From the LYWB.com team: Hey blog readers! Did you know that this blog has a Spanish counterpart? It’s true! Joven Verdadera is LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com for Spanish-speaking young women. Think of them like our blog pen pals. We love their posts, so we’ve translated a series of them here for you. ¡Disfrútalo! (That’s Spanish for enjoy.)
When I was a teenager, I participated in a newspaper contest. A month later my family arrived home to find our neighbors waiting to tell us that we had won a car! When I was old enough to drive, my mom gave me the car. I could finally use it! But there was a problem: I didn’t know how to drive. I had never tried to learn, but when I saw that the car was really mine, I finally wanted to learn. I put all my effort into learning to drive, and I did it in a week. My motivation was that the car was at my disposal. I needed to understand it was really mine!
This is how 2 Peter begins, by reminding us what we have received: Faith in the perfect work of Jesus to save us. It’s really ours!
Now that you know that you have received such a great gift, something you didn’t earn, something you weren’t expecting, a gift that is totally undeserved, what should you do? The following verses tell us clearly. Let’s read the Bible together.
Open your Bible to 2 Peter 1:5–7. We’ve also listed the verses below for you.
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.
Each day, God shapes us in the image of His Son, but He has given us a very clear responsibility to participate. Our love for His Word and our willingness to obey it is what really proves if our faith is genuine. It’s that desire inside you to grow spiritually and the pain that sin produces in your life that confirms we have been born again. We have a new nature we need to nourish with the promises of God (as we saw in the previous passage).
Do Your Best
Peter reminds us that because we have access to the promises of God (v. 4), we are to “make every effort.” In other words, “strive to the fullest.” What should we strive for? The answer is right there: to add to your faith virtues that make you more like Jesus.
Listen closely; this is important. We can never add to what Jesus did for us on the cross. His work is completed, but we can work very hard to live in a way that honors the Good News we have believed.
Peter is referring to that kind of effort. He says, in essence, “I am so grateful for my salvation and my new life in Christ that I will strive diligently to live like the Savior I believe in.”
Let’s pause right now and ask God to give us hearts to grow in the areas Peter listed:
- Brotherly affection
Characterized by Virtue
Throughout the Bible we find men and women who were characterized by their virtue, by the excellence with which they lived.
Virtue is one of the most beautiful ornaments in the character of a young woman, and sometimes one of the most difficult to find. A young woman who strives to add virtue to her faith is diligent in showing excellence in every aspect of her life. Her relationships are distinguished by purity. Her service to others is unselfish. She has a high sense of responsibility in the things that she undertakes. She not only shows outward moral excellence, but she also trains her mind and emotions to feed on everything that is true, all that is worthy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, all that is honorable (Phil. 4:8).
This isn’t about perfectionism rooted in fear of failure. A virtuous young woman is one who puts her faith into action in the most excellent way possible. She is one who lives what she believes and does it to the fullest.
Committed to Knowledge
If there is a quality that must distinguish a daughter of God, it is her effort to grow in her knowledge of the Word of God. This type of knowledge has a very clear goal: to know Jesus. Biblical knowledge also has a very definite purpose: to apply what we’ve learned to daily life. It’s not about storing biblical data and verses to pass a test or impress others. It’s about filling your mind with the Truth that will shape your days and transform your life.
A young woman who strives to add knowledge to her faith seeks to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in order to please Him.
We’ll unpack the other qualities Peter mentioned in these verses in our next post.
- Is your Christian life characterized by passivity or an active and diligent attitude to grow?
- Do you strive for excellence in everything you do? If so, what is your motivation?
- How you are growing in the knowledge of God and His Word?
Leave your answers in the comment section below, and keep reading 2 Peter with us on the blog next week.