“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (II Peter 3:18, NKJV)
Sometimes a little phrase in a single verse brings me to a halt in my Bible reading. One morning recently I stopped at the phrase “grow in grace.” I asked myself, am I doing that? And then I began to reflect on what it meant to grow in grace and knowledge.
Growth is a process that leads to maturity. It is progressive. Think of the birth of a child. Cute and cuddly but not mature. The newborn cannot feed himself, walk, talk, spell, do math, or a multitude of other tasks. Development comes in stages. As a parent you want your child to hit all the marks at the appropriate time.
The same is true of our walk with God. When we first come to the Lord, this new experience excites us. But some may know little about how to live as a Christian. Nothing in their B. C. (before Christ) life has taught them godly habits essential to becoming a mature child of God.
Big Words Don’t Mean Growth
I once sat in a Sunday school class where the teacher was using some “big Bible words.” As I glanced across to where Randy, a new class member, sat, I realized these words were meaningless to him. It was as if he’d been dropped into a room where everyone spoke a foreign language. He had some growing to do before he could understand the teacher’s big words.
If I were talking to Randy today, how would I explain to him what it takes to grow into a mature Christian? What things should he be doing to grow his relationship with God? What should I be doing to grow—for growth should never end, even for those who have served God many years.
The children’s song says, “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” That’s an excellent way to start in developing the habits of a Christian life. God uses many things to help us in this growth process, but perhaps we can use Acts 2:42 as a foundation to build upon. After all, on the Day of Pentecost they were all new converts starting this journey to maturity.
Basic Growth Steps
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Steadfast —We must be devoted, fully committed to deepening our relationship with the Lord.
Apostles’ doctrine—We must follow the truths we are taught by our spiritual leaders as well as delving into the Word ourselves.
Fellowship—We become part of a community believers who will strengthen us, encourage us, and hold us accountable.
Breaking of Bread—When we study this phrase, we learn it speaks of partaking of the Lord’s supper. This helps us gain a deeper understanding of His great sacrifice on Calvary.
Prayers—Consistent prayer was modeled by the Lord Himself and is essential in developing a close relationship with Him. We listen and learn as we open ourselves to His Spirit in prayer.
The above things are some of the basics that lead us to growth. It doesn’t take “big Bible words” to understand them. It’s what I would tell Randy today. It’s what I need to include in my own life as well. I never want to stop growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Lord, my relationship with You is very important to me. I will devote myself to learning more about You and how I can bring Your favor upon my life. I want to grow, grow, grow.