It seems like there are so many options these days for healthier ways of life. This drink or that way of cooking, maybe being vegan or simply gluten free. This isn’t a post about which I prefer (though I tried the vegan thing and it was super neat but super time consuming and unrealistic for our family.) Yes and amen to some of those things. They are good when being used for the glory of God in maintaining the bodies he has given us at this time. But this is a post about a supplement we all need. A supplement that will literally save your life. One that stops death in its tracks:
2 Peter 1: 5-11
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 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. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I think if I cared more about my entrance into the kingdom of God as I do my entrance into the grocery store, church, or someone else’s home, my soul would not be in such frantic states at times. We put it on ourselves. We attempt to put the weightiness of glory on things which are unable to carry them.
These virtues listed lead to an increasing glory of God – the very weight of his majesty because they are a result of the faith he has provided for us through his Son. We are not left to ourselves in maintaining these virtues. As believers, we have the hope found in Philippians 2: 13- “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
For his good pleasure.
This post could be taken as a need to white-knuckle it and work harder, but that isn’t the case at all. May it never be! If we are in Christ, we can rest assured knowing that it is in fact God working in us to please himself and in turn bring us the greatest joy. The very obtaining and increasing of these qualities are through further and further reflection on and living in the gospel truth. We were cleansed from our former sins through the blood of Jesus Christ! Being without sin and emptying himself to the point of death on a cross, Jesus inexhaustibly fills the righteousness required to stand before God. That gives us such freedom to flourish, amidst our frequent failings and fleeting hearts, in these qualities knowing that God will not leave us to ourselves because He has already removed our heart of stone and is in the business of making us like Christ himself.
Let’s confirm our calling as elected children of God and supplement our faith with knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. When it appears to us on certain days that we are doing all but putting such qualities into practice, run to the promise: it is GOD at work in us, and he will never leave us to ourselves in Christ. We have all we need to be eternally saved.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
God causes us to walk in his ways. Not our own doings, but his. What a relief to run freely, joyfully, and in obedience in this world making much of God through our callings!