"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren(useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:8
The Amish have a sweet bread that is simply called Friendship Bread most women I know have heard of it. It's given to new neighbors as a token of future friendships. It is also gifted to old and dear friends to be enjoyed with conversation. What better gift than something that has sustained life for thousands of years?
For the next several post, I plan to use the simple friendship bread recipe in a comparison to the life of a fruitful Christian woman. I hope you enjoy and learn from this study as much as I did when the Lord gave it to me.
The neighbor, and potential friend, will bring the hot bread to the new neighbor's house along with the recipe and a small jar of "starter": which is the key to making the bread. The ingredients of the jar of starter aren't listed in the recipe; it will be given freely along with the bread at the beginning of the relationship by the one offering the friendship bread.
Certain things must be done daily to the 'starter' for it to remain active and grow. Just as the friendship it has come to represent between the neighbors, it takes effort and time daily to maintain the 'starter'.
But once it reaches a certain stage, the new neighbor will not only have enough to make a loaf of bread for her and her family, but also enough to give away to someone else. And the process starts over, spreading this delicious bread and the friendships it creates house to house throughout the community.
If you look in 2 Peter chapter one, verses one through eight, God gives you the recipe ingredients for a useful, fruitful, mature Christian life.
Thinking of our comparison to the friendship bread,as you read these verses, can you spot the 'starter'which is given by your potential friend Jesus? Just as with the Amish bread the key ingredient must be given to you.(faith,)Why do I say that?
In verse five you are told to 'add to' your faith. Verse one of the chapter tells you that you obtained(received)it: that tells you that it was not something you supplied for yourself, it had to be given to you.
Verse three tells you where it came from. "His divine power hath given."
There are many verses in scripture that comfirm where and how faith comes. One of these is Romans 10:17 This verse says faith comes by hearing, so if faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word, then who is the word?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
The friend who brought you the 'starter faith' is Jesus. He brought it the day he came to your house with the bread of life: salvation. As you read you will see that along with the faith you are given "exceeding great and precious promises" that will help you to maintain this faith and also the grace you will need to be able to share it with others.(vs.4)
So what is to stop you from adding to this 'starter faith' the seven things Peter says are needed? Study the Word to have a life that will be useful and fruitful to God and pleasing to others.
Remember Seven is the number of perfection(completion), it is God's number. He made the earth in seven days; He spoke seven times on the cross. The seven things listed in these verses, added to the starter faith, give you eight specific things. Eight is the number of new birth. (There were eight souls on the ark.) It can be your number. Study through these eight things if you want to have a new spiritual life of faith, a new daily walk of faith in Christ and a testamony that can be shared with others.
In my next post I will begin to break down this recipe one ingredient at a time. I hope you will join me to see what God has cooking for you!