I came across this passage the other day in reading my Bible…

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 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. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” ~ 2 Peter 1:3-9

I know I’d read these verses before… but something about them struck me in a new way this time around….

See… God has given us everything we need to live for Him and to escape the corruption of the world. Because of this, we are told here that we need to “make every effort” to add goodness to our faith. Add knowledge to that goodness, self-control to knowledge, perseverance to our self-control. We need to add godliness to perseverance, brotherly kindness to godliness… and to brotherly kindness, we need to add love. Wow, that’s a lot of characteristics, but… they all fit together. You cannot have love without all the other qualities. Love binds it all together. (Colossians 3:14) They overlap; we need to add ALL of them to our lives. Not just pick and choose what looks good for the moment or what fits into our plans.

We are to “possess these qualitites in increasing measure.” So… we are supposed to grow in them. Keep growing in them, keep adding them to our lives. If we do this, they will keep us from “being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I love that. I don’t want to be ineffective or unproductive. I want my life to make a difference. Our lives will be effective and productive when we are living as Christ lived. When we are growing in Him, growing in these characteristics, that is when we will be productive and effective for Him.

And if we don’t have these qualities in our lives… if we are not growing in them constantly… then we are blind to the truth that we have been forgiven. I thought of the verse where Jesus said that those who have been forgiven of much love much, and those who haven’t don’t love much. When we forget that we’ve been forgiven… we are so blind.

If we are going to claim to belong to Jesus, then we need to live like it. (Philippians 2) We need to walk as Jesus walked… live as He lived. (1 John 2:5-6) When we are living like Him, we will be contagious…

“… maybe a greater thing will happen ~
maybe all will see
maybe our Love will catch like fire
as it burns through me…”

~ from “beautiful love”… the afters

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