Also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
This scripture is a progression of steps that you grow in when you walk with God. In today’s dose, I want to break down each step and how it builds to the next step. As you read, consider which step you are on and what you must do to move onto the next one to grow in your walk with God.
The passage starts out talking about faith and how to add or build on that faith. Peter starts out this chapter by saying that he is writing to those who have obtained like precious faith. These are believers who need instruction on how to grow in their faith walk. He says to add virtue to your faith, but faith in God through Jesus is the first step in your walk with God. We start our faith journey by getting into relationship with God through the sacrifice that Jesus made to reconcile us (bring us back together) to Him.
Virtue is the next step. He says add to your faith virtue or purity. Essentially, he is saying to separate from a sinful life style and your old way of thinking and doing things. After you have separated from your old habits, now you are ready for your next step.
The next step is to begin to create new habits by adding knowledge to your virtue. This knowledge is of God. He says, now it is time to get to know God and His character of goodness and love for you. The way to get to know God is to spend time with Him, by reading His Word and talking to him each day. Start this new habit of setting a specific time aside each day to get to know God better. Like all relationships you are in, it takes a commitment of time to nurture and grow it. The more time you spend with someone, the better you get to know them.
After some time of getting to know who God is and how much He loves you, the next step is self-control. Self-control can be measured by submitting yourself to a spiritual authority or mentor. This is done by purposefully placing yourself into a body of believers that will encourage and keep you on track. Whether it’s in a church, small group, or Bible study, we all need each other to grow through life. If you keep yourself isolated your flame of faith will quickly be quenched when the troubles of life happen. Ephesians 5:21 says, “submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
Next, to your self-control add perseverance. Perseverance is consistency. Once you have created these habits of purity, daily personal time with God, and getting yourself submitted to spiritual authority, now comes the habit of doing it regularly. You are not ready to go onto the next steps until you have become consistent with these first three. It should all happen rather quickly but can also take some people longer than others to become consistent in these habits.
After you have mastered these, you’re ready to add godliness. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” God has given each of us gifts and abilities to do His work while we are here in this world. So, to exercise godliness we need to identify the gifts He has planted inside us and begin to practice using these gifts and abilities everywhere we go. In adding godliness to your spiritual habits, you will automatically add brotherly/sisterly kindness. By using your gifts and abilities to bless and work together with others to accomplish God’s plan for this time, brotherly kindness is achieved.
Lastly, to brotherly kindness add love or compassion for others. Get involved in the ministries that you can effectively use your gifts to show compassion to the hurting, lost, and dying world. This is the design God made for you while you are here in the world.
Today I want to encourage you to identify where you are in your walk and calling with God, then choose to take the next step on your faith path. We get a very short time in this life so begin to recognize that the days here are limited and make the most of your time count for eternity. Verse 11 says, “if you do these things you will never stumble, and an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Take some time today to identify where you fit in today’s progression and make a plan how to move on to the next step.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Peter 1:5-11