2 Peter 1:5-8 (KJV): “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
COMMENTARY: Here in the rocky hills of northeastern Connecticut (USA), spring still hasn’t completely sprung, but as I hike the local trails, I’m watching new life gradually and sequentially sprout up in vibrant layers of green. It’s like a painter who keeps adding new splashes of green to a giant outdoor, 3D canvas, eventually completing a wonderful new masterpiece.
During a local hike on Sunday afternoon, the deciduous trees were still barren, but along the streams, skunk cabbage (which is a really bad name; the plant doesn’t deserve such a bad rap) was gloriously emerging, adding a beautiful green dimension to the wetlands and streams. The reason why it’s called skunk cabbage is that if you break the surface of the leaves, it smells a little “skunky.” In reality, skunk cabbage has some fascinating features and purposes. For example, as it begins to pop out of the ground in late winter, it creates its own heat and melts surrounding ice and snow. It is also very important early-spring food for black bears who have just come out of winter hibernation. Can you imagine what a delicacy it must be after not eating for months?
APPLICATION: When your faith in Christ comes alive, the Lord wants you to grow in Him for a lifetime. As the days of your life pass, and you are continuously nourished by streams of living water from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the Lord wants you to mature and show various “layers of green.” Layers of new, abundant life.
If you will, in today’s Scripture passage, faith could be construed to be the early-stage “skunk cabbage;” the first layer of green that He wants you to show, followed by other layers of green such as virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. As these various layers of green blossom inside of you, your knowledge of Christ will not be barren or unfruitful. You will be a living canvas radiating with life-giving greenery, a living testimony and blessing to all with whom you come into contact at work and elsewhere. Praise God!