THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS
A professor founded a college in his own home.
Soon it had developed into a major college, and later a budding university.
He retired, and was invited back to speak at commencement on the 40th anniversary of the university.
The professor stood on the platform, hooked his thumbs in his vest pockets and pattted his bulbous tummy.
Then he said, "Young gentlemen, I have watched this institution grow for 40 years.
It is near and dear to my heart."
2 Peter 3:18
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.
At first glance it seems that Peter's admonition is to "grow in grace," and that growing in the "knowledge" of Christ is only an added afterthought.
Yet, it is only by growing "in the knowledge" of Christ that we can grow in grace!
Paul said of Christ that his greatest desire was "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection" (Phil 3:10).
When we come to know Christ, He creates in us a new creature (2Cor 5:17).
We begin that new creation by the power of His resurrection in us.
He, by conviction, led us to die to ourselves, and then to be born again by the power of His life working in us.
The Bible tells us that "God is love" (1John 4:8, 16).
Our understanding and comprehension of love grows as we look toward the One and only Perfect demonstration of love.
That's why a young couple, beginning in marriage, are exhorted to learn more of Christ each day.
Their love for each other can grow as they look toward Christ.
As we grow in knowledge of Christ and His love, we realize that love is more than just feelings.
While real love does encompass feelings, it is expressed better in commitment that continues.
It is then that we learn of grace.
Love is the yielding of self toward another.
It is not based on the other person's goodness, it is based on commitment.
Grace, like love, cannot be earned or purchased.
It is a commitment to give from the giver.
God's grace and love poured down upon the unlovely - we who were steeped in the blackness of sin.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph 2:8-9)
You see, grace was the channel of kindness through which God's love was sent out of commitment.
As we grow in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ, let us grow also in His grace.
Let us grow in the emission of love toward others.