On a recent trip to the quaint town of Wilmington, North Carolina, I happened upon a sign (boldly displayed outside a Presbyterian Church) that read, “Come Grow in Grace.”
The sign got me thinking- how often do we consider grace and do we even know what grace means?
Humor me -- what comes to mind when you hear the word “grace?”
For me, all kinds of things pop into my head…
Saying “grace” before meals.
Will & Grace TV show.
Stay in his good graces.
Gracing someone with my presence.
I've honestly never thought over the power and complexity of this simple five letter word-
Indeed, I didn't realize that Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary lists eight different meanings:
Definition of grace:
Unmerited divine assistance or virtue coming from God;
Approval or favor;
Charming or attractive trait or characteristic;
Title of address for royalty;
Short prayer at meal asking a blessing or giving thanks;
Graces (plural) three sister goddesses in Greek mythology;
A musical trill or turn; and
The sense of propriety, quality of being considerate or thoughtful.
Personally, this definition resonates with me the most--
Grace- the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
Simple and profound.
So, how does one grow in this type of grace?
The Apostle Peter tells us-
“Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.” ~ 2 Peter 3:18
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” ~ 2 Peter 1:2
It sounds to me like the key to growing in grace is knowledge and connection to Christ.
Like anything, to grow and thrive, conditions need to be optimal with appropriate nourishment and light.
For us to grow in grace, we need to be connected to Christ – His light, His love, His provision, His guidance, and His care are our optimal conditions.
Practical ways we stay connected in order to grow in grace:
Never stop learning about Christ. Seek Him continually in all situations. Dive deep into God's word. Expose yourself to Christian teachings, not just through corporal worship, but through podcasts, radio broadcasts, and books. Never underestimate the value of spending time with other Christians through fellowship and Bible studies.
Spend time in prayer; read the Bible & LISTEN to God. Being in conversation with Him includes not only talking but also listening. Listen and then respond in obedience. The more you respond, the more you will hear and the more you will find that God has equipped you in every way.
Live out loud with love as your motivation. Praise Him, thank Him, trust Him and live life in testament to His abounding grace every single day.
You will know if you are shrinking, stagnant or growing by what is increasing in your life. When you are growing in God's grace, you will see measurable growth in how easy it is to express love, faith, and knowledge of Christ. Let’s also not forget measurable growth can be found in the presence of the Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
Bloom where you are planted with Christ as the center.
The more we grow in grace, the more graceful we become; as we begin to reflect the very image of Christ!
Father, thank you for your limitless grace. May we always define grace as your freely given, unearned, limitless love. Help us to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to seek you with our whole heart. May grace transform us into Christ’s image and may we strive to learn, listen and live in a way that brings you honor and glory.
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
~ Jeremiah 29:13