“Make Every Effort” ( 2 Peter 1: 5 – 8, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


For the reason that we have escaped “the corruption that is in the world” and have been allowed to “share in the divine nature”, we are to “make every effort to supplement [our] faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

At the top of this pinnacle of qualities inherent in the Lord Jesus Christ is love. If you look at these qualities as rungs on a ladder we are climbing, then love is the top rung and faith is the bottom rung. The bottom rung is the foundation; the top rung is the goal. Without faith in Christ, none of the other qualities are possible for “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” And, “if these qualities are [ours] and are increasing, they will keep [us] from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)

Usefulness and fruitfulness are natural results of our escape from the world and of our sharing in the divine nature. Each of these qualities reflect our Lord who dwells within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Our effort is akin to looking in a mirror, seeing His reflection, and remembering what He looks like. The more successful we are in this task, the more we love.

Without a doubt, the perfect mirror of the Lord and of His qualities is His Word. As we remain in His Word, know His Word, and put His Word into the practice of our lives, we remember what He looks like. We love because He first loved us.

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“Outdo One Another” (Romans 12: 10, ESV) by Carley Evans


Love each other, says Paul. Love each other in the same way you love your siblings — with a brotherly or sisterly affection. “Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Paul says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12: 14) “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (Romans 12: 17)

And, he writes: “Let love be genuine.”
And, “Hold fast to what is good.”

Holding fast to the good is such a map for happiness. If you see the good in the other, then you are able to bless the other even as he curses you. If you see the good in the moment, then you will not repay evil for evil. Instead you will do what is perceived as honorable to all. Such a paradox exists in the Christian walk. We walk by faith, hoping for that which is unseen. Our hope is that good will outdo evil, that perfection will triumph over imperfection, that God will be triumphant over the evil one.

And of course God is triumphant and good does overcome evil. Perfection does overwhelm imperfection, and holiness swallows sin.

Therefore, let your love be true. Hold fast to the good. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”