In the next three devotions, I will share some thoughts from the bible that can help you, Grow in the Lord, Grow MORE in the Lord and Grow MUCH in the Lord. These have been instrumental in my growth. Let’s start with “To grow in the Lord…”
While the life of a Christian is not about working a right formula or right ingredients, the thought of ingredients has some good concepts applicable in our lives to bear fruit.
In the book of Peter we are given ingredients for fruitful growth in the faith, 2Peter 1:3, “as His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”. We can see that God has bestowed upon each of us the ingredients for our growth (recipe). This has come to us through promises that we may be partakers of the divine nature. Why do some lives turn out worse than others when we have been given the same ingredients? simple, if you do not follow instructions as to how to utilize the ingredients, you will end up with something else. One can do away with one, two or three ingredients and say, “I don’t need them” or put less or more of one thing and with that you lose what the recipe book had in mind to produce.
Here are things we are advised to do, vs. 5, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence” we must strive if we will enter in at the strait gate, Luke 13:24. Being persistent, steadfast unmovable in the things of God. Vs. 5 “…Add to your faith virtue“, virtue is moral excellence, in other words, in your foundation in Christ, add virtue for people to see what you stand for. I believe people see the faith in you more when virtue is present (the outworking of the internal). Vs. 5 “…To virtue knowledge“, Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” which is understanding through experience or training. Knowledge can lead to truth if channeled in the right direction. vs. 6, “To knowledge self-control“, Self-control is denying yourself things that bring destruction and distraction that you may maintain what you have received. When you have knowledge, it will show you which areas you need to employ self-control. Vs. 6 “…To self-control perseverance (patience)”, tough one but vital. You may love a cheerful giver, the Lord loves a faithful enduerer. Vs. 6“…To perseverance (patience) godliness“, endurance produces godliness in you for it reminds you and I that if God can be patient with sinners like us, how much more should we be with people and situations. Patience is a thorn in the flesh, but it is an ingredient in this recipe for growth. vs. 7 “To godliness brotherly kindness“, kindness is the quality of being warm hearted and considerate, sympathetic and forgiving. Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender hearted forgiving each other even as Christ as forgiven you” (paraphrased). Vs. 7″…and to brotherly kindness love“, without kindness, love will not blossom for kindness prepares the heart to love. Kindness is what opens the door to see far beyond someone’s faults and love them anyway. It’s the crown and the heartbeat of this recipe. Looking at this recipe, you can see how it’s set up systematically and flows. All the ingredients work hand in hand. They fit in well.
Without a strong foundation where virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness are ingredients in your life, I believe your growth and mine will be hindered.
1Peter 1:8, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. We have what it takes to be fruitful (grow) without adding what is not on it or taking away one or more of the ingredients. We shouldn’t get rid of what we think is hard, there is a reason it’s there. Who wants to be barren? and who does not want to grow and bear fruit? May we seek the Lord to show us areas in our lives that are stagnant and barren and may we get back to growing in the Lord. Blessings Ev