Summary: Godliness is not a matter of something you need to do, but someone you need to be. Because if you are the person you need to be you will do the things you need to do.
One advantage I have in traveling is tasting the good cooking of others. Along with that good cooking comes some great recipes that either my wife or I have been given over the past 32 years. In fact, unless the Lord allows us to take these recipes along to heaven, we’ll never be able to try them all. When I was once flipping through the recipe cards thinking of the people and places they represented, one caught my attention. I’m not certain I understand what it means and I’m almost afraid to try it.
The recipe is called Armenian Shish kabob. Now I know what an Armenian is when it comes to theology. They believe that having obtained salvation you can lose it by improper living. I have no idea what that means when it comes to food. If you are talking about the kind of entree that having eaten it you might lose it, I don’t care to try it. Then, I looked up the word "shish" in the Webster’s Dictionary where I’m told you can find every word. It’s not there. So I suppose a shish is something the human language can’t describe. That doesn’t sound too exciting either. Then, I assumed the word "kabob" was Greek. It sounded Greek to me. So I pulled my Greek dictionary off the shelf. It’s not there either. So I have no idea what an Armenian shish kabob is. But I’ve said to Tammy, "For your sake and mine, let’s not make it." That is one recipe I can’t understand and I’m almost scared to try it.
But sometime ago I came across a recipe I really like. In fact, it has to be the greatest recipe I’ve ever read. Found in 2 Peter 1:5-8, it’s what you might call the recipe for a godly life. Now, it’s not a new recipe. In fact, it’s older than your great-grandmother’s apple pie recipe. God gave it to Simon Peter more than 1,500 years ago and it’s one of the last things He gave the people of Asia Minor. It’s what is commonly referred to as an "oldie but a goodie."
Before I give the ingredients, let me tell you four reasons why I like it. One, when you find a recipe you want to try, you have to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. That takes time. But with this recipe, I don’t have to go anywhere. God has already given me the ingredients. I just have to use them. Verse 3 says, "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness."
Secondly, when I find something I like I want to try it right away. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. With this recipe I can. Peter even says, don’t waste any time. Verse 5 says, "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence." Diligence means do with earnestness, don’t waste any time. Someone once said, "Satan doesn’t care how godly you try to be as long as you don’t plan to be it today." With this recipe I am encouraged to begin right away.
There is a third reason I like this recipe. I run into a problem I have with other recipes that say "take a pinch of sugar," "a pinch of salt," "a pinch of flour". I want to know, what is a pinch? Are there big pinches, medium sized pinches, small pinches? But with this recipe I don’t have to worry about that either. Because verse 5 says, "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence add." That word add means supply abundantly, add lavishly. I don’t have to worry about getting too much. I can just add and add and add. I don’t have to pinch and pinch and pinch.
But there is a fourth reason I like this recipe. Everyone knows that recipes don’t guarantee success. You don’t know how they will turn out. In fact, Tammy who knows my cooking ability knows that even if I follow a recipe exactly, it’s still a guarantee it won’t turn out right. Some time ago Tammy wanted to surprise me with a special meal but somehow something went wrong with her recipe. When we set it on the table, all we had to do was take the lid off for the odor of the outdoors to hit us. We knew that somehow, something went wrong. We normally have about a one minute blessing on the meal. That night we gave the entire evening to prayer, asking God for His protective mercies as we partook of the food. But with this recipe I don’t have to worry about anything going wrong. Because verse 8 says, "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." That means, you will always have something to do and in doing it you will be fruitful. Therefore, this recipe guarantees success.