Make Every Effort To Supplement Your Faith

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #1:

- Ezekiel, chapters 1-3
- Job 1
- John 7:37-44
- 2 Peter 1:1-11

“I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them” (Ezk 2:4-5). It is not the proclaimer’s job to convince or to persuade, but only to proclaim.

“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand’” (Job 1:12). Note that God tells Satan exactly how far he can go. Satan is evidently subservient to the Lord like any other created being.

“Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn 7:39). Observations about the Spirit from this text: 1) The Spirit is for believers, 2) The Spirit is given, 3) The giving of the Spirit correlates to Jesus being glorified.

2 Peter 1:5-10 is so compelling to me that I’m going to simply post all five verses. “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. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” Does this idea of supplementing one’s faith call the “by faith alone” mantra into question? Who cares. Peter is serious here, and we should take his advice.

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #2:

- Ezekiel, chapters 4-8
- Job 2
- John 7:45-53
- 2 Peter 1:12-21

“And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, in all their dwelling places, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezk 6:14). Don’t miss the fact that the Lord is using Israel’s punishment as a way to make himself known to them. This is a truth that I am very much aware of in my own life.

“‘Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10). Perhaps Job is mistaken here, in that he attributes the evil done him to God. The devil did this to him, right? Isn’t that clear from the text? Don’t blame God for something the devil did! However, the last sentence of the verse seems to clear Job of any incorrect speaking.

“Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?” (Jn 7:48). The Jewish leaders use this as a way to discredit Christ, as if such a criteria means anything at all. Truth is truth, regardless of who acknowledges or doesn’t acknowledge it. However, this stings a little for me, in that upon reading this I realize how often I gauge an author or a teaching based on whether it’s been approved of by the figureheads that I’ve chosen as my favorite.

“I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2Pet 1:13). On a personal note, this is becoming a life verse for me.

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