“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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, 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.”
2 Peter 1:5-8, NIV
A good recipe will always produce good food! As a child, I was like every other kid in the road where we lived, all professing that “my Mum’s cakes are the best!” I loved to stand by her at the kitchen table and watch her add the ingredients one by one. I took careful note of everything that went into the mix and was always delighted and amazed when the gooey mess she put into the oven had turned into a scrumptious delight when it came out!
I was full of faith, therefore when I decided to give her a surprise. I waited for her to go out and then set about making a cake of my own. I had carefully remembered everything that went into the mix and by the time it was ready to go into the oven it looked very much Mum’s gooey mess. I wasn’t even surprised when it came out of the oven to see it looked just like Mum’s cakes.
Mum, however, was a little startled when she came home to see a freshly baked fruit cake on the kitchen table! Because I had carefully watched her on many occasions, I knew the recipe by heart and had remembered what to do with all the ingredients. The result was a credible substitute for what Mum usually made. Because I had followed the recipe, my efforts were also productive.
In our Scripture for today, Peter is giving us a recipe for Christian effectiveness and productivity! He was passionate about helping Christians not just to have a faith in Jesus, but to live the reality of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. He begins with faith, and then lists out some of the things that need to be added in to the mix in order that our lives will be fruitful and a true blessing to the Lord.
I had faith that the cake recipe would work, but in order to produce a cake I had to add the ingredients into the mix one by one. In just the same way, Peter is urging us to begin with faith, but then to add in the ingredients of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. That way, he says your life will be productive – and he goes on to say that if you do not have those ingredients you will be short-sighted and blind! It’s no surprise, therefore, that if key ingredients are missing from the mix, that the ‘cake of life’ may not be tasty and productive!
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember these important ingredients that Peter urges us to include within the recipe for life. I’m sorry, Lord, for the times I have ignored the need for discipline as I have tried to follow You. Help me to remember the recipe and live an effective and productive Christian life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.