“There is grace-based living led by the soul, and there is performance-based living led by the ego.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 30, 2023
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
There is grace-based living led by the soul, and there is performance-based living led by the ego. The ego barks out commands to your unhealthy ambitions…control, manipulate, conquer. While your soul quietly reminds you of your true self in Christ…trust, love, serve. There is an illusion of fulfillment where the ego self congratulates around being the most admired or having the most stuff, or striving after the next accomplishment. Ego offers a momentary reward, but then you are off to the next conquest. The goal of grace—in sharp contrast—is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. To know Him is to love Him, more, is to obey Him. For God’s glory, grow in grace.
Peter, the “the disciple of action” (prone to prematurely take matters into his own hands), learned as his experience in Jesus deepened, to take on a much richer and more fulfilling role as a follower of Jesus. Grow in grace first, he says, and as his colleague James emphasizes, your right kind of works will follow. Growth in grace affects the growth in all the graces. As you grow in grace…your love grows for all without bias…your humility grows in empathy, reserving judgment, and your wisdom grows in depth and breadth to be a blessing and not a burden. Grow in grace by harnessing your soul to the Holy Spirit and crucifying your ego to Christ.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (Hebrews 12:15, NLT).
What is grace? Grace is God’s favor we don’t deserve that brings us to faith in Jesus and empowers us to work out our salvation in Jesus. Grace qualifies us for heaven and then, throughout our life, prepares us for heaven. Yes! God’s precious gift for His precious beloved children. How do we grow in grace? Charles Spurgeon reminds us that deeper knowledge and understanding of Jesus and love for Jesus is directly related to our growth in grace:
Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of him in his divine nature, in his human relationship, in his finished work, in his death, in his resurrection, in his present glorious intercession, and in his future royal advent.
Abide hard by the Cross, and search for the mystery of his wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of his love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.
So as your love grows, so are you growing in grace. Your heavenly Father gives you the grace to love when you have been displaced or dismissed. God gives you the grace to love when you have been misunderstood. The Lord Almighty gives you the grace to love even when you experience extreme hardship or injustice. You grow in grace to love by grace and, in the process, glorify God. Abide… and like a branch that desires nutrients from the vine, grace will nourish your soul.
“The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace” (Colossians 1:6).
Heavenly Father, by your grace, grow my heart of love for you and others through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Take an inventory of your attitude and actions…loudly driven by your ego or quietly led by your soul?
Proverbs 22:11; Romans 3:24; Philippians 3:8; 2 Peter 1:2-3
Bethel Music & Brian Johnson: By the Grace of God
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