Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Recipe For Success

My daughter has recently discovered a love for baking, so it has been fun watching her look up new recipes to try.  She enjoys watching shows like Cupcake Wars and DC Cupcakes and it stirs up her creativity.  Something she has learned from watching Cupcake Wars and from her own baking experience is that every ingredient is important.  If you forget an ingredient, it will change the flavor and consistency of the cake or cookie.  God has given us a recipe for success to follow.  But, success in God's eyes is so different from how humans like to define success.  In God's eyes, success means becoming more like Him.  I want to continue looking at 2 Peter to read through the recipe that is guaranteed to please God.  Please use the link and read 2 Peter 1:3-11.

Yesterday, I focused on verses 3 and 4 and explored the mighty power we have living in us - the Holy Spirit.  We truly are empowered to live out the life that pleases God!  Today, I want to dig through verses 5 through 8 and read through the "ingredients" that are a part of God's recipe for success.  The first thing we read is faith; faith is the required ingredient to live a godly life.  Without faith, all the rest of the qualities will amount to nothing.  In fact, I think it is impossible to add the rest of the qualities to our life without faith because when we do not have faith we cannot be empowered by the Holy Spirit.  So, we must believe that God is the one and only God and that Jesus sacrificed Himself so we could experience forgiveness from our sins.  Jesus, who is God, had victory over death and came back to life and shares that victory with everyone who believes in Him.  Once we have the faith to believe this miraculous plan God has for us, we are given the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us to add godly qualities to our life.

So, we are told to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.  In fact, we are told to "make every effort" to add these things.  Whenever I see that phrase, I am given a sense of importance and urgency.  It gives me a feeling that we cannot afford to not work toward adding these qualities to our faith.   Since this is a blog post and not a book, I am going to quickly look at the definitions found on BlueLetterBible.com to see what they mean (see footnote 1).  For example, goodness isn't a very descriptive term to me and the definition is: "a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action."  It is not just what we do externally, but it is also internal - a part of who become.  One definition of knowledge is "moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living."  Knowledge just isn't knowing a lot of information, but it is understanding how we are supposed to live.  Self-control used in these verses means, "the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites."  Perseverance means, "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."  Godliness means, "reverence, respect" [toward God].  Mutual affection means, "brotherly love."  And love means, "affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love."

As you can see, the English words don't always give us the bigger picture of what was originally stated.  It would be really easy for us to come up with our own definition of what they mean, but when we look up the Greek, we see what God is expecting from us.  I will continue more on these verses tomorrow, but I hope this has helped open your eyes a little to how we are supposed to live - I know this has helped me!

This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.

1. 2 Peter 1 (New International Version). Retrieved from 

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