The Bountiful Benefits of Growing in Grace
|Giant Redwood Trees in California|
2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter cautioned believers about forces and circumstances that work against their “steadfastness” (Read verses 14-16). In Verse 18 he gave the solution, “…But Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord is your best “offense” against the “defense” of forces and circumstances that work against your faith.
Two of the root definitions for the word grace in the Bible are “benefit” and “bounty.”
A benefit is something freely given and received. It is something that is advantageous or good; it is an advantage. As it pertains to the grace of God, benefits are connected to the character of the Giver or Benefactor...Almighty God!
The material benefits we receive in this life are temporary and can be easily consumed. Many insurance benefits have limits. Worldly benefits are like an amusement park ride. You can wait two hours for a three-minute thrill ride. The benefit is temporary because the benefactor did not design products or thrill rides for your enduring benefit.
The benefits of the grace of God endure because they are connected to the character of the Giver or Benefactor, Jesus Christ!
Psalms 68:19, Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits,
Psalms 103:1, Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities,Who heals all your diseases,
Bounty involves liberality and generosity. Bounty describes the nature of the benefit.
To grow in grace is to receive bountiful benefits in life through a growing relationship with the Lord. When you think about grace as benefit and bounty, don’t get excited about getting a lot of stuff. Get excited about being a part of what the benefactor, God, is doing in your life!
Grow in G.R.A.C.E.
Give: Give what God has given you to give. Peter said. "What I have I give to you."
Reach: Go for more than business as usual. Move outside of yourself and into a life of challenge and spiritual adventure.
Accept: Accept the new things God was doing in your life. They reported to the church all that God had one. Accept the difference that grace brings to you life. Live the lifestyle of people called by God to change their world. Matthew 28:18, “Go into all the world and make disciples.”
Clear: Clear the old behaviors to make room for God’s best ways. In order to learn and build something new, you have to clear out the old. We used to record and sell sermons on cassette and VHS tapes. When compact disc technology came along, we transitioned from tapes to CD’s. We had to clear out the tape duplicators and the little plastic boxes. One day, CD’s and DVD’s will give way to digital media.