This morning I read from 2 Peter 1:5-8 the following:
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, an self control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, an godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
O. (observation) I see this passage having a theme of “the key to spiritual productivity.” As believers we are to have faith, the act of believing and trusting God. However, to be fruitful or productive, we (I) am to supplement my dependence upon God with moral excellence.
I think moral excellence is living with a high standard of morality. Within that, I am to live with making the best choices possible.
Along with moral excellence, I am to acquire knowledge. I need to a be a life long learner. I should not be ignorant (uninformed) rather, I should be teachable. A third thing, attribute or characteristic is having self control. I should not live by impulse and should try to avoid the things (triggers) which cause my flesh to want instant gratification.
I am also to add patient endurance to my life’s capabilities. This is close to self control but it extends self control with the ability to wait and endure. This means trusting the Lord by putting up with things that we might not enjoy forthe moment, but for the long run we know that it will bring maturity and ultimately glory to God. This is what the scriptures refers to as “denying yourself.”
I am also to add brotherly affection, which I understand as caring for our fellow man. It is an aspect of love. It’s one of the Greek words for love .. we get our word Philadelphia from it (Philly the city of Brotherly Love) simply said, we are to care and love people.
The last is concluded or perhaps “topped off” (crowned?) by having love. This is the word agapow .. the divine love, the imitating, self sacrificing love. This is the love Jesus has for us and for which we, His children, His church, are to have for others. Love that seeks or initiates relationship and commitment.
All of these six added to faith are the keys to possessing spiritual productivity that will glorify Jesus.
A(application): I will establish these six areas as goals to work on in 2016.
1. Moral excellence – I will live my life by the Spirit’s power, making wise choices, and supporting moral causes. Truly loving people.
2. Knowledge – I will demonstrate humility and have a teachable spirit. I’ll read more and be open to learning more.
3. Self Control – I will not give in to my flesh. I will seek the Wisdom from the Holy Spirit in how I allocate my time, diet, money, physical care, etc.
4. Patient Endurance – No quick decisions. Deliberate living. Enduring and trusting God.
5. Brother Affection – I will seek for ways to bless others.
6. Love – I will demonstrate to others by my lifeof initiating relationships and commitments, denying myself seeking to benefit others (my family and flock).
For the reader, my question... how about you???? What will you do to increase spiritual productivity in 2016??
Prayer - Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, grant me strength and wisdom this year to supplement my faith in you with:
brotherly affection and agapow love
In Jesus name! Amen.