“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” II Peter 1:5
When you buy a piece of furniture that needs assembling, it is necessary to follow the step-by-step instructions to have it turn out the way the manufacturer intended. When we follow the directions, there are no problems. But, if we just look at the picture and try to put it together on our own, we may not get the results we want.
We all have a measure of faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we need faith to come to God in the first place. These scriptures in II Peter give us some attributes that we need to add to our faith. Could it be that if we followed this step-by-step we would find ourselves becoming the person the Lord intends us to be?
The first thing we are to add to our faith is virtue. Virtue means integrity and devotion. As we see the foundations of moral structures crumbling in our world today, how diligent we should be to increase our inner strength and to manifest it in our actions. This is not something that we can accomplish on our own, we need to daily seek the Lord, asking Him to search our hearts, and to help us to be honest and sincere in everything we do.
Proverbs 31 tells us that the price of a virtuous woman is far above rubies. In God’s sight we are precious indeed, and as we live a life of integrity and devotion, it will be manifested to the world.
Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for the measure of faith we have been given, and we want to add these other attributes to our lives, starting with virtue.
Devotion by Anne Johnston
“I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:3 in the New International Version of the Holy Bible).
I think all of us remember being asked by our parents to apologize for hurting someone or doing something wrong. Sometimes it was said under our breath and without conviction but we managed to mumble the words, “I’m sorry.”
Have you ever apologized to God without really meaning it? God requires an attitude of penitence like, David, the writer of this Psalm describes. It’s the kind of apology or repentance that comes from deep down in your heart where only God can see it. This plea for God’s mercy was a big first step for David who had committed the terrible sins of adultery, lying and murder (see 2 Samuel 11-12). What makes this prayer acceptable to God was David’s complete honesty about his sin. He saw his mistakes clearly and admitted the seriousness of his offense against God. Inner honesty like that gets God’s attention and His pardon.
Prayer: Lord, I come before you today in complete humility. I must confess that I find it hard to be honest about my sins. My heart resists acknowledging my wrong doing. Help me to be willing to throw myself upon Your mercy confessing all of my faults and failures. Cleanse me, O Lord! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
“They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the LORD supported me” (Psalm 18:18 in the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible).
The strength of a building lies in its framework and foundation. The shell of wood, steel and concrete ensures the integrity and durability of the structure. In the same way, if Jesus Christ is the sure foundation and framework around which we have built our lives, when life’s storms and calamities threaten to overwhelm us, He is our strong support!
Prayer: In my moments of fear; through every pain, every tear; You have been my tower of refuge and strength. I lean on You, Lord!
Devotion by Julie Long