One of our beautiful pink rose bushes in bloom....
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
- 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
Our growing corn....
Another way our faith grows is in spending time with Jesus. In Colossians 2, Paul described this way of living as being rooted and built up in Him. He wrote,
So then, just as you received Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.
- Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
But I think the biggest way my faith has been growing this year has been in the knowledge of God's grace. But to truly understand God's grace, I think its important to understand the true meaning of the word.... The word 'grace' by definition means 'the free and unmerited favor of God'. We experienced grace when we received salvation - and we still continue to experience God's grace daily. When we make mistakes or sin, God's grace is there for us, to lift us up - clean us up and help us to live right.
A squash flower....
Sometimes the grace of God also comes in the form of unexpected blessings. The blessings of God are undeniable reminders of God's grace - they're the things that make us feel as if Jesus is whispering in our ear, "I love you." They are special things - big things and small things - but all truly the grace and favor of God. This concept is definitely not my own, its something I've heard preached many times - but its a spiritual truth I think I'm starting to grasp.
To illustrate my point, I'll share with you a little story. Last weekend, my Dad and I went to the garden center of one of our local home improvement stores. We were specifically looking for clearance items - trees, plants, seeds, etc. When we walked into the store, my attention was immediately drawn to a large nursery cart stacked full of empty plastic pots for starts and plastic trays. I said to my Dad, "I wonder what they're going to do with all of those? Because I could really use some more." My Dad smiled and said, "Well, all we can do is ask!" I located a manager and to make a long story short, I was told those pots were destined for recycling and that if I could use them, then I could help myself - for free...
To me, it was a huge blessing - and undoubtedly the grace and favor of God. When I texted my Mom on our way home to let her know what had happened, the first thing she said was, "That's the favor of God!" and you know, she's right. That incident was one of those moments that made me think of how much God loves us - that He would care to make sure that I have enough starter pots and trays for next year's growing season. And if God cares about a small request such as I had, I want to encourage you that God cares about you. Let your faith grow with that fact and don't ever, ever forget it!
Our cosmos are still blooming like crazy!
Always remember that this free grace of God is for everyone. Its for you. Titus 2:11 NIV says, "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people."
Jesus loves you.
I'll close with the words of Ephesians 2:8 NIV,
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...."
By, Jessi Wasell