In 2 Peter 3:18, we are told to”grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
When we first come to Christ, all that we really know is that we are sinners in need of a Savior. I was raised in church and sat through tons of sermons that I heard but they didn’t really mean that much to me. But then one day, God revealed to me my lost condition and what I needed to do. Suddenly, all those sermons became personal. I knew that I was lost, I knew that Jesus was the only hope I had and I knew that I must respond to the gospel that I had heard all my life.
After my prayer asking God to forgive me, I then knew that I was forgiven. I still remember the sense of relief that seemed to flood my soul. I went from feeling condemned to feeling completely forgiven in an instant. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt it.
The next part for me was to do what Peter said when he told us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, instead of growing in my faith, I was content to be saved. Seems like there are lots of people who do this. For me it was a very foolish attitude to have and one that later would allow me to make several mistakes in my life.
I’ve often said that I was taught lots of stuff about how to get along in life. Seems that everyone had good advice on where to work, what kind of job to try for, the vocational school was good for me and all sorts of things. But as it turned out, I didn’t seem to get much about dealing with the bigger more difficult problems in life. Specifically how to deal with the death of family members. From 1976 until 1989 I went through the loss of our first son and also my first and second wife. One wife died of cancer and the other wife to a car wreck. And this was something that I was not ready for and during those years I made lots of bad decisions and did some things that I now wish I hadn’t. I’m not making excuses, it was my fault for not growing in grace and knowledge. If I could do life over, I would make getting closer to God the priority that it should be.
I had so much to do. I was young and just graduated high school, got married and was making my way through life. We worked a lot of overtime at the factory where I worked and if I got a day off and went to church, I usually had to fight to stay awake. I would read and study later. When I got time.
If you can relate to any of this, let me encourage you to take some time to spend reading and meditating on God’s word. I let what I was going through in my life define my view of God. Because I couldn’t understand why I was going through tough times, I ended up with a skewed view of God. I spent a lot of time wondering what God had against me that he was causing me such pain. And that had some bad results.
Let God’s word define who God is to you. Search the scriptures and spend time seeking and drawing near to God. Life still has a way of bringing problems to me to deal with but I can deal with them better if I allow God to be a part of the solution.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6