Isn’t Jesus wonderful? So glad that in times like these, we can still hook up from wherever we are to worship Him together and rejoice in His grace in our lives. Glory to God! I trust you’re well and keeping on looking up for your redemption draws nigh.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. KJV
The word ‘grow’ in that verse is taken from the Greek Word “oxano” which means to GIVE INCREASE.
It says to give increase to grace or simply INCREASE IN GRACE.
This verse shows us that YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. (It doesn’t say wait for God to give you more grace, it tells you to grow in grace.)
Just to remind you some of the definitions for grace:
It comes from the Greek word ‘Charis’ or gift.
There’s a general definition of grace that a lot of people are familiar with and so whenever you ask people what is grace: they say: UNMERITED FAVOR.
But that one is from the negative standpoint of the definition of grace…meaning:
I DON’T DESERVE IT BUT HE GAVE IT TO ME ANYWAY.
Grace actually refers to DIVINE INFLUENCE ON THE HEART REFLECTED IN LIFE.
In other words, it is the OUTWORKING OF AN INWARD INFLUENCE.
THE LORD IMPRESSES UPON YOUR HEART THROUGH HIS WORD AND THE HOLY GHOST AND THEN WHAT IS DEPOSITED BY THAT INFLUENCE IS REVEALED OR SEEN ON THE OUTSIDE.
Acts 11:23 When he came and HAD SEEN THE GRACE OF GOD, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. NKJV
During times of great persecution, the church was scattered to different cities. They went everywhere preaching the Lord Jesus and the hand of the Lord was upon them. The church in Jerusalem heard about it and sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he got there, HE SAW THE GRACE OF GOD ON THE PEOPLE.
How can you see the grace of God? You only see the outworking of the grace of God in someone. It’s like the wind, you can’t see the wind but you can see the effects of the wind when you see objects moving. You can feel the effect.
The hand of the Lord (the working of the Spirit) was upon these people. He was working in their hearts and you could see the grace of God on them.
SOME WONDER HOW THE CHURCH IS MAKING IT IN THESE DAYS, IT IS THE GRACE OF GOD FOR TIMES LIKE THESE THAT IS BIG IN US: God working on the inside.
The grace of God itself cannot be seen but you see what it produces.
When the DIVINE INFLUENCE works out within a man’s
spirit, there are things that you see or things that are revealed on the outside.
What are these things that are revealed?
Have you ever listened to someone and there is something about them that pulls you or attracts you to listen to them some more.
(This doesn’t mean anyone can ever get to the place where everybody likes them.)
Example: Jesus was full of Grace and Truth. Children came to him. And some people commented: Nobody ever spoke like Him. They couldn’t understand that it was the grace of God on Him.
Grace will cause you to be accepted to a job when you’re not the most qualified.
Grace working through you will cause you to have an acceptability that you didn’t have before.
Grace singles you out. (They don’t have to know why they favored you. They just do.)
Even nature itself can respond to you when you walk in a certain amount of grace.
This is what God is telling us we can grow in. In other words, YOU CAN TURN IT ON IN YOUR LIFE.
Like they say, THE GRACE OF GOD LOCATES YOU by positioning you at the right place at the right time.
2. GRACE GIVES YOU THE ADVANTAGE:
This happens when you YOURSELF take advantage of it by recognizing it.
Say things like: “I have grace working for me. I have grace working in me.”
You see, Grace beautifies you because grace is the glory of God working in a man’s spirit. It beautifies your spirit and then it will show on the outside.
People can see in you the glory of the Lord. So it puts you in a place of advantage.
If somebody comes against you, they collide with that grace. It was grace that gave Joseph favor to become a prime ministers in Egypt, it was grace that gave Esther favor to become queen.
3. GRACE BRINGS YOU FAVOR
Although one of the definitions of grace is favor, favor itself is actually not as much a definition of grace as it is a function of grace.
This is akin to the advantage that grace gives you.
Favor brings questions like: Why you? Why do you have what others are looking for and yet you didn’t have to work so hard for it? Favor.
The answer is: “I have this thing working in me. I have favor with God and with men.”
Grace gives you favor with the boss without any short cuts.
Luke 2:52 Jesus increased in favor with God and man. What was that? The grace of God on Him.
Favor turns good towards you and when you go wrong and repent, forgiveness is abundant towards you.
Favor doesn’t play fair.
