June 06, 2010

Faster Than Grace

2 Peter 3:8-18

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18


In The Practice of the Presence of God (17th century) Brother Lawrence describes a sister who “would like to go faster than grace.” He reminds us that “we cannot become holy all at once.”

Few things that last grow fast. Peter urges us, like newborns, to “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Paul thanks God that the Thessalonians’ faith is “growing more and more” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Even young Jesus “grew and became strong” because “the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40). Was he tempted during his adolescence “to go faster than grace”? (See Hebrews 4:15.)

Jesus tells us to “consider how the wild flowers grow” (Luke 12:27). Northerners hope that the flowers they plant in spring will enjoy a full summer growing season. Outside my window I see beautiful flowers called impatiens slowly filling their pots. How fitting to give a plant that name! Impatience made that sister in 1689 try to “go faster than grace.” The same impatience makes me in 2010 want to be “holy all at once.”

No wonder Peter concludes his letter this way: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

“Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4). So is grace. So is growth in grace.

God of abounding grace, we pray today that we, who have been planted by grace, will be patient as we grow in grace. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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