"You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
How do you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord?
Jesus must begin a painful work in us.
It won't happen overnight--and it will come with a mix of joy, tears, and the heart-pounding expectation that our lives will take a radical new turn.
If we let Him, Jesus will slowly strip away the masks, the false assumptions, the bad theology, the idols, and the chilly layers between Him and us, and little by little our hearts will warm up to Him.
Somewhere along the way, we'll rediscover the amazing link between meditating on the Holy Scriptures and the intimate relationship with God we are seeking. Bible reading, meditation, reflection, and prayer will help us engage in the intimate conversation that actually flows through the sixty-six letters God has given us.
I discovered this. As I pursued each activity in harmony, His Word began to penetrate my heart at the deepest levels. He began speaking to me again.
It became important to me to practice each discipline in order to gain the fullness of His presence and His Word as he spoke to my spirit daily. It was a real growing process. It took time to learn to balance reading the Scriptures with meditating and reflecting on them (through journaling) and then "praying the scriptures" to agree with what God had already said and promised!
At times, God gave me a hug through His Word. He told me how much He loved me and talked about eternity with Him. At other moments, God's words really stung. He challenged me to deal with some rough places in my heart: bitterness to overcome, forgiveness to give, control to let go of. Most of the time God's Word brought me to my knees in humility and worship. He revealed His everlasting strength, wisdom, and majesty. I was beginning to see that the ultimate use of the Scriptures is not only for knowledge and illumination; God's Word also deepens our relationship with Jesus. After all, we are called to the "Potter's wheel" to be molded and shaped into the image of Jesus. The Scriptures are the tools the Father uses to do His Work.
Lord Jesus, fill my mind with truth--fill it with Your holy Word. Mold my heart and deepen my relationship with You. Amen.
We look forward to your comments, questions, and prayers in these devotionals!