THIS WEEK: 7 Things to Add to Your Faith to Be an Effective Christian!
You can have all the best skills, the greatest knowledge, and broad range of experience and still be ineffective.
For a Christian, the last component to add to our faith is a key to all we do as a Christian. I can have faith. I can have the inner character of God. I can have experience. I can have self-control. I can keep going and not give up. I can exhibit godliness. I can show kindness to my neighbor. But if I do all this and lack one thing, I will still be ineffective as a follower of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Why is love such a key quality to have in “increasing measure”?
Growing in love indicates a growing appreciation for the love God has shown to me. (1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.)
Growing in love indicates a humility that is willing to put others before myself. (John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.)
Growing in love enables me to be a reflection of God and his love to others. (1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.)
Love is the aspect that binds all the other attributes together.
Galatians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
This devotion series doesn’t complete your growth, but rather outlines a growth plan. As a follower of Jesus, Peter’s encouragement is to possess these seven qualities in “increasing measure.” The result? You will be an effective and productive follower of the Lord Jesus Christ…to his glory and the salvation of souls.
2 Peter 1:5-8 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 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.
Apply: What impact have you been able to have with others when the love of Jesus is flowing into you and through you…versus times when it is not?
Prayer: Lord, continue to increase in me all these qualities, but especially love so that I might be an effective and productive impact for you and your kingdom. AMEN.