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Pastor Keith’s Letter, May, 2021« Back to Letters
2 Peter 1:1-9 gives us “A Recipe for Godly Living;” especially verses 5-7. It all begins with faith–trusting in Jesus Christ alone as your only way to heaven. Then we add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly/sisterly kindness and love. As it works with any recipe, we can’t leave any ingredient out; all of these traits need to characterize the lives of those who follow Jesus. In general (and this passage, and many other passages, in particular), the Bible gives us the instructions we need for godly living on the earth and entrance into eternal life in heaven.
The last of this series of preaching is “Love.” Love is not just a mushy emotion, though there are certainly many feelings associated with love. Love is an action word (it’s a verb), it’s not just words we say. God is love (see 1 John 4:8),and through Jesus Christ, He shows us what love-in-action looks like. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. Jesus taught us that all Scripture can be summarized in these two love commands: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love all other people as you love yourself (see Mark 12:30-31). Sometimes we must “prime the pump” of love through actions, first, before the emotional part of love can follow suit, or be rekindled. Sometimes, we must love “unlovely” people, first, before they can become, in actuality, “loveable.” One commentator said, “Love is a deliberate desire for the highest good of the one loved, which shows itself in sacrificial action for that person’s good.”