“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I became a follower of Christ at the age of 20. I was in college at the time, and I soon found a deep appreciation and hunger for knowing the bible. Indeed, the written word of God had been instrumental in my very coming to faith in Christ. The words of John 14:6 spoke to me and impressed a great weight upon my soul. The word of God is “living and active”, and it changes people. The authority of Jesus’ words are like no one else’s. So the words inspired by his Spirit to his disciples carry a life-giving breath to all who accept them.
My pastor and friend Tom Collins who mentored me as a young believer led a home church from his house on Sunday mornings. The environment yielded close discipleship that helped me grow. [Note: You have a tremendous opportunity and privilege to mentor others in and with your life.] One sermon Pastor Tom shared will always stay with me. It is from 2 Peter 1:2-13
Let’s focus just on the list Paul mentions. For these 7 qualities to happen in our lives, we must receive first God’s nature through his promises made to us. These are characteristics, which, if we apply them to our lives, and they increase in our lives, will cause us to be neither useless nor unfruitful, and we will never stumble:
So, therefore… “applying all diligence, in your faith, supply:
- moral excellence, and in your moral excellence,
- knowledge, and in your knowledge,
- self-control, and in your self-control,
- perseverance, and in your perseverance,
- godliness, and in your godliness,
- brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness,
Here are verses 5-9 from The Message:
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with:
- good character
- spiritual understanding
- alert discipline
- passionate patience
- reverent wonder
- warm friendliness
- and generous love
each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
I hope this was encouraging to you… No one ever has for a goal to be useless or unfruitful. God knows that and gave us some guidance, that’s freeing.