But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
I let my grandson choose his own pajamas. He put back the pants that I had picked out and grabbed one of his favorites. He put in one foot and then the other and pulled the waist up to complete the task. The pants were a little tight, but the bigger problem was the length. Indiscernibly he had grown taller and the pants shrunk. He kept trying to stretch his pants legs back down to his ankles. Our little boy is growing up.
Peter concludes his letter by repeating a constant theme, believers are expected to mature in their relationship with Jesus. Specifically, Peter has in mind that we should grow up in the grace that Jesus gives and in the knowledge of Him as our Lord and Savior.
Signs of growing up in the grace that Jesus gives
- A heightened increase in confession with a broken and contrite heart. The closer that we move toward Jesus, the uglier our own sin becomes. We also recognize our inability to remove sin and its effects by our own efforts. Paul declared later in his life that he was the least of all of the Apostles. Grace flows freely to the brokenhearted that asks for it. A mature believer is very familiar with the phrase, “God, it’s me again...”
- Greater appreciation for the word of God and the Lord’s Supper as a means of the extension of His grace.
- Peter tells us to long for the pure milk of the word. Growing and healthy children of God thirst and hunger for a connection with the word of God. His word is a means of grace to us to remind us of our inherited position of beloved of the Lord, and an avenue for God to speak directly to our spirit.
- Partake of the Lord’s Supper often. Jesus is present in the administration of the distribution and partaking of the elements. Participation in the Supper together with other members of His body allows for the remembrance of His sacrifice and the grace He extends to those who follow Him.
- Increase in thankfulness. When you gain a revelation that you can never earn grace by being good enough, your thankful meter grows. You don’t deserve grace, but Jesus gives it anyway. Stop trying to earn it, become a better receiver. You may become more proficient in defining grace, but you will become more perplexed at this thought, “Why did Jesus choose me to love, forgive and save?” It is natural to respond with gratefulness and love.
- Become quicker at intentionally extending grace to others.
- Life isn’t fair. People don’t deserve to be treated with kindness, yet we are called to bless those who don’t deserve it. We get to be grace givers. As one man said, “we are beggars showing other beggars where to find bread.”
- Immaturity in grace is at home with gossiping, judging, maligning, criticalness, and comparing one another. Growth in grace loves, forgives and becomes the servant to all.
- Everybody becomes somebody for you to embody the underserved grace Jesus extended to you as a nobody.
May you grow in the grace that Jesus gives in a kingdom where less of me and more of God will be the anthem song of the redeemed.
Blessings, Love y’all