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Growing Together In Grace & Knowledge - REASSESSMENT

How to grow in Grace & Knowledge


What Does it Mean to Grow in Grace and Knowledge?

"Show me why you contend with me."
Job 10:2

Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children's graces, to make them shine the better. It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, "Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith." Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?--for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why he is contending with you?

"Trials make the promise sweet;

Trials give new life to prayer;

Trials bring me to his feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there."

Charles Spurgeon, February 18th Morning Devotion


The other morning I was stopped in my tracks by this devotion.  It made me realize that I didn't have a right understanding of what Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge, the name I had chosen for my blog, truly meant.

When I was praying about a blog name, I, of course, was inspired by 2 Peter 3:18 with the idea that the more we are gaining knowledge in the Word, the more we will have grace that will overflow to others for the Kingdom of God.   There is nothing wrong with my take on what growing in grace means, but I didn't understand the means to getting there - through sanctified trials...

We Grow in Grace Through Trials that Sanctify


I will say in hindsight, there has been a direct correlation between a great increase in the trials of my life and starting this blog.     Can I say with certainty that had I  not started this blog, those trials wouldn't have happened?  Absolutely not.  But I do find it curious none the less...

By titling my blog Growing Together in Grace & Knowledge, then it might stand to reason that the Lord would send trials along which I would then write about and that others would gain encouragement from and where God would be glorified.

Interestingly, I've been struggling lately with the fact that because I am in a difficult season right now, my blog posts are taking on a heavier tone, and whether that is edifying or am I just using my blog as a journal of sorts.  But after reading this devotion by Charles Spurgeon, I'm thinking that the Lord is leading me to write in just the manner He had prepared when I started this blog over four years ago and that is to write about growing together in grace and knowledge.

I'll admit there are times I want to throw in the towel and close down the blog because I am growing weary of the trials because curiosity gets the best of me and I wonder, will they go away if I were to do so?...

{If you are wondering whether you can find peace when going through a trial, I wrote about that in my post, Trials that Usher in Peace, which you can read HERE.}

But then I read the following article from Got Questions. Org on what it means to "grow in grace" and I was encouraged to carry on for Christ.

"Question: "What does it mean to grow in grace?"

Answer: Second Peter 3:18 tells us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” To grow in grace is to mature as a Christian. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), and we mature and are sanctified by grace alone. We know that grace is a blessing that we don’t deserve. It is God’s grace that justifies us, sanctifies us, and eventually glorifies us in heaven. The sanctification process, becoming more like Christ, is synonymous with growing in grace.

We grow in grace by reading God’s Word and letting it “dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16) and by praying. Those actions by themselves don't mature us, but God uses these spiritual disciplines to help us grow. Therefore, maturing in our Christian life is not about what we do, but about what God does in us, by His grace. Understanding and applying God's grace in our lives is important. We are not to impair it by being proud, because God says that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Grace is that attribute of God that enables us to break free of our sinful nature and follow Him. It gives us strength and protects us. Without God's grace, His favor, we would be hopelessly lost in this world. The more grace we have and ask God for, the more mature as Christians we will be.

To grow in grace does not mean gaining more grace from God. God’s grace never increases; it is infinite, it cannot be more, and according to the nature of God, it could never be less. He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should be saved (John 3:16). How much more grace could there possibly be than that? But to grow in grace is to grow in our understanding of what Jesus did and to grow in our appreciation of the grace we have been given. The more we learn about Jesus, the more we will appreciate all He has done, and the more we appreciate His love and sacrifice for us, the more we will perceive the never-ending grace of God.

Peter also confirms that we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus and to have that intimate relationship with Him because the more we know of Him, the more of Him will be seen in our lives. Paul said in Colossians 3:1–4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

The Scriptures contain all the knowledge we will ever need to learn of God, His Son, and His Spirit, at least in this life. God`s desire for those He has saved is their sanctification and transformation. He wants us to become more holy like Himself. He wants to transform us into the image of His Son. The way to do this is by meditating on the Scriptures and applying their principles to our lives as we yield to the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Then we will prove 2 Corinthians 3:18: “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.”

Recommended Resource: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney"

And there it is in a perfect nutshell.  The true meaning behind my blog's name, Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge and now my enhanced mission for this blog.

As we go through trials together, growing in Grace and seeking knowledge from God's Word, the insights from Charles Spurgeon's devotion, that I began this post with, can be seen with eyes of encouragement because it adds the why behind sanctification and helps us to see trials as purposeful rather than a nuisance to get through.

I want you to know that I appreciate every one of you who visit my blog.  Everyone has been so lovely and encouraging.  And I truly can sense that we indeed are Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & TruthWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Graceful Tuesday Link-up Aprons & Pearls Link-up Trekkingthru Link-up  Encouraging Word Wednesday  Grace Moments Link-up  Encouraging Hearts and Home Worth Beyond Rubies Seeking Sabbath Scripture and a Snapshot IHeart Verse Welcome Heart

Comments

  1. I like the Message translation of grace upon grace, as gift upon gift, there must be even more gifts that we don't always recognize, and the ones in 1 Corinthians 12.

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    1. Hi Rebecca, Thanks for sharing. I did not realize that!

      Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Karen, this is such a great perspective to have when we're enduring trials. To grow in grace and seek the knowledge of His Word <--- so good!

    I love the name of your blog, it's meaning, and that it has empowered you and enhanced your mission in what you will share here. I believe that SO many are going to be blessed by your words. I'll be sending up prayers for you as you press forward, Sister! Hugs and blessings to you!

