly, we want to be and desire to be productive!


St. Paul speaks of the power of God and the promises of the Lord to usward who believe, in his epistles to the Ephesian Christians. “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places.” (Eph. 1:19-20)

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”        (Eph. 3: 20,21)

St. Peter in my text, speaks of the same thing.  God's power has given us life!  He writes of precious promises and the Di­vine nature that we receive when we be­lieve those promises.  When we are con­verted, we escape the corrup­tion that is in the world through Lust.

The Real Pollution is the pollution or corruption of the mind and spirit, which Satan has unleashed upon the earth, by the vehicle of Lust. (Uncontrolled pas­sions)

 Christianity is serious business and liv­ing the Christian life is a 24-hour a day job!  There must not be any intentional slip ups - "Neither give place to the devil.." (Eph. 4:27) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. 2:11) "...If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." (2 Peter 1:10)

We must also GIVE ALL DILIGENCE - touch all the bases, follow the rules and obey the instructions, if we are to succeed in the Christian Life!


The Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH..." (Eph. 2:8). "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Heb. 11:6). Faith is three things!

No. 1 - Faith is Coming to God - presenting your problem, need or petition before Him.  You would not come to Him if you did not believe He is greater, wiser, and more powerful than you and can help you.

No. 2 - Faith Is Believing That God Is Whom He Claims to Be - The Eternal, Omni­potent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God.  That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that the Bible is Divine, Authoritative and True.

No. 3 - Faith Is Expecting An Answer When You Pray!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ purges our old sins, and the blood of Jesus frees us from condemnation and fear!

Virtue comes only by consistent Christian living, through Bible reading and prayer.  And constant dedication of our lives to Christ, with submission to His will.  The scripture speaks of "mortifying the deeds of the flesh." (Rom. 8: 13). We must ask ourselves, "Do we have virtue?"  Before we can have any virtue, we need faith which cometh by reading God's Word. (Rom. 10:17)


It is so important for us to be balanced in our Christian lives.  A balance in doc­trine, belief, conversation, and lifestyle!  St. Paul said, "Let your modera­tion be known unto all men..." (Phil. 4:5) Because..."The Lord is at hand."

Far out, fanatical, extremes in lifestyle, wearing apparel and practices is not scriptural.  We must be temperate and moderate in all things!  There is no doubt that God is very balanced and sensible, and that any good common sense we have, has been given to us of the Lord!



How hard it is to be patient!  But, how wonderful and how rewarding... St. Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians concerning patience...  "Cast not away therefore your confidence, (FAITH) which hath great re­compense of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the prom­ise." (Heb. 10:35-36)


 We are supposed to be Christ-like, Jesus-people, who exemplify the Lord and emulate the Saviour! We should become more and more like Him, the longer we live and study His word, seek His face and witness for Him to our fellowmen. The Bible says we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Rom. 8:17; 1 John 3:1)

We are sons of God now, and the only Bible that some people will read. St. Peter declared, "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men." (2 Cor. 3:2) I love the old song, "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask is to be like Him, so meek and lowly, so humble and Holy, All I ask is to be like Him".

It is high time that we make Him our Example as well as our Saviour and Lord!  We need to be godly in our living, actions and in our conversationWE ARE SEATED WITH GOD (AS BELIEVERS) IN HEA­VENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS (EPH. 2:6) AND OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN! (Phil.3:20) The Bible says, "Be ye Holy, for I am Holy, saith the Lord." (Lev. 11:44)


 A little girl was saying her prayers one night.  Her mother overheard her daughter utter these words, "O Lord, there are so many bad people in this world.  Please make all the bad people good and Lord please make all the good people NICE!"

What a prayer, "Make all the good people nice!"  Some good peo­ple - who are saved - are not kind and chari­table and anything but Nice!  "HELP US O LORD TO HAVE BROTHERLY KINDNESS!" To treat all Christians the same way we treat our own brothers and sisters, sharing the joys and sorrows of others in the household of faith.

Jesus made a tre­mendous statement when He said, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' (Matt. 7:12) We call that verse “THE GOLDEN RULE.”  How good it is to dwell in unity and peace with one another and to love each other with godly "agape" charity or love!  St. Paul wrote, "Bear ye one another’s bur­dens and so fulfill the laws of Christ." (Gal. 6:2) St. Paul also said, "Let brotherly love continue." (Heb. 13:1) I say Amen to that!


Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) "...he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." (Rom. 13:8) The law of the world is the law of the jungle: "Dog eat dog and every man for himself!"

Jesus came into this world with another law - "...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you...Give, and it shall be given unto you...Lend, hoping for nothing again!" (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:38; Luke 6:35)


What comfort these words of admonition give us - If ye do these things ye shall not fall!  "Whereby are giv­en unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be par­takers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giv­ing all diligence, add to your faith vir­tue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

St. Peter declares emphatically that if we keep God's Word, we will be fruitful in our Christian Life.  He also warns of the consequences of living a ship-shod, carnal life with no moral guidelines and ethics while still calling ourselves ‘Children.’

