2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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.
Our Verse of the Day comes from 2 Peter and we have studied this passage before. As Peter urges, we are to be “growing” in our faith; building upon the foundational truths we have learned from the Word of God. Adding these qualities and allowing them to be fruitful through our lives will “keep us from being ineffective and unproductive.” I often wondered why Peter did not present his thought as a positive assertion; but perhaps, it makes a greater point with this phrasing. If we are growing and adding to our faith – the phrasing implies we cannot help but be effective and productive in Kingdom work. These qualities will keep you from “failure”. They will safeguard you! The thought being … an active faith is necessarily a “fruit-bearing” faith. It WILL keep you and I from being ineffective and unproductive – the implication being that a stagnant faith weakens us.
But I have to point out that faith is really more of a journey than a destination for us. It is born and then it must grow into maturity. Consider this analogy: Infants and toddlers cannot be effective or productive in the work force. Minor children are not so much contributors either. But as humans continue to physically grow and mature, we find our passions and our talents and bring these to the marketplace for the benefit of ourselves and the communities in which we live. Well, likewise, faith requires a similar process of maturation. Adding to it … growing in it … continually increasing our knowledge and understanding of God, His will, and His purposes for our lives, should move us into greater exercise of our faith. Through faith that is matured and deepened, we are equipped to find our spiritual passions, gifts, and talents … and bring these to the Church for the benefit of fellow believers and for witnessing to non-believers whom God has called us to be His evangelists.
So I pray that our desire is to grow in faith … in order to be effective and productive in the Kingdom of God as He has ordained for us. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)