God's gift of grace frees us from the need to struggle because we learn He is in charge, "...we are so ruined, and so loved, and in charge of so little." Anne Lamott
Once we accept Jesus as our savior, we begin to grow in the grace He gives us, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Pet. 3:18. What does grow in grace mean?
It means we begin the sanctification process of dying to self, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20. This process is gradual as the Holy Spirit guides us to trust Jesus with more of our lives, "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:" 2 Thess. 2:13. It is not our work that makes this happen. It is our getting out of the way and letting Jesus rule in our hearts, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Col. 3:15.
How can we get out of the way and let Jesus rule? "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2. We must trust Him to provide for our needs and stop striving for the things of this world, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:33 and "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." Jn. 6:27 and "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16-17. We do this by reading and studying His word every day, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Rom. 12:2 and "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4, as Jesus taught us when we asked Him how to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." Matt. 6:11.
Why does Jesus think we need His daily bread? Because He knows we need constant reminders of the truth, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11, or we will fall away as the Israelites did over and over again, "Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;" Jer. 7:8-9.
So, here is the truth about growing in grace. We will grow in grace when we read the scriptures daily. Each day trusting in our ways less and His ways more. We will no longer think we need to earn grace; instead, we will more fully accept His gift of grace and live the freedom it provides.
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