Growing in Grace by Pastor Scott
Growing in Grace
We finished up our recent study in God’s Word from 2 Peter with this verse of challenge: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (If growing in grace results in glorifying God, then I want that in my life) – 2 Peter 3:18. I, like others, believe there are two unique calls in the first part of this verse. One call is to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. The second call is to grow in our experience of the grace of Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior.
Growing in knowledge comes easier for me because I enjoy learning, studying and because I am more of a linear thinker who likes outlines, an introduction, three points that all begin with the same letter and a conclusion (and if an acronym can be pulled together for memory application that would be great for me).
Growing in grace; that is a little harder for me, unless you mean growing in my knowledge of grace, but I think there is more to grace than knowledge and understanding of the acronym – Grrrace (think Tony the Tiger):
God’s – Redemptive Riches & Resources – At – Christ’s – Expense
One way we can grow in God’s grace is by experiencing more of the grace God desires for us to daily live and realize that He has so much more for us than what we are currently experiencing or living in. As we learned in our study of 2 Peter – “Grace & peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything that we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory & goodness.” God’s grace and goodness has given us everything that we need for living godly lives – wow that is good grace! So, why don’t I live like I have everything that I need? I need to experience more of this grace of God’s divine power & provision.
Pray for & seek the evidence of His grace
A second way we can grow in God’s grace is by extending the grace & mercy of God that we have experienced from God through Jesus Christ. In our next study of Jude we will discover even more gifts of God’s grace, such as mercy, peace, love, forgiveness and kindness. Having received these great gifts of God’s grace unconditionally through Jesus, we follow His example and teaching by living as Jesus lived, demonstrating the unconditional love, mercy and grace of God to others.
“Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? …forgive your brother from your heart.”
Be merciful as our Father is merciful…forgive as we have been forgiven…love as we have been loved (teachings of Jesus). When we experience God’s grace and extend the grace that we have received to others, we grow in the grace of Jesus!
Ask: Who can I show love & forgiveness to this week? How can I demonstrate acts of kindness & peacemaking this week? Practice the demonstration of His grace. Will I do it?
A third, and new way for me, for how we can grow in God’s grace is by engaging in the beauty of God’s goodness. I have been reading devotionally (not for knowledge or sermon prep) a book by John Eldredge called, “Get your life back” and in his third chapter he writes about “Drinking Beauty” as a way to engage in God’s grace – “Beauty is such a gentle grace” he writes as he encourages us to take time to “drink in” the beauty of God’s creation. Enjoying the colors of fall in Minnesota is a great time to put this principle into practice. “Beauty comforts. Beauty heals… Beauty rescues… Beauty reassures us that goodness is still real in the world, more real than harm or scarcity or evil. Beauty reassures us of abundance, especially that God is absolutely abundant in goodness and in life” (Eldredge).
Are you ready to grow in the grace of God through the experience of His riches, by extending the grace that we have received in Jesus to others and by engaging in the grace of His created beauty? Do you want to live God’s grace?
New sermon series begins Sunday, October 4 – Jude – living in God’s saving grace
In this next study we all have an opportunity to not only grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord but also to grow in the grace of Jesus Christ our Savior! Will you join me in reading & studying Jude, a short 25 verse letter from God’s Word?
By God’s Grace & for God’s Glory,