2 Peter 1:6
My husband and I are currently renting, which means I am unable to dig up a garden; however, I am learning container gardening. Last year, the results were less than impressive but I also learned about some things that I could change to make it better. Making some small changes has already yielded better results this year, but I have already mentally made the decision to make some more changes next year in the type of material I plant in. The type of soil is important, and I think it becomes doubly important when you are container gardening because the plant has limited resources for oxygen when it is in a container. Good soil will keep a nice amount of oxygen in the soil. I enjoy gardening because it is relaxing and I am especially learning to enjoy container gardening because there is significantly less weeding to do. I also enjoy gardening because there is always more to learn; I am constantly evolving the way I garden to make it better. Our walk with God should be the same; we should be learning more every day and making small and large changes to make our lives match up with how God wants us to live. Please turn to 2 Peter 1:6.
Yesterday, I looked at the importance of increasing our knowledge of Christ and what it means to be a follower of Christ. I also looked at how self-control helps us take that knowledge and live it out. In 2 Peter 1:6, Peter writes that we are to add perseverance to self-control. There are so many ways to look at perseverance, but BlueLetterBible (1) has a nice definition in its lexicon: "in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings." So basically, it takes self-control to live out the knowledge we have learned; however, it takes patience or perseverance to to not be swayed by our external circumstances. I think of how I pray for my children that they will be able to continue making wise choices no matter what their friends are doing around them and that is what we should be praying in our lives as well.
It is perseverance that helps us to react in a way that pleases God rather than in a way that pleases our human and sinful nature. It is perseverance that reminds us that over time the persistence will produce a life that reflects God to others in this world. Please look up Luke 8:4-15 and read the parable Jesus tells about the soils. Focusing on verse 15 it says, "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Just as it takes perseverance for me to continue to make the changes necessary to have a productive garden, it takes perseverance to produce the life we are to live. The good soil is the person who hears the Word and does what it takes to apply it to their lives. We do not produce good fruit overnight, it takes perseverance to see the results of the changes we are making.
Are you exercising perseverance to produce a crop that is pleasing to God?
(1) Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for hypomonē (Strong's 5281)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 5 Jul 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?