Last Words For The End Of The Year
2 Peter 3: 18 reads “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
These are the last inspired words written by the apostle Peter, probably just shortly before his death. I don’t know about you, but after all I’ve been eating this holiday season, I’m thinking more of shrinking than growing. Of course, Peter was concerned about our spiritual growth. He writes in his first letter to long for the milk of the word like newborn infants so we can grow unto salvation (1 Peter 2:2). In the second letter he tells us to make every effort to add to our faith so that we might be fruitful and enter the Lord’s everlasting kingdom (2 Peter 1:5-11). In the last words of this letter he tells us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let’s think about growing in grace first. You can only grow in the grace of Jesus. Without grace we are all condemned. It is by grace that we are saved, that we are being saved and will be saved. In grace we are blessed with all we need to survive in a world of sin and death. Not only survive but flourish. Grace supplies, strengthens, stretches, stirs and stimulates our souls. Grace gives us boldness, confidence, assurance, and hope eternal. Grace produces gentleness, mercy, kindness and love in our hearts. Titus 2:11-14 reads “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Now let’s think about growing in knowledge. Not just intellectually knowing facts about Jesus and the things He taught but knowing Him more and better. Understanding who He is and learning obedience to Him, sharing in His suffering and sacrifice, as well as the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Get into the word of God and let God’s word get into you. Knowing Jesus will completely change your life from the inside out so that you will never be the same again. 2 Corinthians 3:18 reads “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
On this last week of the year, let’s all think about the last words of Peter and resolve to grow to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this new year to come.
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Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135