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Growing in Grace

May 4th, 2012

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV

“Nothing fosters spiritual growth like a healthy grasp of grace.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “growing in grace.”

I think we take growth for granted; we simply expect that to happen. And to a small measure that would be true, but not completely so. You are designed by God to grow – to get taller and stronger, smarter, and more mature. But growth is not altogether automatic. There are things you need for healthy growth. For instance, proper nutrition and diet are contributors, and both adequate rest and exercise are necessary, as well as healthy habits that contribute to one’s growth and development.

And growth is not single faceted. Beyond the normal processes of growing physically, there are also very real dimensions of growing emotionally, mentally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. We all have seen instances of obvious imbalances in people’s development, growing in some areas but stunted in others. Growth is natural; lack of growth is not.

It should be no surprise that Jesus is the perfect example of healthy, well-rounded growth. “The child [Jesus] grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom beyond His years, and God placed His special favor upon Him . . Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:40/52 NLT/NKJV. In those verses, you can see the diverse areas of growth and development Jesus experienced. As you examine your life presently, where are you growing and where are you not?

Of course, my attention here is with yours and my spiritual growth, which is also the Bible’s primary concern. “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming . . since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him . . be on your guard . . grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” 2 Peter 3:11-18 NIV.

Peter asks a rather probing question – in light of the impermanence and ungodliness of this world, “What kind of people ought you to be?” In your heart you know the answer – becoming better than you have been! How do you do that? Peter’s answer is rather simple, and altogether doable; “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” The right answers are always found in the same place, “our Lord and Savior.” See 1 Peter 2:1-3 NLT.

The first thing is obvious: you have to deal with your past and God’s grace is the only way to do that. Your past is full of mistakes made and wrongs done, some ignorantly, most foolishly, but a few deliberately. The past pursues you tirelessly until you bring it kicking and screaming to Jesus. Nothing fosters spiritual growth like a healthy grasp of grace. See Ephesians 2:4-9/4:13-15 NKJV.

You have forgiven others, and people have forgiven you; why then would you doubt God’s willingness to forgive you? Your past is not the worst He’s ever seen. Grow in grace! Day by day, let grace wash your soul, cleanse your mind, heal your spirit, release your joy, and draw you closer to the Savior.

For some, grace is embraced all at once; for others, grace happens day by day. But for all, grace is ultimately and absolutely sufficient. Read Titus 2:11-15 NLT. How will you know when you are growing in grace? You become a little more like Jesus in your conversations, attitudes, conduct, relationships, and lifestyle. Others notice the change; you know the Source.

My prayer for you today is that you will grow in grace and know the Savior fully.

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