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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spiritual Growth Happens By Grace, Not Good Works BY RICK WARREN — MARCH 15, Tuesday

“Your spiritual strength comes as a gift from God, not from ceremonial rules.” (Hebrews 13:9b TLB)
God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way. That’s one of the most comforting truths about God that we can rest our spiritual growth upon.
God’s grace doesn’t just save us from the consequences of our sin. It then begins to mold us into the image of Jesus.
Some accept the grace of God when he saves them, but then they try to grow in the Christian life through their own strength. The Bible says that is impossible: “Your spiritual strength comes as a gift from God, not from ceremonial rules” (Hebrews 13:9b TLB).
God’s grace helps you to become the person you really want to be — the person God wants you to be. It molds you and reshapes you. The Bible calls this sanctification. The Bible also says in Jeremiah that God is the potter and we are the clay. He has us on the potter’s wheel. Unfortunately, as he shapes us, we tend to jump off the potter’s wheel and tell him, “Thanks, Lord, but I think I’ll just take care of myself. I can shape myself into the right thing.”
That’s when we blow our spiritual growth.
One of Christianity’s biggest problems is that often people start with a focus on a relationship with God but then revert to a list of rules. They start with being in love with God and then fall back into a religious syndrome of rituals and regulations.
If that’s not the way to live a Christian life, then what is? The Bible says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him” (Colossians 2:6 NIV).
You didn’t become a Christian by promising to do good. You can’t grow as a Christian by promising to be good either. You live the Christian life simply by receiving God’s grace and letting it shape your life.
Are you letting God grow you through grace, or are you simply trying to be good?
Talk It Over
  • What are some of the most significant ways you’ve seen yourself grow spiritually?
  • Do you think most people find it easier to accept the grace of God for salvation than for sanctification? Why?
  • Do you have a passive or an active role in letting God grow you through grace?
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