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There are many voices claiming to know the secret to being effective and fruitful.  Out of all of the ones clamoring to be heard, I want to remember the voice of Peter.  In 2 Peter 1:5-9, he writes, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”

The secret to being effective and fruitful is not some treasure waiting to be unearthed by the next great writer or preacher.  It is not about Getting Things Done, becoming better organized, reading many books, getting more degrees, or unleashing my potential.  Peter says that effectiveness and fruitfulness come from the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love.  These qualities protect us from becoming ineffective and unfruitful followers of Jesus.

But verse 9 is the key… if you lack these qualities, it is not because you do not try hard enough or do not have enough will power.  It is because you have forgotten that your sins have been washed away by the blood of the cross.  The first step in making these protective qualities a reality in your life is knowing that they have already been given to you by His power (verse 3) and never forgetting the cross (verse 9).    The first step is a humble, thankful remembering of the cross.

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