Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of Christ

Do you want to grow in love for Jesus? Do you long to experience more of his grace day by day? Do you desire for your life to bring glory to Christ? Most Christians will, of course, answer “yes” to these questions, but I want to encourage you to join me in searching our hearts to see if our “yes” really means “yes.” Are we willing to take up our cross daily and die to anything that stands in the way of our progress in Christ? Are we willing to sell everything we have in order to gain him?

The Apostle Peter drew his second letter to a close with these wise and pastoral words: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). Beloved, this is an exhortation from an elder brother in Christ, and it’s also a command. The word “grow” is in the imperative mood which means that it’s a directive. Peter is saying to people he loves very much, “Forsake the fading pleasures of this world and make every effort to pursue Christ” (see 1 Peter 1:5-11).

So I ask again: do you long for growth, grace, and the glory of Christ in your life? If you answered “yes,” then know that you will have to play an active role, by the grace of Christ, in building habits that nurture this longing. We cannot sit idly by and expect to grow, rather, we must apply ourselves according to the will and wisdom of God.

Therefore, over the next several weeks, I’ll be writing a series of devotionals on eight essential habits that create an atmosphere of growth in our lives. These habits do not, in themselves, cause us to grow in Christ, but they are tools and fertilizer in the hands of the God who does cause us to grow.

Specifically, I plan to write about the Word of God, praise, prayer, fasting, giving, community life, evangelism, and mercy ministry. As you read these devotionals each week, please join me in the quest to understand what our Father is asking of us and why, and in the effort to apply his wisdom to our lives by the grace and power of Christ. Those who hear and do the will of God will be blessed indeed.

Finally, please join me in praying that Jesus will do a great work at Glory of Christ this summer. Peter’s call to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ is not only imperative, it’s plural. It’s a command issued to us as a people, not as isolated individuals. So again, please pray that God will bind us together as we seek him together. 

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