2 Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” NKJV
grace-that-grows_.mp3 (Note: I changed the title after I recorded it!)
I’ve shared several blogs on the grace of God. If you have kept up with them, you know that I have repeatedly spoken of grace as God’s unmerited favor that cannot be earned and is not deserved. This is all true! Today I want to bring up a very important point about grace, it grows!
In 2 Peter 3, Peter addresses several tough issues: the delay of the end times, mockers, false teachers, and the return of the Lord. He concludes this chapter by telling the believers that to be forewarned about these issues is to forearmed. Sounds like great advice! The last thing he says is that we are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus! This verse captured my interest. So I asked myself, like an student of the word would, “If grace is given freely, because we can’t earn it, nor do we deserve it, how can we grow in it?
It really goes back to what I have been trying to explain. Grace is powerful! The word of God talks about exceeding riches of grace and yet many believers only understand saving grace, the grace given to us to obtain salvation, and that reservations. Peter writes that we can grow in the grace of God. I believe that what he means is that we are to grow in understanding what grace is, how it operates in our lives, and experiencing it to its fullness. As we grow in grace we can’t help but grow in the knowledge of our God.
I found an article, written by Bob Hoekstra, Grace for Knowing God. In the article he wrote:
The more we know about the grace of God, the more we know about one of the great, great truths of our Lord God. He is a God of grace.
Another word for grow is increase! God is a God of increase! Paul wrote a similar verse about growing in grace:
2 Corinthians 8:7 -But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us— see that you abound in this grace also. NKJV
In other words, we grow in everything, we should grow in grace! And in case abound needs explaining, the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it in this manner:
1 : to be present in large numbers or in great quantity…2 : to be copiously supplied —used with in or with…
In our verse, abound is used with the word “in”, taking on the meaning that we are to be copiously supplied with grace. And copiously simply means “yielding something abundantly. This is such an important concept about grace. God wants us to get that His grace, His favor towards us is abundant grace! As we understand it and it expect it, we can experience it in greater abundance!
Ephesians 1:7-8- In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, NKJV
Even saving grace comes with abundance. Paul wrote that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace. Grace abundantly forgives, and our redemption came with abundance of grace. He continues in the next verse by saying that He made this grace to abound toward us! It was given in great quantity, copiously supplied! However, if we don’t understand the extent of God’s grace, endeavor to know more about it, we cannot grow in it.
God’s grace is a sufficient grace for all that we need and all that we experience. But God’s grace is also clearly abundant. It takes care of whatever it is released in our lives to do, and to do so lavishly. We spend far too much of our lives and our times, living on pauper grace. Just enough to get by! We think of ourselves as “dirty ole dogs”, “wretched individuals” and “unworthy sinners” when He has poured out abundant grace to us! Grace that loving embrace us into His family!
Think of it like this, if I may try to naturalize something so supernatural. You were homeless, living on the streets, eating out of trash cans, and didn’t know if you would see tomorrow. Suddenly Bill Gates passes by and is drawn to you, for no particular reason that you know of. He walks over to you, converses with you, and invites you to dinner with him. You’re hungry as all get out, but you won’t eat with him, so you just tell him if he’ll give you a few coins, you’ll find something to eat. He says, no way! I want to take you across the street to the Hilton where I am staying tonight. I will get you a room, so you can sleep, take a warm bath, and put on some new clothes that I will have sent to your room. Then we’ll go to eat and I’ll tell you the great plans I have to help you get reestablished in life. But you refuse his assistance, because you don’t want to cause others to look at him badly, or be seen as taking advantage of his kindness, or you don’t believe that he is doing it out of the joy of giving. Whatever! But you’ll take a few dollars, and tonight eat a little better, but nothing in your life has changed. Pauper grace!
Saints! Too often that is exactly how we treat God. I say, if God wants to do great things for us, then we should get with the program and let Him! Let Him buy me dinner, put me up in the hotel, give me a job, a car, and a house, too! Anything wants to do, and everything He wants to do, I am onboard! I am free from the drudgery of sin that I once lived in and I am more than ready to experience all that He wants to bestow upon me!! Maybe that’s why grace is on my mind!
As I have been sheltering in place, I have had a lot of time to connect with God. I read the Bible of a loving, giving, abundant God, and I haven’t always expected abundance of grace in my life. Maybe you can say the same thing, and now you want to live differently! Well, it will start as we learn to grow in grace. As we open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to His exceedingly abundant grace, I believe that we will begin to see it happen in our lives. I’m ready to grow in grace! How about you? Wonderful Jesus!