A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 7, 2020
“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”(2 Peter 1:5–8 ESV).
If I decided I wanted to run a marathon it would take a great deal of work. I could not sign up for a race next weekend and be ready at all. At the moment, I couldn’t even run to the mailbox and back without collapsing in a heap gasping for air. I would need to start training. I would need to begin with just walking and then slowly build up endurance and strength. It would be a long and dedicated process for me to run a marathon.
When you accepted Jesus you didn’t just wrap up that salvation in a nice box and put it on a shelf to admire. It’s not a plaque to hang on the wall for people to see you’ve been accepted into the club. No! When you said yes to Jesus you began a lifelong relationship. Each day you decide anew to follow. We will have days when we feel lost, unmotivated or full of doubts and questions. Sometimes following Jesus may feel like an endurance contest, but we know it is worth it in the end.
In this passage Peter is telling us to supplement our faith. The word supplement means “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.” We can cultivate our relationship and our walk with Jesus. We can make it stronger and more vital. Each day we walk with Jesus our spiritual muscles strengthen and our stamina to be faithful increases. We can grow and develop each day to become a more mature and fully formed follower of Jesus. Peter wants us to cultivate virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and most of all love. These qualities are not only to be ours, but they should be increasing in us all the time. Peter reminds us that if these qualities are growing in us they will “keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful.”
Our world and our churches desperately need these mature, steady and grown-up Christians. Especially during this uncertain time, they can be a calming and reassuring presence for all of us. Keep growing in your faith. Keep saying yes to Jesus. Amen.