GROWING IN GRACE
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
The Apostle underscores the manner of salvation as the grace of God that has been bestowed on us (v.9). This is God’s free gift. If we are saved, it is not based on anything we have done, but on Him. If you could lose your salvation, you would. But, it isn’t your commitment to Christ, but His commitment to you that takes you from start to finish (v.12). We can hold on because He holds on to us!
Yet, there is always a danger that the fire of passion for Jesus may become a faint flicker (v.6). That devotion to Christ will require fueling. Do you need to be rekindled today? God’s Spirit is within us to empower us (v.7). I’ve heard that some of us have Christianity like an old iron bedstead—firm on both ends and sagging in the middle! We are firm on the front end that God saves us from hell, and firm on the back end that He will save us for heaven, but right now we are sagging! God’s purpose in giving us grace, is not to sit, but to serve (v.11). When can we stop growing and going? Not, “until that day” (v.12). The old hymn exhorts: “We’ll Work ’Til Jesus Comes.” Let's take this holy inspiration to stir us to some helpful perspiration!
Yours in Grace,
Dennis Thurman, Mission Strategist