God wants you to bear fruit
In his second letter, Peter has some incredible insight into bearing fruit.
Spiritual fruit that is.
God wants all of His children to be productive and successful.
2 Peter 1:5-8
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
NLT (New Living Translation)
These verses from Peter tell us that if we diligently seek after God (knowledge), add in temperance and godliness, we will be productive and useful.
Let’s look at the meaning of diligence, temperance and godliness.
1 steady, earnest, and energetic effort : devoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking
2 the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (such as a party to a contract)
1 moderation in action, thought, or feeling : RESTRAINT
1 the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness
What does Jesus say about the laws of God?
Matthew 22 36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
First, notice that Godliness is the practice of conforming…practice. This says to me that we will always be practicing…never perfect.
I have never known God to require anything of us that is very complicated. (difficult maybe, but complicated…no) He definitely knows that our puny mortal minds have limited capacity. So, to follow the laws of God – in a nutshell – Jesus lays it all out pretty plainly.
Once we commit to loving God with our whole heart, everything else we do in this life should be directed with loving others in mind. If an action or words from your mouth promotes love to others…go for it. If it does not…do not.
As I think about the various decisions I face every day I attempt to ask myself, does my choice honor God? …does it show love for my fellow man?
I really don’t think He meant for this to be too difficult to understand.