Environment For Growth

Second Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

 The word grace is used in two ways in the Bible.  There is, first, the purest form of grace, the amazing grace by which we have been saved, the grace of God’s kindness, His unmerited favor to us.  We can not do anything to bring this grace upon us, nor can we increase it in any way.  The grace in the above mentioned verse is referencing the grace that God puts in us, which is to be distributed in our own actions of faith and kindness.  It is this grace that Paul has in mind in 2 Corinthians 8:7, as he is talking about giving, and he says, “…see that you abound in this grace also.”

2 Peter 3:18 says “…grow in grace and knowledge…”  The knowledge is our understanding of the Lord.

In order to grow, we must put ourselves in an environment for growth.  It is not complicated, as a matter of fact it is quite simple.  The necessary elements in this environment for growth is nutrition, exercise, and rest.  It works in both the physical and spiritual realm of life.  The nutrition is the intake of God’s word.  First Peter 2:2 says, “…desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.”  The exercise is doing what God’s word tells us to do.  Lest one feel overwhelmed by what that might involve, it can really be summed up in a neat capsule.  Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all mind, and all your strength, and the second is like unto it:  love your neighbor as yourself.”  If we can live in that capsule of commandment, the details will not be difficult.  Love is even more fundamental than faith, according to 1 Corinthians 13:2.  The rest, in the environment for growth, is a rest in our soul and mind.  We need to be at rest in the question of whether or not we are saved.  One could never grow in the Lord without having that settled in his heart and mind.  We also need to be at rest concerning who we are in Christ.  Apart from Christ, we are nobody and nothing, but we are not apart from Christ, we are in Christ.  Colossians 3:3 says, “…your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  Romans 8 says such things as, “we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ,” “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us,” and “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”  If we can be at rest in these areas of our understanding, then we will have confidence to lay hold of the great and precious promises we have been given in God’s word.

Have you ever seen people put marks on the door facing, showing how tall their child is at certain dates.  It soon becomes a visible testimony of how that child is growing.  It is not by marks on a door facing, but there are visible indicators that tell the story of our Christian growth.  What do you see when you look at yours?

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