3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, 4 by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-8
I have to start out by saying that I have an incredible prayer team. Give me just a moment to boast on this incredible group of women. A group of five ladies that I have the privilege of calling friends have dedicated themselves and their time to covering me and the ministry of Neue Thing in prayer every week. We pray together, we pray for each other, and we see mountains move! I’ve recently asked them to share with me certain passages of Scripture that have been speaking to them and challenging them in their own walk with the Lord – passages that they want me to write about. Today’s post was inspired by one of them, and I have been thanking God daily for this timely word in my life.
The passage begins with a declaration. It’s not a statement that suggests a possibility or even a hope. Verse 3 declares to all believers that we have been given EVERYTHING that we need to live the life that is pleasing to God. Through our pursuit of Jesus Christ and getting to know Him through His Word, we have all that we need to face each day, each trial, each struggle, each and every test. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, lack no good thing. He has equipped us. What incredible news! And as if that weren’t good enough, it goes on to say that we’ve also been given precious and very great promises. What more could we ask for? What more could we possibly need? We’ve been given the assurance through our faith in Jesus Christ that we have all that we need to live a godly life on this side of Heaven, which will inevitably lead to an eternity with Him.
So, now the true challenge of our faith comes. We see a progression of godly character throughout verses five, six, and seven. We begin with faith, which culminates in love. Remember, it is by grace that you have been saved through faith. We meet Jesus at the cross by faith. But He calls us from there to move to love. As we grow in our faith, our character is developed (virtue) as we desire God’s Word more, which leads to a deeper spiritual understanding (knowledge). With that knowledge, we grow in the discipline of self-control, refraining from sin and its enticing temptations, knowing the destruction that sin leads to. As we make self-control a continuous habit in our lives, we begin to see a passionate patience (steadfastness) characterize our interactions with others. We start to look more like Jesus, act more like Him, and be more like Him (godliness). This godliness naturally leads to a warm friendliness (brotherly affection). People begin to want to be around you. They desire your friendship or at least your presence because your presence changes the environment. You’ve become a welcomed “different”, something they desire and long for in their own lives. This brotherly affection finally and ultimately leads to love. It’s all about love. We’ve been called to a life of love.
So, the question remains…are you loving? Would those who know you best describe you as a loving person, someone who radiates the heart of Jesus? If there is one thing I’ve learned in my walk with the Lord it’s that He lovingly met me where I was at in my sin, rescued me from that broken life apart from Him, and welcomed me in just as I was BUT refuses to allow me to remain there. He’s after my heart. He’s after your heart, and continuous growth is His aim. Our sanctification is His will. He wants us to become increasingly more like Himself. We started with faith…have you progressed? Are these godly characteristics evident in your life in increasing measure? Has your faith changed you? Because this simple truth remains: it’s all about love.