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Rare Collectibles of the Faith (33 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
II Peter 1:5-8
People who have no hobby often become bored with their existence. They have no enthusiasm about anything and never appreciate the zest for living. Individuals who collect stamps, rocks, and coins are always seeking new specimens for their collections. As an adult I became interested in seashells and searched everywhere for new and valuable species. The late King Farouk of Egypt had a large collection of matchboxes, and many wealthy people have a love for antiques and art. I have friends who collect ceramic forms of owls and snails, and others who exhibit interest in all kinds of collectibles. I knew a man in South Africa who collected cats; he had a hundred, and I always wondered how the neighbors tolerated the miniature zoo that existed on the other side of the garden fence. The apostle Peter was interested in a different kind of collectible. He valued spiritual realities and urged his readers to increase what they already possessed. He wrote, "And beside this, add to your faith, virtue...knowledge...temperance...patience." The fact that he encouraged his friends to add these things, suggested they did not already possess them; their collections were incomplete.
This is the beginning of any spiritual collection, for without it we have nothing. There are degrees of faith, for the Savior spoke of no faith (see Mark 4:37-40); little faith (see Matt. 6:25-30); and great faith (see Luke 7:1-10). Without true faith in Christ people remain dead in trespasses and sins, and lifeless people do not collect anything. Peter, introducing his letter, said, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith, through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). His readers had been indifferent until the grace of God transformed them. Then, they "obtained li ...
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