As I read 2 Peter 1 my imagination was stirred by verses 5-11. It turned into this painting. In a dark world we can bring light and beauty by living a life that pleases God.
Peter talks about eight things we can practise to be more fruitful:
1. Have and keep faith
Faith is the starting point. You need first to have faith in God and in His word to be able to grow. Peter talks specifically about having faith in God’s promises. You can find these in the Bible. And each one applies to you. Learn to trust God and His word.
2. Do everything with (moral) excellency
In Col. 3:23 it says: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” We need to do everything as if we are doing it unto God. Whether it is work, cleaning your house, or making the right choices in life. Here as well, the Bible is your guide in what excellency is in the eyes of God. The book of Proverbs is a good starting point.
3. Grow in knowledge of God
Keep growing your knowledge of God. You can never be done in learning about Him. So do not get deceived into thinking you already know everything. Keep growing daily by making time for God and His word.
4. Practise self-control
I think this is a tricky one for us these days. Self-control means that we master our feelings, desires and passions. These things are not wrong in themselves, but they should not be our master. We should always be able to put them aside when needed. To follow God’s will, no matter how we feel and no matter what our own desires are.
5. Learn to be more patient
This means to have a good and positive attitude while you are waiting. This applies to waiting 15 minutes in a supermarket queue, as well as to waiting years for one of God’s promises to be fulfilled in your life.
6. Practise godliness
Be aware of who you are and who God is. To have reverence towards God. This will cause you to want to serve Him more and better.
7. Love fellow believers
Learn to love all your brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, they might think a bit differently than you on some matters. But ultimately you have the same Father. And He loves them as much as He loves you. And it brings Him so much joy to see joy and love among you. Speak kind and encouraging words to and about each other. Keep from gossiping, keep from strife, even when there are differences and hurts.
8. Love others
Here I think about ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Do unto others what you would want them to do to you. Give love, even when you get nothing back.
Peter explains in this passage that when you don’t work on these things you are like a blind man. Stumbling and falling and living in darkness. You will live as though you are still living your old life, without enjoying any of the redemption that Jesus gave us.
So be wise and step fully into your new life, and the Holy Spirit, who is your helper, will remind you and help you work in all these areas. Just take His hand and take a step.