Grow in Christ

2 Peter 3:17-18 

17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Ideal Life?

            What is an ideal life in your opinion? What’s your plan for your children?

The general public may imagine children to complete schooling, work in a good paying job, get married and have a family, then enjoy retirement at good old age.

            They may choose white collar job, blue collar job or green collar job; their earnestness and enthusiasm will be put to test. And, if you choose a career that you love, pray for resiliency so that you may persevere when struggles persist.

            When you did the best you can do at workplaces but still someone is not pleased with your work, how did you react? It is a reality of life; no matter how we may want and try to live peacefully, there will be people that we can’t please. We cannot please everybody, so they say. Right? Do you have an idea why?

            Disturbances of peaceful life are practical proofs of bad elements in the invisible spiritual world. Together, let’s learn from what Jesus Christ our Lord had declared in John 10:7-10, 7Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

            Whatever Christ declares, it happens. He warned against thieves and offers solution to believers who accept him. When we obey the instructions of Christ, could we find pasture in it fullness? Thieves will try to steal, kill and destroy our peaceful life. It is wise to be mindful always. Let us be on our guard prayerfully.

1.  Guard

17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 

            We’re advised to be on our guard, watchful, careful and sure we’re secured spiritually. The creation of internet has exposed vulnerability of humanity. Do you require practical proof to agree that scammers exist? To learn from the mistakes of scam victims is far better than to disregard the existence of scammers. Agree?

            Agree or disagree won’t eliminate their existence. Scammers may scheme anywhere undetected. Bad elements of darkness will try to deceive anyone.

The Scripture warns us to be aware of false teachers who deceive victims. Does that sound very pessimistic? Individuals who heed warnings have good understanding, and it’s foolishness to disregard warning. Be sensible or regret it.

Stuck in the Mud

            Some fishermen travelled to find a place where they may catch fish. When they come nearer to the shore, the ground was damp and slippery. They backed off and drove to another fishing spot. They observed from a distance, a pickup truck struggled to get out of the mud along the shore. After few moments, the pickup truck got out of the mud. It’s horrible to get stuck in the mud.

That worrisome situation made them aware of a possibility that they might get stuck in the mud near the shore. So, they decided not to proceed there. They went home without any catch, but I supposed, they feel at peace that they didn’t put themselves in an undesirable situation of getting stuck in mud.

It is smartness to be cautious. Attractive situations don’t necessarily appear to be dirty, miry or muddy. Listen: Have you seen someone who got stuck in the mud spiritually? Do you have friends, relatives or acquaintances who struggle to get out of miry or muddy situation? Let’s learn from the testimony of King David.

King David had testified in Psalm 40:1-4, 1I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

            Frequently, we are not very mindful and find ourselves in difficult situation.  Maybe, our love ones have struggles. When our love ones suffer, we are affected also somehow. What can we do? We pray and wait patiently for the Lord. We rely upon the Holy Spirit of God to enable us wait patiently for answers to our prayer.

            Perseverance during dramatic situations proves faith in Christ. It is grace of God to believe that he saved us from eternal torture. His gift of faith helps us trust that God provides solution to difficult challenges of life we may face. Pray for increase of faith and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

2.  Grace

18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

            How should we explain the grace of God to a child? Grace is unmerited and undeserved favor of God. He generously give freely without payment to anyone he favors. Deeper knowledge of the grace of God should lead us to seek his favor. As we grow deeper in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, we appreciate his grace so that we should desire more of it and pray to have frequent access of his grace.

            What comes to mind when we declare Christ is the Lord of lords. As Lord, Christ graciously provides for our needs: spiritual, practical, financial, intellectual or relational needs. He provides solutions to problems also. And what if we don’t know how to use the solution he provides? Christ saved us from eternal torture; he saves us from struggles so that we may faithfully trust him. Do you accept it?

Financial Problem

            Several years ago, a family of missionary had financial problem. At one time after attending a worship service, their young children cried; they were hungry. The mother felt very sorry that they only had money for fare going home. In spite of financial struggles, they kept serving the Lord in the ministry they’re called into.