It simply walking in divine influence.
FAVOR IS GOD’S PLAN FOR YOU!
Let me tell you something. God’s plan is to increase favor on your life.
You may not have had a choice as to where you were born and which family you ended up in.
But you do have something to do with increasing the favor in your life.
All He says is: Yield to my Word. Don’t wait to be perfect in order to qualify for His favor. You can’t qualify for it.
4. GRACE BRINGS JOY IN YOUR LIFE
Doesn’t the message of grace bring you joy? Doesn’t it take away the gloom and doom and enable to you to rejoice?
People who are aware of God’s grace are not worried about anything. They laugh at circumstances.
They know that whatever happens God already saw it before it happened because He lives in eternity.
They know EVERY problem has a solution tied to it.
Grace brings joy and laughter at the least laughable issues.
You can choose to wake up and rejoice and you’ll find that the grace to rejoice was in you waiting.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. So the favor of God makes you strong, it keeps you on the strong side of life.
Joy is described as being full of glory: Joy unspeakable full of glory.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The grace of God brings liberty; which results in great joy.
HOW DO YOU INCREASE THE GRACE OF GOD?
One way to turn it on is to:
1. USE THE GRACE HE HAS GIVEN YOU AND THEN YOU’LL ACCESS MORE.
Paul told Timothy to:
2 Tim 2:1-2 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. NKJV
Timothy could have shied away and not used the grace of God that was on his life and that would not have been being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Receiving more grace will bring you promotion. It will move your life forward and upward.
Eccl 9:11 The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, NKJV
It is by the grace of God:
1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. NKJV
And all you need to do is to BE STRONG IN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE GRACE OF GOD. Example: if you’re the grace to pray, don’t quench it. Pray more and you’ll access more prayer grace.
2. TALK ABOUT IT MUCH.
Whatever you think and talk about grows in your life. Faith in any area comes by hearing and hearing about it.
Favor never talks negative.
Acknowledge that the favor of God is working in you.
When you get an advantage, acknowledge it: “That’s the favor of God.”
Acknowledge this favor. When someone offers you to pass them in a line, acknowledge it: thank you Lord for this favor.
3. YOU INCREASE GRACE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, KJV
This is why we teach the Word to you…and encourage you to study, to go to Bible school, to meditate on the Word, to get to know God for yourself.
You get to hear the Word and grow in faith and with this faith you access more grace:
Rom 5:2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, NKJV
4. YOU INCREASE THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH PRAYER
…all kinds of prayer. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace and supplication.
Heb. 4:16 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NKJV
5. GRACE IS INCREASED OR RELEASED THROUGH
(Joy is of faith.) The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Joy.
Rom 5:2…through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. NKJV
1 Peter 1:8 Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. NKJV
If you wake up in the morning and begin to run around your bed rejoicing in the Lord for what He’s done for you, you will access more grace for that day. But if you wake up regretting and saying that you hate Mondays and you begin to talk all the negatives, there’s no grace in that.
6. GRACE IS INCREASED THROUGH HUMILITY AND
James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” NKJV
7. LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, GRACE IS INCREASED
One of the ways of acknowledging who God is in your life is through your tithe and offerings.
2 Cor. 8:1-2 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. NKJV
2 Cor. 8:6-7 But as you abound in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us — see that you abound in this grace also. NKJV
You don’t want to be short of this grace of giving, increase in grace…even the grace of giving.
During these days we’ve not been meeting corporately, I’m determined not to decrease my giving; I have increased it.
I refuse to be short of the grace of giving, because I know that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is that he became poor that I might be rich and this Scripture is in the context of giving.
When my increase comes, don’t wonder why, ITS THAT GRACE. Grace begets more grace.
The grace to give is bigger in me and the supply has been abundant as well.
Nothing is big enough to eradicate the grace of God in our lives.
2 Cor. 9:6-8 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. NKJV
I choose to grow in grace and in the knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.
To be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
I acknowledge that this grace is at work in me even now. Divine influence working in my heart is showing up on the outside enabling me to function at a higher level.
I have grace working in me.
It makes me acceptable.
It gives me the advantage.
Grace working in me brings me favor.
It brings me joy unspeakable and full of glory.
It’s working in my life. Lifting me above the ordinary.
And my God makes every favor and earthly
blessing come to me in abundance so that I always no matter the circumstances and whatever the need I have sufficiency [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.)