and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,2 Peter 1:6(NASB)
Grace and peace is not only given to the child of God, but multiplied as we grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Heavenly Father and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Because we trusted the Lord Jesus as Saviour, all that we need for life, godliness, and spiritual growth is ours already, but it is accessed by faith. We started our spiritual journey by grace through faith in Christ, and we are kept throughout our life-journey by the power of God by faith, but we are to exercise that faith in Christ by believing the truth of His Word, by trusting our lives into His hands, by abiding in Him and He in us, and by learning to say, "Thy will, not mine be done."
Spiritual growth takes place when we exercise faith in the precious promises of God, but often it takes time for God is working in each of us with an eternal perspective. Spiritual growth is evidenced through the precious fruit of the Holy Spirit, but it takes time to mature and there is a clearly defined process of development and growth if we are to grow in grace and show forth the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The first steps toward spiritual fruit, Christian maturity, and a heart that reflects Christ's love for the Church, are moral excellence in our inner thoughts, righteousness in our outward expression, and purity in the secret motives of our heart. And to moral excellence can be added a deepening knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And as we journey through our Christian life, we are to: "Add to our knowledge temperance or self-control; and to self-control we are to add patience. To patience we are to add godliness," so that we can continue towards the ultimate goal that God has for each one of His children, which is brotherly kindness, Christian love, and Christlikeness.
It is through the Word of God that we gain knowledge and understanding, and it is as the message of Christ richly dwells within our heart that the beautiful attribute of long-suffering is able to develop and grow, for our eternal benefit and to the glory of God. And James reminds us that it is through patient endurance that we are perfected by Him and become complete in Him, lacking in nothing.
May all of God's children make every effort to respond to His promises and to supplement our faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and to the development of moral excellence may we add knowledge, and may our knowledge enlarge into self-control, and our self-control blossom into patient endurance. And finally, may our patient endurance grow into godliness, brotherly affection, Christian love, and Christ-like behaviour, knowing that the more we grow in these virtues, the more productive and useful we will become in our Christian life as we grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, I pray that as I grow in grace and increasingly develop in my spiritual walk, I will realise more clearly how precious to You it is to live my life with these attributes. I pray I would become more self-controlled in every area of my life. May I develop patience, knowing that You are enabling me to grow more like Christ so that eventually I may be fully conformed into His likeness as His Godliness shines through me. In Jesus' name, AMEN.