If you reflect back to last year and think about where you are now, would you answer yes or no to whether you have grown? What about in the grace and knowledge of Christ? I know from experience that it's not hard to do, but it does take commitment, discipline, and resolve. At one point, those words cause my internal fight-or-flight response to kick in although I tried to look like everything was ok on the outside. Now, these words won't send me running in the other direction, but I do ask myself, "am I really ready for this?" There's nothing wrong with questioning your own commitment to take action on something. We should do it more often.
One of the things I want most in life is to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Grace gives me what I need and knowledge helps me understand how to use what I have. These are two things not to be taken lightly, but it shouldn't scare you away.
So what type of commitment, discipline, and resolve does it take to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ?
- Be steadfast. After you have learned the basics and developed a solid foundation for which to build your faith, don't allow people or activities to pull you away from what you have been taught. 2 Pet 3:17, Peter tells us "...beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked."
- Identify habits and responses that need to be replaced. In Ephesians 4:22 the Apostle Paul tells us to “PUT OFF concerning the former conversation (lifestyle) the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”
- Exercise godliness. I Timothy 4:7 says, “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” If you don’t develop godly habits you’re not going to grow spiritually. If you don’t build spiritual disciplines and routines into your life you will not reach maturity.
- Have regular communication with God. Commit to reading, meditating, applying the Word of God to your life. After you have talked to Him, let Him talk to you. He will help you with your transformation and ease the struggle. Keep in mind your flesh will fight back extra hard.
- Be intentional. In Philippians 2:12, Paul instructs us to “WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling." Growing in grace is seen in our CONDUCT, in our CHARACTER, and in the things we are COMMITTED to doing.
Whatever we are Committed to Determines what we Become
Now that you have these few points of reference to determine if you have really grown in the grace and knowledge of Christ, how would you answer? Renowned teacher and author, John MacArthur, defined spiritual growth as,
If spiritual growth is not a matter of your position in Christ, God's love, time, knowledge, activity, and prosperity, then what is spiritual growth? It is not mystical, sentimental, devotional, or psychological. It is not a result of some clever secret or formula that can be easily applied to life as a guarantee of the future. Spiritual growth is simply matching my practice with my position. Now, my position in Christ is perfect: I am complete in Him. I have all things that pertain to life and godliness. I have received all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. But I need to progress in my practical life in a way that is commensurate with my position.
Growing in grace is equated with giving glory to God.
I'm happy to say that YES I have grown in the grace and knowledge of Christ. This year I hope you are committed and do what it takes to discipline yourself to grow as God has planned for your life. There's no better commitment for your life. Don't worry about the struggles because it's normal. Just stay committed to your spiritual growth. It is God's will for your life.
To view more posts about the 30 days of Grace, click here.