Like most people who cook, I have a favorite recipe. Mine is for a scrumptious banana cake. Handed down from my mother, it’s a no-fail recipe—that is, if you follow the directions exactly. I’ve shared it with friends, and most of them have had good results. One or two, however, said the recipe was no good. Later I discovered they had omitted some ingredients and substituted others.

The apostle Peter gave us the recipe for effective Christian living. The two main ingredients God provides are His divine power (2 Pet. 1:3) and His precious promises (v.4). As we thoroughly blend His power and promises into our believing and living, we’ll be more like Christ.

Then Peter listed the ingredients we must add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (vv.5-7). If we include each of these, we’ll not be unfruitful, nor will we stumble in our walk with the Lord (v.8). Anyone who omits these vital ingredients is shortsighted, even blind, and “has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (v.9).

Don’t change God’s ingredients and then blame His recipe when things go wrong. Instead, follow His instructions diligently. His recipe brings spiritual success.