Spiritual Growth – Part Six

“….Grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” II Peter 3:8

        “….add to your brotherly kindness….”

Love is the capstone of the other attributes. This love involves love for the Lord and His standards. The passage began with faith and ends with love. The list ends with love as the vertex of the entire passage. The word translated love chosen from among several Greek words is agape. In the New Testament it is the word describing the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God. It is selfless, not seeking response, but giving because it is the natural inclination of the heart. It is free and unconditional.

When you express yourself in terms of agape love, you’re putting others before yourself. It’s the feeling that lives inside of you, encouraging you to make the life of others slightly better. 

The Greek word agape translated “love” in the New Testament is different from other types of love. The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. 

Love reaches its optimum as expressed in John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 

That should solicit from us the response noted in Mark 12: 30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.”

Check yourself out on each of these often and correct your course as needed to grow in grace and knowledge. Start now with no future fatigue in the effort.

We are to give “all diligence” to growing in these attributes. Such requires time and effort. Memorize the traits in order to incorporate them into your lifestyle.

For “He who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness….” If you lack these things, it shows you have “I trouble.” We are shortsighted, unable to see God, only ourselves.

Living by this standard results in a spiritual life “For if these things are in you and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”