When Ma Ingalls left for a rare outing, she gave a list of instructions to her family.
“Watch Carrie! Don’t forget to churn the butter…and watch out for rattlers in the grass!”
Parents give their “final” speeches just before leaving, hoping to avoid any disaster that would happen during their absence.
Mine would go something like this:
“Don’t use the stove, and watch the little guys. No videos unless all the laundry is folded and put away!”
In 2 Peter 1 there is a passage that also contains Peter’s “final words.” He knew he was about to die, so he gave his beloved brothers and sisters an important “to do” list.
I have heard it before, but overlooked how valuable it is for anyone looking to:
- know what to do next
- mature and grow as a Christian
- find God’s will
2 Peter 1:5-15 is written to believers and assumes that first, they possess faith. It’s the quality essential to every Christian. We all are on different places in our walk with God, but the essential is faith. Assuming that starting point, Peter tells us to supplement our faith with the important qualities of:
- brotherly affection
“If these qualities are yours and increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)
Do you want to be more effective? Want to know what God wants you to do? Want to grow? Start with this list. Working toward these qualities doesn’t earn you salvation. But it gives you a goal.
Peter says if you lack these qualities, you may forget where you came from. (2 Peter 1:9)
Might that, in turn, make us:
- ungrateful to God for all He has done?
- self-righteous, thinking we have made ourselves what we are?
- puffed up and ready for a fall? (2 Peter 1:10)
What’s on the horizon for you and I in 2018? We cannot know for sure. God has it all in His hands.
But, if you are looking for some New Year’s resolutions, powered by God’s never-ending grace, this list in 2 Peter 1:5-15 is a good place to start.
(c) Lisa M. Luciano
Photo credit, horizon: unsplash-logoFernando Pereira