by Mike Ratliff
17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18 (NASB)
I have been praying a lot lately for healing not just for this nasty head cold I picked up just before Christmas, but also for my wife’s healing after her shoulder surgery which really put her into a very painful condition with the use of only one arm. The surgery was about a week before Christmas. I was preparing to leave work as my retirement date approached and suddenly both of us were smacked with these things, but we were still expected to participate in family Christmas events. She cannot even lie down to sleep. I wake up at night every couple of hours not being able to breath. Our enemy has really been working on me trying to get me to despair. Here we are now with no job and seemingly at the mercy of Medicare and the V.A. Then I was contacted by my sister who told me that my brother has Covid and is in the hospital. He is on oxygen and not doing well and his wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Do we despair? No! Why? We have the throne of grace and prayer.
Last night I spent hours watching videos by Steph Macloed a Christian singer/songwriter from Scotland. The videos I watched were mostly rearrangements of the hymns I love such as Amazing Grace, He is Lord, It is Well, I Exalt Thee, and His Mercy is More. I have watched them all over and over and found myself in deep worship through them all. One of the aspects of these videos is he has a virtual choir sing along with him and his friends. It is called a Praise Gathering Choir. I posted three of the videos on my Facebook page. I also watched the Behold our God video by Sovereign Grace Music, which is awesome. I think I watched it at least 10 times yesterday. After last night and again today worshipping our God like that these “circumstances” that our enemy has been using in an attempt to discourage me seem so small and insignificant now. My brother’s oxygen level is way up now and he may be coming home soon. My breathing seems to be improving. My wife’s shoulder is getting better. My brother’s wife will start Chemo treatment soon. Yes let us come to the throne of our God and worship Him for His Grace and Mercy!
C. H. Spurgeon
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—2 Peter 3:18.
GROW in grace”—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fulness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward—having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.” Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. 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 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.
Soli Deo Gloria!