"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgot­ten that he was purged from his old sins." (2 Peter 1:8-9).

St. Paul agrees with Peter’s warning: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor.13:5)


The Bible warns:  "Let no man deceive you with vain words: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS COMETH THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Eph. 5:6-8)

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. “But fornication, and all unclean­ness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints." (Eph. 5:2-3) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them, for it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

 “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make mani­fest is light.  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:11-17)


St. Peter makes the analogy of a back­slidden Christian to a sow that has been washed clean and ends up in the muck again and a dog that goes back to its own vomit. "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:20-22)


If we fall into sin, the thing to do is to repent and confess our sins to God and carry-on serving God to the best of our ability by His grace and power. DO NOT STAY IN THE PIG PEN!  ANYTIME IS A GOOD TIME TO TAKE STOCK!

A final word from the apostle Peter, "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his own sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." (2 Peter 1:9-10). It’s time to take inventory, to take stock of our achievements for Christ and His Kingdom, now!

 NO. 1 - How many souls have we won to Christ this past year?  This past week?  Have we talked to someone about their soul's salvation today?  Do we give out gospel tracts (NEW LIFE BOOKLETS) on a regular basis? (We will supply all you need on a free will offering basis!)

 NO. 2 - How is our prayer life?  Do we communicate with our Heavenly Father on a regular basis?  Do we pray in Jesus pre­cious name, evoking His intermediacy and intercession?  Do we ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us?  Do we seek God's face regularly?

NO. 3 - How about praise, worship and intercession?  Do we pray in tongues regu­larly (in the Spirit)? (1 Cor. 14:2) Do we intercede with groanings which cannot be uttered? (Rom. 8:26) Does the Spirit help our inability to pray by introducing a new dimension (that of the Spirit-fill­ed believer) in our lives? (Rom. 8:27) Do we magnify God? (Acts 10:46)

NO. 4 - Are we reading the Bible regu­larly or does dust gather on its cover?  Do we listen to gospel music instead of worldly music?  A great blessing to me is "The Bible on Cassette."  I can listen to 20-30 chapters (or more) per day instead of just reading only 2 or 3.

NO. 5 - Are we a regular tithe payer?  Or, do we slough off by saying, "We're not under the law but under grace!"? TITHING WAS INSTITUTED BEFORE THE LAW, CONFIRMED UNDER THE LAW AND DEFINITELY IS IN EFFECT TODAY.

 The tithe is the least we should give to God.  The rule of thumb in the New Testament is to DO MORE THAN WHAT IS EXPECTED OF US, (Matt. 5:39-42) AND AS GOD HAS PROSPERED US! (1 Cor. 16:2) THAT COULD MEAN 20% or 30% depending on the blessing of God in our lives!

 G. Letour­noux made an agreement with God and went into the road building business in part­nership with OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  In the beginning he gave 10% to God.  Before he died Brother Letournoux was so wealthy that he lived on only 5% of the profits and gave 95% to the Kingdom of God.

Have you made an agreement with God?  Have you taken Him as your partner?  Do you regu­larly and consistently give God His share?  If you don't, will you please start today? The time of writing this article was 1982 while I was in Africa on a crusade.  Presently (2022), we are doing everything we can to reach as many people as possible.  Please pray for us!

NO. 6 - Are we fasting to the Lord on a regular basis?  YEARS AGO, WE SET ASIDE WEDNESDAY AS OUR REGULAR FAST DAY. (Drink at least 8 glas­ses of water or juices on any given regular day you decide to fast.)  Some people fast a meal a day and spend that time in prayer.  Jesus said, "Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bride­groom is with them?...when the bridegroom shall be taken away, IN THOSE DAYS SHALL THEY FAST!" (Mark 2:19-20)

John Wesley stated - when he saw worldliness creeping into the church - that If believers were not fasting on a regular basis they were as backslidden as if they were not praying regularly!  That's quite a statement from a mighty man of God! (The Methodists fasted Wednesdays and Fridays, the morning and noon meals in imitation of the Early Church.

NO. 7 - Are we letting our light shine for Jesus by living a kind, considerate and loving as well as compassionate, con­sistent Christian life?  Or are we mean, snarly, sarcastic, and proud?  Let us all humble ourselves regularly and ask our­selves, "Am I kind and sweet or am I a poor representative to this world for the Kingdom of God?"

Let us emulate Jesus to effectively share His Love and grace to a searching, lost and dying world!  Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) Amen.

P.S. I wrote this message during a Crusade in Africa. It was published in December 1982. M.S.   

 Max Solbrekken World Mission, Box 44220 Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6 Email:                       [email protected] ; YouTube, Facebook