July 9 | Bible in a Year: Job 38–40; Acts 16:1–21
Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.
2 Peter 1:5
READ 2 Peter 1:3–11
The English preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) lived life “full throttle.” He became a pastor at age nineteen—and soon was preaching to large crowds. He personally edited all of his sermons, which eventually filled sixty-three volumes, and wrote many commentaries, books on prayer, and other works. And he typically read six books a week! In one of his sermons, Spurgeon said, “The sin of doing nothing is about the biggest of all sins, for it involves most of the others. . . . Horrible idleness! God save us from it!”
Charles Spurgeon lived with diligence, which meant he “[made] every effort” (2 Peter 1:5) to grow in God’s grace and to live for Him. If we’re Christ’s followers, God can instill in us that same desire and capacity to grow more like Jesus, to “make every effort to add to [our] faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge . . . self-control, perseverance . . . godliness” (vv. 5–7).
We each have different motivations, abilities, and energy levels—not all of us can, or should, live at Charles Spurgeon’s pace! But when we understand all Jesus has done for us, we have the greatest motivation for diligent, faithful living. And we find our strength through the resources God has given us to live for and serve Him. God through His Spirit can empower us in our efforts—big and small—to do so.
By Alyson Kieda
REFLECT & PRAY
How are you making every effort to grow more like Christ? What will help you in this endeavor?
Loving God, help me to be diligent to live for You in all I do and say. Thank You for enabling me to do so through Your Spirit inside me.
Peter’s New Testament letters reflect the wisdom of his later years (1 Peter 5:5–6; 2 Peter 1:13–14). As a young believer in Jesus, he’d shown moments of uncommon insight, faith, and courage. But his impulsive misspeaks and fearful betrayal of Jesus must have prompted him to think carefully about what it would take to leave a legacy of stability and spiritual influence. By experience he’d learned that the Spirit of God works in and through our own consciously developed habits of choice and effort (2 Peter 1:3–5). He’d also learned that no virtue stands alone for very long. Yet working together, what begins in faith ends in a reputation of faithful and loyal love. With careful attention, noble desires are complemented by knowledge, knowledge by self-control, self-control by endurance, endurance by devotion to the Father, devotion to the Father by family affection, and family affection by the love Jesus showed both friends and enemies.