“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
–2 Peter 1:5-8

A few days ago, a friend of ours came over to help us make some great chicken enchiladas. Of course, we followed a recipe to make them. After we put together all the ingredients and mixed them up, we popped the dish into the oven and awaited the outcome. The enchiladas were delicious!

God also has a delicious recipe He wants to share with us. As we face the hot oven of life, we can think of the psalmist’s words, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

So, let’s look at the “ingredients” found in the above verses. The first quality we find is moral excellence, which is also known as integrity. Someone who possesses this quality is a person of their word. We need to seek God for moral excellence, as Jesus told us we were to be salt and light in a tasteless and dark world.

The next 2 ingredients to get out of your spiritual pantry are knowledge and self-control. Gain a working knowledge of God’s word, and it will help you live life to the fullest. By this, I mean life continually throws us hard questions that only God’s word can answer. God tells us to hide His word in our hearts, meditate upon it, and handle it like we would our most precious treasure. In this way, we can filter or test everything through God’s word.

Self-control implies discipline. You may flinch at this, but if we are to be true disciples of Christ, we must recognize that discipline is a foundational characteristic. You might put it this way: Ask God to help you live a balanced life, and that will help you avoid many pitfalls.

When life throws us a curveball, sometimes we feel we need to grit our teeth and put one foot in front of the other. But in fact, we need to ask God to give us the next ingredient: patient endurance. We cannot face life’s trials in our own strength, for only God can see what lies at the end of the road. As we face life’s pressures, and feel only frustration,we need to ask God to make us more like Him. We need the peace of knowing that He is in control, and the security of knowing that he is always faithful.

Since brotherly affection and love for everyone go hand in hand, I wanted to tackle them together. Jesus told us that all men would know that we belong to him if we have love for one another, and Paul tells us that love never fails. But there are many things that the world calls love, which are only motivated by burning desire. The love that Peter is talking about in the opening verse is the kind of love that goes the extra mile, the kind that gives even when it hurts and does not hold preconceived ideas about people. Again, in our own strength we cannot love like this, but the good news is that we don’t have to. The Bible says that God is the embodiment of love.

So, while life might not be a bed of roses, if you want to taste the best dish you ever had, pour these ingredients over faith, mix well, and wait for the delicious outcome. Spend some time alone with God, and ask Him to give you the desire to make these attributes part-and-parcel of your everyday life. In other words, give yourself completely over to Him. God loves you more than you could ever know, but in order to experience His best, you must give Him your all.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave.,Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext.874157.