Growing In Grace
I would like to start a new series. I have a pile of notes already but I am not sure how the Lord is going to lead this thing. This past week or so I have really been going through the “wringer” so to speak. I was moved from the Incentive Unit to Unit 6 Upper which is one of the Mental Health Treatment Units. Since I have been incarcerated for so long (36+ years) I have a lot of possessions and I really hate moving all my stuff around. The positive side of this id that I know people wherever I move. I moved in with someone that is a Christian and next door to someone I know fairly well.
It is still a new environment, I am now unemployed and I am learning the ins and outs of a new living unit. I am also learning how to get along with new people. Sometimes this is tough because we both have rough edges in certain areas and those rough edges grind against one another. At other times it is fairly easy. One man I recently met got sick and I went and offered him a soup and vitamin C. Once he got well he came down and said, “Why did you do that? You don’t even know me.” Since then there has been a bond between us. The thing is we are growing to like one another while we love one another.
This series is called “Growing in Grace” and I believe that while we are growing we experience good times and bad times. There are times of plenty and times of dryness. Most of all, even though the grace of God flows to us in a way that is undeserved and without end, there are times that we are less receptive to that grace. On the flip side there are times when we experience the “flow” of God’s grace in our lives. With that said, I believe that there are different types of grace. There is “saving grace” that draws a person to a place to receive the free gift of salvation in the finished work of Christ on the cross. There is also “restraining grace” which keeps the believer, and non-believer alike, from being as wicked as they have the capability of being. There are also gifts of grace, an abundance of grace, helping grace, sufficient grace, and grace that justifies. I think that it all flows from one place and perhaps it is all the same thing just being viewed from different perspectives.
In 2 Peter 3:18 it says that we should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (NLT) This tells me that I can advance beyond what I am experiencing right now of the grace and knowledge of Jesus because it tells me to “grow.” God’s Word would not tell me to do this if there is not the possibility of doing it. In the same book, Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:2 that we can receive more and more grace and peace as we grow in our knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
I don’t know about you, but I want to know God more and more. What is it going to take? I believe that it is going to require more time in the study of His Word and seeking Him out in prayer and fellowship with His people. So, as we look at the Scriptures and expose ourselves to His Word I pray that the grace of God floods your life and mine.