‘[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us… For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. You will be productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4-8).’
At one time we lived in Tulsa, OK. We saw homes with jagged vertical cracks; a crack in one home was several inches wide, exposing the room to outside weather. The walls had slowly shifted more over time because of clay soils in that area. Damage was due to a large content of clay minerals in the soil which act like a sponge and absorb large quantities of water that cause them to increase greatly in volume. When the clay minerals dry out, they shrink.
Knoxville, TN, is a beautiful location in the Smoky Mountains where my son and his family live. Red clay soil is also found there. A concern for gardeners is improvement of the soil. Recently, I helped my son, Dave, work in his garden.
We added peat to loosen the texture of the clay. Bags of black dirt with organic material were dug in. Green, mowed grass had been mulched at the side; soil microorganisms had been “eating”, or breaking down, the grass (organic matter) into a form plants in the soil could take into their roots for nutrition.
Dave mixed the clay soil with a pitch fork, changing its appearance dramatically. Tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers were planted with all the conditions needed for life, goodness, and nutrition prepared. The gardener would faithfully take care of his vegetables, and share the excess with neighbors.
Is this not somewhat similar to the pattern of our life in Christ?
The divine power of God in Christ has given us everything we need for life when we receive Jesus as Savior by believing–the God-given faith to trust in Christ for salvation. We leave behind a life of cracked walls, and worldly actions and behaviors (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We recognize the Holy Spirit as the power of God who works in our hearts (Romans 5:5; Ephesians 3:20).
For this reason, we add to our life Christ-like qualities. They are added and mixed into the soil of our hearts. They are a recipe of love. We are given wisdom to use our virtues (James 1:5). They will produce a well-rounded life as we grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus Christ and the wonderful sense of having been cleansed from our past sins.