Friday, September 13, 2013

Special Ingredients - Make Every Effort

God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity. Through his glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world. Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. 
2 Peter 1:3-8

Several years ago I did a lesson at a ladies' retreat about these verses. It was a recipe them, so these verses fit right with the theme.  I am using the God's Word Translation above, but the NIV says "increasing measure" on that last verse, instead of just increasing....so the 'measure' fit well with measuring ingredients in the recipe.

I love this passage of scripture because it shows us that it is not on our own power that we change into what God wants us to be.  He wants us to live a godly life.  He wants us to be holy, have faith, integrity, knowledge, self-control, endurance, and love for each other. But our sinful nature sometimes resists those changes.  It is ONLY through HIS divine power within us that we can change into what He knows we can be.

The Holy Spirit is given to us when we are baptized (Acts 2:38) and helps us grow spiritual fruits (Galatians 5-22:23).  His power has given us everything we need!  There is nothing more!

The key is in verse 5 in the passage above:  Make every effort.  Make every effort.  Am I making every effort to add these special ingredients to my life? Are you?   If I am, the last verse (8) says that my knowledge about Jesus is living and productive.  If I'm not, my knowledge about Jesus is not living and not productive.  

Jesus wants us to bear fruit for Him.  That shows that we are His disciples.  And because of Him, we have that power within us to do just that!  Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you, God! Thank you, Holy Spirit!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory,that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:1-8

2 comments:

Melissa said...

I love these verses too, and I like the idea of using "measuring" as a cooking theme! I wonder, though, about where it says we have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause. How have we escaped them? It is simply by virtue of being a Christian, or does that involve "making every effort" as well?

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Good thought - I think I remember the recipe theme you did...

I'm not sure Melissa about the escaped corruption - possibly it means we will escape it if we hold onto the promises. I do believe it involves making every effort!

 
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