“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”(2 Peter 3:18a).
The grace of God is the wonderful agency whereby He expresses His life to and through the believer. Paul’s amazing missionary work was accomplished because he was energized by God’s grace: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor 15:10).
How do we let God’s powerful grace flow through our lives?
1. We need to humble ourselves. We confess our inability to accomplish God’s will in our own strength. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble’… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:6,10).
2. We need to fully depend on Christ. As Paul affirmed, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
3. We need to offer our bodies to God as vessels of His life. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom 6:13).
These principles are also seen in the apostle Peter’s experiences. Before the Crucifixion, he declared to Jesus, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus answered him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (Matt. 26:33,34).
After Peter’s denials, he went out and wept bitterly. His self confidence was shattered. After being forgiven and reassured by the risen Christ, Peter was prepared to be empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Simon became a “rock” (Cephas) in the foundation of the church by God’s grace (John 1:42; Eph 2:20).
This grace perspective needs daily reinforcement. Dr. Bill Gillham noted,
“There is one thing all believers can do equally well as we begin each day. That is to offer all that we are to Christ to express His life through us, to use us to do His will. Our ability to do this is not related to how many spiritual gifts we have, or our talent, IQ, appearance, wealth, charisma, wisdom, or circumstances … The believer who suffers great trial due to political persecution, marital stress, and so on finds that God simply makes greater grace available to him to allow Christ to handle it through him.”
Are you growing in God’s grace? “…To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18b).
Our Father, thank you that Your grace is sufficient to equip us to live for You. Keep us aware of our need to depend on Your resources as we daily surrender to Your perfect will. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
 Lifetime Guarantee (Harvest House), 227.
Copyright by John Woodward 1998, 2013. Permission is granted to reprint for non-commercial use when credit is given to the author and GraceNotebook.com. Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version (copyright by Thomas Nelson).