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    1. Hi Tai, Thank you so much for your many kind words. You have built me up and I appreciate it so much! I most especially appreciate your prayers.

      Blessings to you dear friend,

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  3. Thank you for sharing the results of your research with us (and helping us grow in knowledge). I feel like the "faith blogging" community has taught me so much and certainly shown me the way to grow in grace since I have been sharing my posts and commenting on others'. Praying for you in your cold season. God is with you!

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    1. Yes, the faith blogging community is so special. Truly kindred.

      Thank you so much for your prayers. You have blessed me.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. "Interestingly, I've been struggling lately with the fact that because I am in a difficult season right now, my blog posts are taking on a heavier tone."

    I think about that sometimes: how my own trials influence the tone of my blog and if it just depresses people. But sometimes it takes looking at someone else to encourage them to see the truth in your own situation. As Christian writers, we write through it all—the good, bad, and the in-between—just as we live for Jesus in our lives through it all, and we may not see why we went through what we did or wrote what wrote at this point, but we can still press on. There's no telling who needs to see it. Blessings to you on your journey.

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    1. Hi Ashley, Thank you for sharing these great words of wisdom here. I appreciate it so much!

      Thank you. And thanks for stopping by.

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  5. God has a sense of humor, doesn't he? Even if your words only encourage one person a day, you have tremendous reach--because your words might be the only encouragement that person will receive that day.

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    1. Hi Anita, Great perspective!! Thanks for sharing that!

      And thanks so much for stopping by.

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  6. Karen, I so loved reading your journey and the behind the scene look at your blog name and working through it in this season. And know you're not alone with enduring trials in this season. I like to say, if we didn't have some opposition to what we were doing then maybe we are heading in the wrong direction...When we are walking out our God calling - the enemy will try to hinder . Blessings, we are neighbors at a few places this week.... I hope to see you tomorrow over at my place and look forward to having you link up with #TuneInThursday

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    1. Hi Debbie, Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement and affirmation. I appreciate them so much.

      And thanks so much for stopping by.

      I'll be there! :-)

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  7. This post is just wonderful. I could relate to your words on so many levels. When I was working on my book, I remember one night being SO sick and fighting against so much to continue writing it. I looked up at the ceiling and cried out, "Lord, I am NOT going to do this anymore!" I thought if I would just stop writing, the trials would stop. Soon after that, I received a very impactful visit from the precious Holy Spirit urging me to continue to do what He had shown me to, regardless. I surrendered and finished the book amid much tribulation. Growing in our knowledge of who Jesus is will surely cost us something. We are going to have to experience, on a much smaller scale, of course, the emotions and things He went through in order to know Him better. There is surely a cross for each of us to bear, but a great reward is waiting for the faithful. Thank you so much, dear friend, for your faithfulness to plow on against the current to fulfill the mission God has for you in this life. You are such a dear blessing to so many, and I trust the Lord will richly bless you, in return!

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    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for sharing your story here and for the encouragement it brings.

      I read in my Charles Spurgeon devotion this morning where he expanded upon the verse that states that Jesus learned obedience through suffering, and He is the One who is PERFECT. How then could we as sinners think that we are going to skate through life without sufferings. Instead , we should look at those sufferings as joining with Christ. It was such a freeing perspective that truly struck me.

      Thank you so much for your faithful encouragement and love. It means so much.

      Blessings to you sweet friend.

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  8. You have quoted one of my favorite books today, Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines ... but aside from that, this is a powerful post, Karen. It's a truth we need to understand and many of us do not, at least not initially. My husband has taught many times on the book of Job and how Job came to understand that God grows us most of all in those painful difficult times. Don't give up writing about these truths. Blessings in your ministry!

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    1. Hi Donna, Oh! It is my husband's favorite too! He taught a Sunday school with that book.

      Thank you for sharing the reminder and words of wisdom from Job. Indeed, that is when we grow the most, and I am seeing it especially of late in my own walk with the Lord.

      Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement. It means a lot.

      I always enjoy your visits. :-)

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  9. I have learned the hard way that the more I suffer, the more intimate my relationship with God. I don't like the suffering, but I wouldn't trade my knowledge from the trenches for anything.

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    1. Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing your own story. I am learning that too of late.

      Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  10. Sometimes it is a good reminder that being a Christian isn't always soft and cuddly. There are trials, which can be scary, but so glad we have the promises to lean on. I would miss reading your blog, and glad you do continue to share and encourage. Prayers for you that the trials lessen.

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    1. Hi Peabea, Awe, thank you for your very kind and sweet words. They mean so much! Thank you so much for your prayers which also mean so much.

      I was so happy to see that your link-up was live again. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  11. Karen, it's no coincidence that I ended up being your neighbor in at least 3 linkups this past week. I believe God definitely wanted me to read this because I can relate to much of what you shared. With a blog name like mine (SunSparkleShine) I've felt the nudge to be shining, bright and positive, but the truth is there've been times when I felt none of that. Trials have multiplied and life has been difficult in many ways. But God's grace has always remained and if you can imagine it, has even grown! So, yes, let's keep growing together in grace and knowledge, let's keep shining, and let's keep sharing God's story! Be blessed!

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    1. Hi Marva, Thank you so much for sharing your own experiences. There is always so much encouragement to know that others are going through the same trials, much like God's Word tells us, not that we are happy that others are suffering the same things, but that we can lift each other up in prayer and in Christian love.

      Praising God that we were neighbors.

      :-)

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  12. Thanks for sharing this amazing testimony at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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