Eight Ways to Increase Our Effectiveness in Christ-Part Seven
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Let’s continue our look at 2 Peter 1:5-9. So far, we studied about how our faith in Jesus provides the foundation upon which we build everything else and added an understanding of what virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, and godliness mean. If you missed those lessons, you can read them here: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, and godliness.
The next quality we should add is brotherly kindness. Strong’s Concordance defines brotherly kindness as love which Christians cherish for each other. The Greek word is philadelphia, which of course, is the name of the city in the United States known as the city of brotherly love.
As we develop this quality of brotherly love, it invokes a care to nurture and encourage fellow followers of Jesus. How are we to demonstrate that love to our brothers and sisters in Christ? Here are a few ideas:
· Prayer. Spending time in prayer for the needs of those around you. Prayer is the most power tool we can use to help others and can be done anywhere at any time.
· Encouragement. In an increasingly hostile world where there is heightened animosity toward Christians, encourage of other believers often provides just what our fellow sojourners need to keep advancing God’s kingdom. A simple word, note, text, or hug can make a big impact in a person’s day.
· Fellowship. We live in a world that has become more isolated and divisive. Loneliness is at an all-time high. Meeting someone for a meal or coffee, going to an event together, taking a walk and visiting can all lift one’s spirits and create a feeling of connectedness and purpose. God never meant for us to live isolated lives. Schedule that time with a brother or sister in Christ today!
· Bible Study. Spending time studying God’s Word with others always produces growth. When we discuss the Bible with others it helps us solidify what we believe and answers questions we or others may have.
· Acts. Take a meal to a hurting family, babysit for a single parent, provide a financial gift or groceries to a struggling believer, or do yardwork for an elderly couple that struggles to keep up with their home. The list could go on, but the idea is to be alert for opportunities to help others when they are struggling or hurting.
Let’s spend the coming week focusing on practicing brotherly kindness to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Next week we will study the eighth and final quality that supplements our faith – love. I hope you will join me.