Growing in Grace 4
Thursday – Love That Teaches
Growing in Grace 4
Thursday – Love That Teaches
Growing in Christ 3
Wednesday – Our Patient Father
Saturday – Running the Race
Father, You are all-in-all,
You are the boundless ocean of
a thousand magnificent blessings still
As I trust You with the simplicity of a child,
I am in You, and
You, the Great All-in-all, are in me.
Because You are in me,
I am far more than this corrupted, physical creature.
You are life, and
I am truly, eternally alive.
You are love, and
I begin to love as You love.
You are wonderful, and
already Your wonders peek out through me.
But because You are the Gardener,
forever growing magnificent wonders,
who I am becoming is infinitely more wonderful than who I am.
For I am in Christ, and
I am growing in Christ.
And when He appears, I will be like Him,
because I will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2, NASB, adapted)
When I am perfectly like
Your perfectly pleasing Son,
I will be perfectly pleasing to You,
my loving Father.
You will rejoice that
I am all You made me to be.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…
This is smaller than all other seeds,
but when it is full grown,
it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree.”
(Matthew 13:31-32, NASB)
God, You are growing me to You.
Sometimes I want to leap to You.
Sometimes I want You to lift me up to You.
But You just keep growing me –
through all the pain,
the mysteries, and
the discoveries that growing brings.
You are God Most High,
perfect and complete.
You cannot grow.
But You are growing us all to You.
O God, my God,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth (Psalm 8:1, NASB).
For years I held a “this is all there is” view of Christian living. I assumed, though not consciously, that the spiritual blessings I enjoyed were more-or-less all that existed. I was saved enough to get to heaven. What else was available? What else was necessary? The horizons of my Christian life were near and narrow. Its frontiers were rather tame, and all the best blessings were someday and far away.
I had accepted complacency for peace, indifference for true satisfaction.
But some years ago God began to show me again the man Jesus, teaching me that Jesus was all that He was because He simply, completely trusted His Father. Realizing this, I began to see in Him the possibilities of abundant life here and now. The new creation I had experienced in Christ at salvation was only the dawn, only the first glow of an eternal lifetime of wonders.
My soul began to respond to the Creator’s breath like a tiny seed wakens to soil and sun. As I peeked through the surface, I saw the garden, the blossoms, the graceful trees. I caught a glimpse of how great the miracle of redemption was, and could be, and would be in me.
Though still a small seedling, I realized the limitations of my spiritual life were self-imposed. His love, His patience, His light, and the tiniest response of faith on my part (the size of a mustard seed) had started a cycle of growth. Gradually, the horizons of life became broad and beautiful, lit by the magnificent glory of the living Christ. He was alive within me, offering me His peace, His joy, His love, His oneness with the Father.
But as I look forward with fascination toward those promised horizons, His Spirit gently reminds me that spiritual frontiers are only reached by prayer. I must have the mind of Christ for my own thoughts, His presence shaping my perspective, His Spirit continually breathing His life within. I need a closer and more constant communion with Him. I need to depend more heavily on the Father, as Jesus depended on Him.
I need to live a life of prayer.
What will this require? I don’t know, but with His help, I have resolved not to shrink from the unknown. I will look to Him whose love and strength have always been sufficient, always greater than I could have imagined. I will not fear the silence of standing before God. With His help, I will fill it with simple faith and with a song of His goodness.
I do not want comfort to form the boundaries of my life or to be a barrier that limits His love from working in me. I will trust my needs to my Creator.
The Evil One paints spiritual possibilities as frightening, too radical, beyond us, only for the elite. But the Father’s love doesn’t work that way. His Spirit cultivates the simplest response of faith, then patiently reforms the fibers of our innermost beings, creating His will within us.
In the face of such unfailing love, He simply asks us to turn to Him, to talk to Him, to keep trusting Him moment by moment.
Our Father, we look to You now. Teach us to pray.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)