            Then, the Lord blessed them financially more than they can ask or imagine.

As they look back to their financial struggles in the past, particularly the hungry children, they can’t help but to praise the Lord and faithfully keep on serving him.

            Reflect on what 2 Peter 1:2-4 says. 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

            How should we explain this? The Lord has given us everything we need for a godly life. Can you accept that the term “everything” includes material things and not just spiritual things? Everything we need to testify of the power of Christ, how he provides for faithful believers, he has delivered it already. Did you get it?

            By his grace, we grow deeper in our relationship Jesus Christ our Lord; we escape from the control of evil desires, and we look forward to rich welcome into his eternal kingdom. And we will cherish his glory from now on until forever.

3.  Glory

18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

            Christ endured the torture and died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Do you seriously embrace that the crucifixion of Christ was the greatest proof of the love of God for believers to enjoy his grace now until eternity?

Christ sacrificed because of his great love for us. Have you internalized it?

If your life was transformed ever since you believed Christ, it’s your testimony.

Refection: If Christ willingly sacrificed to save us from eternal punishment, there is nothing he withholds for our betterment. What do you think? Nothing!

When God doesn’t grant prayers, he has better choice for us. Can you accept that? Things that he allows us to have or acquire are practical proofs of his grace.

            Appropriately, glory belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ now until forever. We rejoice now until forever that we believe in him. The privilege to be eternally amazed of his glorious reign, we eagerly wait. How does the glory of Christ matter to believers? How do we simply explain the glory of Christ to ordinary listener?


            There’s constant debate among sport enthusiasts on who’s the Greatest Of All Times (G.O.A.T). Who’s the G.O.A.T in basketball, baseball, football, hockey, boxing, billiard or any other sports? Everyone in the sports world have their favorite player. They choose the G.O.A.T. player base on their criteria.

            They are hostile to others who can’t agree with them. Why are enthusiasts in sports so engaged, engrossed or pre-occupied of defending their favorite player to be the greatest in sports? What’s the point? Do they crave for bragging rights that their choice was selected? Why is bragging rights so important to them?

            Likewise, why do scoffers deny the Lord Jesus Christ? Why do they mock his promises? What benefit can they get? Ever since you trust Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, have you personally experienced his power, grace and love? It is your bragging right! The Lord had decreed about boasting in Jeremiah 9:23-24, 23“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

            Boasting or being proud of anything is human survival nature. We desire respect of our humanity, ability or nature. When we reach spiritual maturity of Apostle Paul, we can personally internalize what he testified about his personal experience with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He stated in Philippians 3:7-11: 7Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

            Reflect if you are nearing the spiritual maturity of Apostle Paul: “Are willing to lose all things that you have accumulated just to serve the Lord all your life? If Jesus Christ calls you serve him fulltime in the ministry, are you ready to respond?

            Surely, God won’t give you a decision that may cause you to disregard him. God has called us to participate in his mission purpose but not necessarily fulltime ministry, career missionary or career preacher. Pray that the Lord may clearly reveal how you get involved more effectively in his mission purposes.

Together, let us seriously reflect on this personal challenge for everyone.

What is our spiritual goal in life? How are we preparing for eternity?

Personally, as long as the Lord keeps me alive, I will continue to appeal that the Lord empowers me to store up eternal treasures. Here on earth, anyone may accumulate much wealth. When the time that God designated comes, we leave all wealth behind for others to enjoy. We cannot bring worldly wealth into heaven.

It is eternally smart to store up eternal treasure by obeying the Lord.

Have you read from the Scripture if eternal treasures are communal in heaven?

We rejoice when our favorite sport team becomes champions. Their trophy is displayed where the team wants it displayed; certainly, it’s not in my home.

Similarly, we rejoice as believers store up eternal treasure in heaven. When they cherish eternal treasure in heaven, will they share it communally with others?

Many individuals believe that life in heaven will be blissful and wonderful. So, why did Christ command us to store up eternal treasures for ourselves in heaven? Our eternal treasures prove how diligent we have obeyed the Lord.

Our eternal treasure should cause joyful praise and thank of God even more.

So, pray seriously that you may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

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