For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1.5-8
What do you strive after? The answers to that question will range very widely and will, to an extent, be determined by, personality, circumstances, health, vision and many other things but should be primarily focussed on all that we, if we are believers, have from God, enabling us to participate in the divine nature (v.4)
Peter calls his readers therefore, to strive after those qualities that will result in their knowledge of God being effective, and productive. (v.8)
Do we see our knowledge of God in that light? It should not be something that is internalised but which will have an impact on those around us for we are to be salt and light in our areas of influence. The ability to be salt and light clearly comes from our knowledge of God, which we are told here, will be effective if by God’s grace we daily add to our faith –
Goodness; Knowledge; Self-Control; Perseverance; Godliness; Brotherly kindness; Love.
The implication of what Peter writes is that these things, sadly, do not come easily but require effort. They are of course consequences of faith and mirror in a number of ways, the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5, but still require that we are intentional about them.
It is all too easy with the pressures of life to lose sight of this and to rely on cursory reading of God’s Word, snatched times of prayer, meeting with other believers when we can find time, and if we are honest this can so easily become the approach we hsve to our faith rather than ‘making every effort’.
As noted in recent piece, Europe, including the UK is the least evangelised and least ‘Christian’ continent in the world. Is there a way back from this devastating statistic?
Will you ponder this morning how this situation would be impacted if all those whose faith is in the risen Lord Jesus Christ made the effort to which Peter is calling his readers.
There is really no excuse for failing in this for v.3, God’s divine power is available to us.
If we believe this let us draw on it and display to the world our growth in those beautiful characteristics noted above, to the glory of God and the salvation of our fellow men and women.