Sunday, December 4, 2016
The Necessity of Growth
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 to the day of eternity. Amen.
At the conclusion of the epistle we receive this little nugget of truth regarding the Christian life. This is a life of growth, one that is never stagnant and never turning back. Growth in grace comes from God alone and allows for growth in knowledge. The result is moral and spiritual development which allows us to put our faith into practice. The more that we grow spiritually, the more that Christ is seen in us. Glory of the Lord is reflected in and through those who draw close to him. This necessary growth continues throughout all eternity.
While Peter’s epistle speaks into the moral life and development of the follower of Christ there is always the reminder of grace. If we are trying to do everything right within our own power, we will fail. But grace is always at work and we walk and follow in the pathway of that grace. Jesus continually reaches out to us, drawing us closer to him. To not grow spiritually is to refuse to respond to grace. We cannot save ourselves, nor can we grow in God’s knowledge without divine intervention. This is why the affirmation to growth becomes the final piece of this epistle. To grow is to be in living and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Growing in grace and knowledge comes from spending time with the Lord. This is especially true when spending time in the word. More and more studies are showing that the most profound place of spiritual growth comes when we get to really know the word of God. Committed times of reading and studying the Bible are necessary to spiritual growth. This can’t happen in just a five minute devotional, but needs to happen in intentional study. The study must be in the Bible and not just in other thematic books. Other books and materials are good but they aren’t the inspired word of God. God is revealed to us through the written word. Our study of the word becomes a means of grace for our lives and helps us to grow in faith and knowledge. That knowledge is found in personally knowing Jesus Christ. We are to get to know him better and in knowing him, we know his mind and we become formed to respond like him.
God is glorified in the lives of those who will continue to grow spiritually. Divine grace and knowledge will lead us to life eternal. We cannot live without growth.
Lord, please help me to follow your pathway of grace today. Amen.