A Graceful Word

  • Nov. 10, 2017
  • #9270

Growth in the spirit means being transformed little by little into the likeness of Christ.

Amazing Grace music sheet

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and would you sing this beautiful classic with me?

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see.

Oh I hope you were singing because isn’t that a beautiful hymn? And I know you celebrate God's amazing grace every day. And I hope that like me, you are amazed not only at His grace that saved you some years ago, but the more-than-amazing grace that sustains you. Grace that keeps you and perseveres you and grows you. Kind of like this letter from my old school friend, Connie, that I received the other day. Connie and I were pretty close in high school. When I was on my feet we played hockey together, went to Young Life together. Well, after decades of friendship, it’s always good to read that she is still growing in the Lord Jesus. But I was especially touched when she penned in her letter, her closing salutation, right above her signature, "Joni, grow in grace." I paused and looked at those three little words and they made me think: Just how have I grown in God's grace over the last year? Is it something that can be measured?

Well, Bishop J.C. Ryle (a favorite), he puts it this way. He says, "When I speak of growth in grace, I mean an increase in the degree, size, strength, vigor, and power of the graces that the Spirit plants in our hearts. When I speak of a person growing in grace, I mean simply this, that his sense of sin is becoming deeper, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, his love more extensive, and his spirit-mindedness more marked. He feels more of the power of godliness in his heart. He manifests more of it in his life, and he goes on from strength to strength, from faith to faith, and from grace to grace."

So to echo J.C. Ryle, friend, I have to ask: Is your sense of sin deeper than it was last year? Is your hope brighter? Are your prayers more fervent? Do you sense more of God's power in your heart? Are you more patient? Are you quicker to forgive than you were this time last year? Do you yield easily in conversations to others and look out for the interest of others? Most of all, can you tell that you are growing in grace when you find yourself talking about Jesus more and more? Sure, you can.

You can be transformed into His likeness every day. Yes, you can look back on yesterday, and you can see, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m different today and a little more Christ-like’. Something big, something different can happen in your life, not only from year to year, but day to day. Friend, that's amazing! Change is possible; a new and improved you is within reach. And the grace found in 2 Corinthians Chapter 3, verse 18 is how it happens, where it says as you behold the Lord, you’ll reflect His glory and be transformed "into his likeness with ever-increasing glory." So friend, read His Word, meditate on His life, reflect on Him in prayer, and the guarantee from 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 is—you will grow. So, I pray today that God will transform you into the person He wants you to be because you were saved; you are being saved, and one day you will be saved. Until then, keep growing in His amazing grace.

Music: "Amazing Grace" by John Newton, Public Domain

© Joni and Friends

 

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