Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Every Ingredient Matters

26 November 2023

By Julia Post

 

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is near-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)

 

If the people or persons that you most look up to in life wanted to give you their best advice for being effective and for continually increasing, would you heed it?  Peter makes two very strong claims in the first chapter of 2 Peter.  In verse 8, he says that if you possess the qualities he’s listed in verses 6 & 7, that they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your faith.  For anyone who wants their life to matter and be effective for Christ, this is a huge statement!  He also says in verse 10 that if you make every effort to confirm your calling with these qualities, that you will never stumble - another monumental statement!  

 

Peter is actually handing us the keys to winning in life!  Who among us does not desire above all else to be effective for the Lord?  Whose heart among us does not burn to hear “well done, good and faithful servant”, having multiplied our lives and been productive in our faith??  If that is us, then it would do us well to go back and pay very close attention to verses 6 and 7.  It’s worth examining them in every translation and concordance.  I’m going to examine them in The Message paraphrase now, but would encourage anyone to continue further study on these verses as we read these chapters this week.  

 

The Message paraphrase of 2 Peter 5-9 says: “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.”  

 

I love those descriptions, don’t you?  Picture how each one of them looks on you.  Passionate patience.  Generous love.  Alert discipline, etc.  In the mirror of the word, how does the Holy Spirit tell you they are reflected in your life?  

 

Have you ever cooked something and left out an essential ingredient?  My son has been fascinated lately with the process of making bread, and in particular, how yeast works.  If he sees me cooking (even if it’s not bread), he’ll remind me “Don’t forget the yeast!  You need it in your bread!”  It makes me smile how he wants to make sure that I don’t leave anything important out.  The truth in that is that if I did leave out an essential ingredient, it would change everything.  

 

More than our earthly family cares about our recipes, God cares even more so about the words He’s given us.  He’s given us a recipe, and we are not to take away anything from it, or add anything to it (Deut 4:2, Revelation 22:18-20).  We must pay close attention to the ingredients.  Let’s examine these qualities this week, because their admonishment alone makes each of them worthy of study and careful practise.  

 

We do this so that, as in the Message paraphrase of 1 Peter 1:10-11, to not “put it off; do it now.  Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”  Even if you feel you already know these words, study them again.  As verse 12 admonishes: I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.”  Let’s get in the kitchen this week!  Every ingredient matters.