Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-11
“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8)
How often do we find ourselves stuck in our walk of faith? We find ourselves falling back into our past sins, and it seems like all of the Word we have read or tried to store in our hearts has just flown out the window. We’ve been ineffective and unfruitful, and we have wasted a lot of time doing useless things. So, where did we go wrong?
It is often because we have lost our focus. We have forgotten or, at least, shoved to the back of our minds the goodness of the gospel and the obedience it compels. What does it mean to be called into God’s own glory and excellence? Take a read of Titus 3:3-7:
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
This is such a beautiful image. We used to be enslaved by our sinful passions and desires, making us nothing but ineffective and unfruitful for God. We were God-haters who desired to please ourselves more than Him. However, God the Father, who had chosen to love us before the world was created, revealed His love in His Son that He sent to earth. The Holy Spirit washes our hearts and renews and regenerates us in the sacrifice of Christ. Through Christ, He justified us by His grace so that we can have hope of eternal life with God. See how the Triune God has personally interfered in your life so that on this day, you can know Him.
Because of this, we ought to make every effort to obey Him who has saved us. Peter sets out a path or scaffold for obedience in v.7, as we discussed yesterday. When we set our hearts to hear God’s Word and obey it one step at a time, we will be kept from being ineffective or unfruitful.
If we grow in our obedience, our hearts will continually be inflamed with zeal and a greater love for God. We will continue to grow in our knowledge of God, and through our fruitful obedience, others will also grow in the knowledge of God. The more we know God, the more God is glorified.
Matthew Henry puts it this way: we are thereby to understand that it will make us very zealous and lively, vigorous and active, in all practical Christianity, and eminently fruitful in the works of righteousness. These will bring much glory to God, by bringing forth much fruit among men, being fruitful in knowledge, or the acknowledging of our Lord Jesus Christ, owning him to be their Lord, and evidencing themselves to be his servants by their abounding in the work that he has given them to do.
Let’s return to obeying God, one step at a time!
Lord, please forgive me when my mind is all over the place, and I forget why I live. I live to obey You and please You, Lord. I live to grow in the knowledge of You and of the love which You have shown me. Please let me grow in obedience. Show me areas where I have to obey You. Keep me from being ineffective or unfruitful but let me grow in the knowledge of You with zeal and liveliness every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.