We were created in the image of God and given His Character that we may grow up in His grace. We can do nothing of our own. Our growth is totally depended upon the actions of God. Everything in the Universe was created by God and for God that it may grow and flourish in the manner God has chosen it to be. Therefore, as a newborn creature in this life, our mission is to grow up in the grace of Jesus Christ.
Now the question becomes, how do we accomplish our mission that God has given us? As with all life, so it is with growth. We must learn to lean and depend on the maker and giver of all life. Know that it is only God, who brings the bud to bloom and the flower to fruit. It is by his power that the seed develops,” first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:28.
The plants and flowers grow not by their own care, anxiety, or effort, but by receiving that which God has furnished to minister to their life. The child cannot by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its own stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth. No, all life is the mystery and work of God provided to us through His power and grace.
The plant, as well as the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life – air, sunshine, and food. What these gifts of nature are to animal and plant, such is Christ to those who trust in him. He is there” everlasting light,” “a sun and shield.” Isaiah 60:19; Psalms 84:11, he shall be as” the dew unto Israel.” “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.” Hosea 14:5; Psalms 72:6. He is the living water,” the bread of God… Which cometh down from heaven, and gives life unto the world” John 6:33!
As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams of day aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of righteousness, that heavens light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ.
Jesus teaches the same thing when he says, “abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abides in the vine; no more can ye, except he abide in me… Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart From Him, you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water.
Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. However, every such effort must fail. Jesus says,” Without me ye can do nothing.” Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with him, daily, hourly, by abiding in him, that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the author, but the finisher of our faith. It is Christ first, last, and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way.” I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalms 16:8.
By faith, you became Christ’s, and by faith, you are to grow up in him through grace, by giving and taking. You are to give all, your heart, your will, your service, give yourself to him to obey all his requirements; and you must take all, Christ, the fullness of all blessings, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper, to give you power to obey, and when you do all these things, your GROWING UP IN THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST is now under way. Now you must stay focus and keep your eye on the prize.
- Morning Prayer ~ September 23, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Being “In Christ” by John Piper (themicahblog.wordpress.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ September 24, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Knowing Christ changes your life (Colossians 1) (erikbrewer.wordpress.com)
- May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (richardangulo.wordpress.com)