April 28, 2012

Grace, Knowledge and Glory

Yesterday’s snow storm turned into rain by the time I reached my destination. Driving through deep puddles rather than deep slush made me smile at God. He used this near white-out storm to challenge my faith and courage, then made the challenge almost nothing once I decided to trust Him. 

Today’s reading is also about trusting God. It contains a phrase that I often pray for others, plus a phrase that offers me another challenge.
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)
Growing in grace is fundamental to being a Christian. Grace is a blessing from God that is not earned or deserved. It involves seeing and believing in Jesus, then becoming like Him with increasing understanding of who He is and what He does. To grow in grace requires some knowledge of God, so this means grace and knowledge go together. 

Grace depends on knowledge and knowledge depends on grace. They are tied to becoming a Christian in the first place, since both are important to having eternal life. The Bible says we are “saved by grace” and Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) 

I can learn about God by reading the Bible and in that learning, I am blessed because of grace. To grow in grace and knowledge involves reading the Word. However, experiences also teach me about God, otherwise there would be no reason to go outside my study. I could read all day, but in the trials of life I experience for myself the faithfulness of God. I also discover where I need to grow and need to know Him more fully.

The second part of today’s verse says that glory belongs to God both now and to the day of eternity. I can look forward to forever when God’s glory will prevail, but what about now? Do I glorify Him as I should each day of my life and in all the circumstances of life? 

Each day is filled with opportunities to glorify God. People around me create them in their conversations. Can I answer their words with my heart and words pointed Godward? Situations, like snow becoming rain and grass becoming green are opportunities to speak of the wonder of God. Can I speak of Him and glorify Him? Or am I more concerned that I safely get through the storms? 

Lord, each day is filled with the wonder of You. Too often my eyes are on myself and my concerns when I could be thinking and talking about Your goodness, grace and glory. It is a lie to think that forgetting myself will decrease my enjoyment of life. Focusing on You and Your glory is a good thing. You even say that, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). Besides this promise from Your Word, even at this moment my experience bears this out, for as I even think about glorifying You both now and forever, You fill my heart with joy.

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