By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 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, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
– 2 Peter 1:3-9 [NLT]
What’s your favorite movie? That was the question we were to discuss during dinner one night at our neighborhood group. I had several answers: Shawshank Redemption; Men in Black; Hunt for Red October; Star Trek. I didn’t buckle at the issue of choosing one favorite. I am a rule-bender afterall. But another person at the table made a big deal of choosing her favorite…or rather, not choosing a favorite. We had quite a fun discussion about it. And to this day, I’ll ask her, “What’s your favorite _______?” And she’ll smile knowingly.
Having said that, what’s your favorite of the list offered here? We are to add these to our faith:
- moral excellence
- patient endurance
- brotherly affection
Which of these would be your favorite? And why is that so? The obvious answer (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:13) is love. Love is one of the big three, along with faith and hope. Without love there is no real good benefit to anything we might do for God or our neighbor.
I notice, however, it is the last on Peter’s list here. That might be because love is the most important and final Christian virtue. Whether or not that is the case, these Christian virtues are to be added to one another – stacked upon one another if you will be active and productive and useful in your knowledge of Jesus Christ.
During these days of tumult, terror, dread, and disease, we may easily forget that God has given us all we need for our eternal salvation and wellbeing. It is now our time to leverage the gifts he has given in such a way that we serve others and become a source of blessing to them. So, what’s your favorite? Don’t stop there, keep growing and adding these jewels to your life of faith in God and love toward him and your neighbor.
Let us pray…
Heavenly Father, we turn, not panic, in response to this pandemic. We praise You as our Almighty Creator and sustainer. You are the Author of our days, our refuge and strength.
For those who are making decisions about closures and cancellations, we ask that You guide them to consider what is best for people not for profit. Lord that we may trust You and make the safest decisions for the populations they serve, teach, entertain and employ. Continue to pour out your creativity on us in the methods of staying connected and productive through technology.
Deliver us from this disease, we pray, and let your glory fill the earth as you respond to our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
– From the National Day of Prayer Committee