Nothing is more important for God’s people than adding what really counts in life. To have seen Jesus was to see what the Father is like (John 14:7-9), and to see Christians should be to see the beauty and character of Jesus in us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). There is something tremendously challenging and humbling about that thought! In 2 Peter 1:5-11, Peter deals with the character and integrity of those who have come to know the Lord.
The qualities of character Peter speaks of in this passage are so crucial, so absolutely necessary for God’s people that “every effort” is to be made to possess them (2 Peter 1:5). No amount of time or effort should be held back! We are to be “ever increasing” in them (vs. 8). Their presence in our lives will keep us from being “ineffective” or “unfruitful” (vs. 8), from becoming “blind” or “forgetful” (vs. 9) and from “stumbling” (vs.10).
The “Christian graces” of 2 Peter 1:5-11 might be thought of as Peter’s discussion of what Paul calls having “the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:1-11). Because we belong to and love Jesus, our thoughts, actions and words must reflect it. Think about it. Every Christian ought to have a “WANTED” sign around their neck. Nothing in all the world is more desired or treasured than being more like Him and being with Him forever (Matthew 6:19-21).
We ought to be a person of FAITH, like Enoch (Hebrews 11:5-6). Twice it is said of Enoch in Genesis 5:22-24 that he “walked with God.” May that be true of us as well!
We out to be a person of VIRTUE, like Daniel (Daniel 6:3). His moral excellence, courage and trust in God never wavered through kings and empires, through changing times and seasons. Will ours?
We ought to be a person of KNOWLEDGE, like Timothy (2 Timothy 3:14-17). The godly training he received from his family as a child and from Paul when he was a young man made an impact on his life and laid the foundation for him to instruct others well in the things of God (Philippians 2:19-24; 2 Timothy 2:2).
We ought to be a person of SELF-CONTROL, like Paul (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Paul was not overwhelmed by life’s circumstances and struggles because he trusted in the Lord of Life! How about us?
We ought to be a person of PATIENCE, like Job (James 5:7-11). We can tell how patient we really are when we hurt and we’re made to wait and don’t know why! Do we still trust in the faithfulness and grace of God?
We ought to be a person of GODLINESS, like Joseph (Genesis 39). No matter what happened to him, Joseph trusted in the presence and providence of God and responded accordingly (Genesis 50:20). That is the essence of godliness!
We ought to be a person of BROTHERLY KINDNESS, like Barnabas (Acts 4:34-37). He’s sort of the “Mr. Encouragement” of the New Testament, isn’t he? Encouragement and kindness are normally in short supply in this world, and sometimes even in churches.
We ought to be a person of LOVE, like John (1 John 3:11-18). John seems to beautifully illustrate what it means to love God, the brethren, the truth and the lost. Do we beautifully illustrate such love in our lives?
We ought to be a person with ALL THE GRACES, like Jesus (1 Peter 2:21-25). Sometimes I look at myself and am struck by how little I actually reflect my Savior and Lord. It’s disappointing. But I DO desire to! And likely, you feel this way too. And I am reminded of a children’s song – “He’s still working on me.” We can rejoice on those occasions we reflect something of His beauty and character, but none of us always and perfectly reflect Him. He’s still working on us.