Grace is God’s love poured down on us. It’s a gift we don’t deserve, and no matter how hard we work, we can’t earn it.
Ephesians 2:8 tell us this simple truth…
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
Grace through faith in Jesus saves us. But this only the beginning of a Christian’s salvation journey. So, what comes next?…
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18
This verse is about becoming a mature Christian. It’s continuing to learn the Bible, pray, and seek God’s guidance in our lives. Because we can always dig deeper, stretch farther, and grow a little more in God’s grace.
Just like a tree needs certain nutrients to turn from a tiny twig into a towering oak, we also need life sustaining truth to grow in the faith.
Today we’re looking at 3 Ways to Grow in Grace. Each one takes us closer to understanding our Lord, Jesus Christ. And combined they show us the depth of God’s grace toward us.
So, let’s jump in and discover how we can grow in grace and knowledge.
#1 Prepare the Soil
Let’s face it… We all start out with a little rocky terrain. For some of us, it’s because we’re new Christians, learning the ways of the Lord from the beginning. For the rest of us, it’s contentment, not wanting to push the boundaries of our daily lives. We feel like we’ve already made it and our relationship with God is good enough.
But to get to the next level of spiritual maturity we must plow the field and prepare the soil to receive the seed.
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
We’ve all heard the term, “fallow ground”. But what is it?
Fallow ground is abandoned land. It’s been unused for so long it has become hard and riddled with weeds. For it to become useful again it must be worked. The weeds pulled, the clumps of dirt broken up, and the rocks removed.
Over time our hearts can become fallow ground. We go through the motions, attending church each week, but never actually moving forward in our relationship with God. We’re on a hamster wheel of spirituality, never getting where we want to go.
But God is calling us to a new and exciting place. A deeper relationship with Him!
It’s time for us to get off the hamster wheel and onto the plow! The first step is to break up the fallow ground in our lives by clearing our hearts of unused space and readying our minds to receive God’s Word.
#2 Water the Seed
We know from experience water is essential for anything to grow. And without it, all living things dry up and blow away.
So, it only makes sense that once we’ve plowed the field and planted the seed of God’s Word in our hearts, it needs to be watered before it can grow.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
This is an image of a Christian’s life. We are the tree, planted by the Living Water of Jesus Christ. When we spread out our roots, He gives us all that we need to overcome the heat and bear fruit. It’s a stark contrast to the uselessness of fallow ground. The tree, us, is always useful to God. It is alive and vibrant, growing leaps and bounds above everything else. All because it is watered by the Living Water of the One who saves.
It’s true, we will always have difficulties, because life is hard sometimes. And this verse is not a promise that our lives will be easy. Instead it’s a promise that God will take care of us when our drought comes around.
If we want to be fruitful, it’s as simple as planting ourselves next to Jesus and allowing Him to water the seed of God’s grace in our lives.
#3 Let the “Sonshine” In
Nothing grows in darkness. Expect maybe a mushroom, and who wants to be a mushroom?
As our tree analogy continues, we see the need for a little sunshine to enter the picture. Without it our tree won’t have the proper nutrients to survive. It will become weak and turn a terrible, sickly shade of yellow.
This is true of our spiritual lives too.
In the beginning, when God created the world, He commanded the light to shine and separated day from night.
When we became Christians, again God commanded the light to shine by flipping the switch in our hearts. Out of the darkness we once where, the glorious light of the Son shone.
That’s the moment of salvation. The time when we acknowledged who Jesus is.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6
By letting the “Sonshine” of Jesus in, real growth and knowledge happens! Without that moment of light, our hearts and minds wouldn’t be changed. We wouldn’t be a new creation in Christ. That’s Pure, Simple, Truth, ya’ll.
And since we’re speaking the truth today, I’d like to add this to the conversation… It’s not enough for us to have “Sonshine” in our hearts. We need to pass it on. It’s contagious and once you have it, you want to give it away.
There’s a quote from C.S. Lewis that I absolutely love… Don’t shine so others can see you, shine so that through you others can see Him.
Once we have the knowledge of who Jesus is, it’s our job, our honor and privilege, to share that truth with everyone we meet. So, let’s shine bright and let others see the Sonshine in us!
I pray you will take these 3 Ways to Grow in Grace and seek a closer relationship with the Lord. Don’t be afraid to plow the field, water the seed, and let the Sonnshine in. Combined they will take you farther than you ever imagined as you grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.