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May 5 – The ‘qualities’ we must cultivate 

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue … knowledge … self-control … steadfastness … godliness … brotherly affection, and … love.” – 2 Peter 1:5-7 

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:1-17

The false teachers of Peter’s day engaged in and encouraged a sensual lifestyle. They taught a cheap grace and were not concerned with holy living. Many other New Testament letters address the opposite extreme, which is trying to earn or keep salvation through obedience to the law. Both views are wrong. What the Bible continually emphasizes is that because of our position, as adopted children of God, in Christ, by grace, through faith, therefore, we must …

And the ‘must’ in our passage is that we “make every effort to…” Later on, in verse 10, it is “be all the more diligent to” and “practice these qualities.” No one has ever ended up as a concert pianist, accidentally, or without any effort. It takes many hours of practice to become accomplished at anything. So it is with holy living, we are called to concentrated effort, zeal, and diligent ‘practice.’

To the faith that we already possess, by grace and by the Spirit’s power, we must diligently seek to add virtue – goodness/excellence (Philippians 4:8), knowledge (correct and experiential), self-control – saying ‘No!’ to worldly passions (Proverbs 25:28), steadfastness – spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:11-14), godliness – Christ-like behaviour (1 Peter 2:12), brotherly affection – love ALL your brothers and sisters in Christ (1 John 5:1), including the ‘hard-to-love’ ones, and love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

May the Lord use the faithful preaching of His Word today to cause us to grow in godliness.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for faithful preaching. Pray for your minister and the preaching and teaching ministry in your congregation. Ask Him to also bless your fellowship with believers, that it too may lead to growth.

Rev. Andre Holtslag is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana (2007). At the present time he serves the Reformed Church of Avondale, which is in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and is one of the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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