Summary: Some people think God’s grace should cause you to relax your morals. Instead, the Bible says we should increase our effort … we should turn up our intensity because of God’s grace.
In just a few weeks the calendar will turn to 2020 – can you believe that? Can you believe we are about to see 2020? Our nation will elect or reelect a president next year. 2019 has been a big year for the stock market and for technology. Already the news channels are telling us about famous people who have died this past year. Gloria Vanderbilt, actor Luke Perry, actress Doris Day, baseball player Bill Buckner of Boston Red Sox, and Boston Celtic great John Havlick all died last year. As we close out the year, we are in the process of possibly impeaching a President for just the third time. So 2020 was a big year for many reasons.
What will take place in your life this next year? What will take place in our church’s life next year?
Let me challenge you for the next few moments: 2020 could be a powerful year for your spiritual growth. You know 2020 is a leap year. Will 2020 be a leap year for your spiritual growth as well?
Here’s a specific question, “How will you actively seek to grow this upcoming year?” I want to serve as a catalyst for your personal spiritual growth for the next few moments. I want to encourage you to form some personal habits that shape and focus your life. Most of us want to see dramatic breakthroughs of personal and spiritual growth.
In my mother-in-law’s house, there is a really important wall. It’s a wall that has marked our children’s growth over the years. When you walk in and look down, you see little pencil marks on the wall next to dates from years ago. Then as you look eye-level, you more current dates of how these three have grown physically. As I survey that wall, I have a sense of pride in how tall they’ve grown through the years.
Time-lapse photography will allow you to see physical growth over a span of years. But there are no photographs that can show you your spiritual growth.
Most of us want to wake up one day to see that we have left our superficiality behind. Yet, spiritual growth doesn’t happen this way. Spiritual growth happens through “little advances.” God has designed your growth to happen through spiritual disciples such as Bible study, prayer & fasting, and attending worship regularly. When we devote ourselves to these disciples, we will see growth over time just my mother-in-law’s wall shows the growth of my three children.
A New Year Can Mean a New You.
Today’s Scripture Passage
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:2–11).
Believer, you have a purpose in life and your purpose is to become “a little Christ.” Your primary way to power your growth is to engage the Bible. 2020 could be a powerful year for your spiritual growth.
1. You Have the Resources You Need
Like a business needs capital to grow, a Christian needs certain items to grow as well.
Peter informs us that we have everything we need: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4).