Why do we go to school, attend seminars, or buy self-help books? To absorb knowledge but never apply it? Of course not. We want to learn a new skill or improve on one we already have.

That’s essential because a skill left unused is likely to be lost. For instance, in the decades since high school, I have forgotten the fingering for the C-major scale on a clarinet, nor do I have the breath to play anymore. Because I have not practiced in a long time, I have become ineffective at something I once did well enough to be chosen for our all-state band.

Through faith, a Christian can acquire everything that is needed to be effective and fruitful in our knowledge of Jesus. 2 Peter 1:5-7 lists seven qualities that stem from faith in the Spirit's power: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love.

Can we be perfect in all seven areas? No — but we should be growing and advancing in each. The seven steps resemble working out on a continual treadmill with increasing speeds on different terrains. While they form a basic values pyramid towards which the Christian community strives to excel, some may be easier to achieve than others.

As we rely on the Spirit and see growth in these areas, our knowledge of the Lord Jesus will have productive results. The world around us will take notice when our lives more skillfully match what we profess.

Lord Jesus, I am already known by you. As I come to know you more intimately and depend on you more fully, may the seeds you have planted in me grow to maturity so that I may be an effective and productive servant. Amen.

Go Deeper — Review the seven qualities mentioned above. Which one is easiest for you to manifest in the Spirit's strength and which is hardest? Ask God to enable you to more faithfully manifest these qualities.

Tags: The Letters of Peter 2 Peter 1
Photo Credit: Luz Mendoza