Growing In Faith
Posted: January 9, 2021
Author: Kerry Lytle
2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT
"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, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone."
Do you have a favorite recipe? Perhaps it’s a family recipe, and the ingredients are a well-kept secret. The first time you prepared the dish you examined the recipe like a map to a hidden treasure, precisely measuring the amounts of each item. You knew the combination of the ingredients would result in something delicious.
In some ways, our lives are like a recipe. The difference is that there are no secret ingredients. It begins with a faith in Jesus Christ. Peter, a follower of Jesus gave us some ingredients for an even better, more fulfilling life in Christ. Here’s his recipe for an effective and productive life:
Begin with a personal relationship with Jesus.
Add goodness and an equal amount of knowledge.
Stir in self-control and perseverance.
Combine with godliness and a pinch of mutual affection.
Mix thoroughly and bake with an abundance of love.
Moses was given very specific guidelines regarding the tabernacle and its instruments, and he was reminded repeatedly to make all these things by the pattern. The Bible names various components of godly living which we might aptly call God’s recipe. The absence of a single ingredient can cause disaster in a kitchen. Leave the eggs out of a cake recipe, and it will not rise. Forget the pinch of salt or the spoonful of sugar, and your final result may be nothing short of disgusting. In like manner, we must be careful not to leave out any of the ingredients of God’s recipe, for His recipe is perfect.
Stick to the recipe. Failing to follow a recipe in the kitchen can often have undesirable consequences. We get ourselves into serious trouble anytime that we attempt to add to God’s recipe or take anything away from it. When we think we know better than the Creator. 2 John 9 (NLT) says, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” Some people want to add to and subtract from God’s recipe according to their own tastes, but the end result will not be a godly lifestyle.
Measure properly. Improper measurement and inaccurate instruments can lead to disaster. We need to use the instruments that God provides and be sure to measure properly and consistently.
Mix faith with God’s word. Faith is an essential component of our salvation. It is not only good enough to hear God's Word, but you believe and have faith that it is true.
Next you must add some things to your faith. These ingredients include virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5–7).
Stir...Stir up the spirit within you. Paul told Timothy not to neglect the gift that he had been given, but to “stir up the gift of God” which was in him (2 Timothy 1:6). Our spirits should be stirred up within us when we see people bound by sin when we know that we possess the power that could liberate them.
Hold the leaven. As the Passover was to be observed with unleavened bread, even so is the body of Christ commemorated by unleavened bread in the Lord’s Supper. Paul commands us to “purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (2 Corinthians 5:7–8).
Season with salt. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13, NLT). Paul adds, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6, NLT). Our lives, words, conduct should be seasoned with salt for others to see and taste.
Monitor constantly. Have you ever let something burn because you forgot to keep an eye on it? Paul writes, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5, NLT). Whenever we make a choice or decision we need to test the motives of our hearts to make sure it lines up with God's Word.
Serve with love. Everyone we come in contact with we should treat with love. (Sometimes a hard thing to do) Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Also, Paul tells us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
God’s recipe is a beautiful thing. All of the ingredients are provided (2 Peter 1:3). Anyone can follow it, and no matter where they are it always yields the same result. There is no expiration date, and just like the loaves and fishes Jesus blessed, it has the power to serve multitudes!
God does not expect us to become instantly perfect in the qualities listed by Peter, but he tells us that we can “possess these qualities in increasing measure.” (2 Peter 1:8, NLT) Growing in these areas because of our relationship with Jesus is the best recipe for a productive, godly life!