“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
The other week I read those verses, and they really stuck with me. Don’t you just love when that happens and you can’t get a verse out of your head? Anyway, I loved them so much that I taught them in children’s church this morning.
To help the children understand I did an object lesson with a mason jar, bouncy balls, and water. The mason jar represented our faith in God and in Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. On the six bouncy balls we wrote each of the good things that Peter listed above that we should use to strengthen our faith (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly affection). We placed these characteristics into the jar and then covered them with water, which represented love. Because faith is the foundation of a Christian’s life, it holds all other things in our life together, just as the mason jar held all of the bouncy balls together. Without faith every thing we do, even the good things we try to do, would fall apart. Of the characteristics that Peter urges us to have, love is the most special. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Do everything in love.” Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly affection all stem from love. We grow in our knowledge of God because we love God, we have self-control over our words and actions because of our love for others, and so on. Love covers all of our good deeds in our lives, just as the water covered all of the bouncy balls. However, even love is held together by our faith. Without the mason jar, our bouncy balls and water would have made a huge mess.
Don’t forget to have a mason jar faith this week!