Friday, July 02, 2010

One Wish For Grace Church

In 2 Peter 3:18, Peter gives his very last written words before his death. Notice the action involved. The word “grow” means to “advance” or to “increase.” I also want you to note that it is written in the present tense making it a continual action. Peter isn’t just saying “grow once and you’re done!” Peter is saying, “Keep on growing” or “Never stop growing!”

And therein lies the root of the problem, at least in the Americanized church, and it is more apparent with those who have been believers for a long time than it is for new Christians. In the church in America we associate spiritual maturity with length of years as a Christian. We call those who have been believers for decades, “seasoned” believers. But the truth of the matter is that often, the believers who have quit growing – quit advancing – quit making progress in the faith, are those who have been believers for decades. I’ve been a believer in Jesus for 40 years. Let’s be honest, sometimes the longer we are Christians the more we tend to develop an “I’ve got it down” type of mind-set. Peter says – “Never stop advancing!”

And in what areas are we to be advancing in at all times? Peter mentions two specifically. We are to keep on growing, keep on advancing in the grace of Jesus and in the knowledge of Jesus. The grace of Jesus speaks of how He lived. The knowledge of Jesus speaks of who He is. It speaks of it in two areas. We are to grow in the knowledge of our “Lord and Savior,” Jesus Christ. “Lord” speaks on His person. “Savior” speaks of His work. Folks, listen, no one – no matter how long you have been a believer – lives exactly like Jesus 24 hours a day, seven days a week without ever wavering. None of us know everything there is to know about Jesus. None of us have arrived. All of us need to keep growing – keep advancing.

I got thinking - What if God said to me, “Scott, I am going to give you one wish for your church. Whatever your wish is I will be sure that it happens to every person at Grace Church.” If that happened, what would my wish be? I came up with several possibilities. I’m from Jerry Falwell’s school so right away I thought, “I could wish for every person in my church to tithe 10% of their income!” I thought of other possibilities too. I could wish that every person who attends Grace Church would pray daily. I could wish that every person who attends Grace Church would live holy lives. I could wish that every person who attends Grace Church would share their faith. I could wish that every person who attends Grace Church would serve in our ministry. But as good as all of that would be, none of those would be my one wish.

If I could have just one wish that would come true of every person who attends Grace, it would be this – that every person who attends Grace Church would read their Bible every day. And do you know why I would wish this? Because if you read your Bible you’d tithe. If you read your Bible you’d pray. If you read your Bible you’d live a holy life. If you read your Bible you’d serve in the church. You see, the Word of God is living, powerful, and sharper than a sword. It never returns empty but always accomplishes its purpose. So if I had one wish for Grace Church, in light of the teaching of 2 Peter, it would be this – read your Bible every day.

1 comment:

Corey said...

Greetings Brother!

I understand if you do not post this, since it is quote from someone else. I share it because of how the Holy Spirit used it to convict me...

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)