GRACE PLACE: Grow in God’s Grace

“God wants us to grow up..like Christ in everything”. Eph. 4:15 (Msg.) Every infant has to become a toddler, that toddler will develop to become a full grown man. Even a butterfly meta morphed from a larvae, that is because no living creature stayed in just one stage for a lifetime..It is a process called growth. God himself wants us to mature in our faith, and eventually develop in us the very character of His son Jesus. This is our 3rd value in life – to become like Jesus, or simply called Discipleship. God doesn’t want us to be stuck in spiritual infancy, so He guides us, and in the process He uses 3 unexpected tools for our growth.

1. Troubles . Trials are things designed by God to build our character and to draw us closer to Him. It is when we are in pain that we truly cry out to God; it is when we are broken that we can say our most honest prayer. He allows these things to happen because He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to depend on Him alone. In life, learning about Jesus is easy, but only in suffering that we really get to know Jesus.

2. Temptation. These are situations designed by Satan to harm us. It is everywhere, even Jesus was tempted by the devil, not just once but three times. God uses temptations to allow us to mature in our choice because every temptation we encounter is an opportunity for us to grow in God’s grace . For every time we turn our heads away from sin, we look straight into God’s face instead, embracing Him more. We were given the gift of free will, and in exercising patience and self control over self gratification and preservation, we grow to become more like Jesus. The devil was lying when he claimed that it is too much for us to overcome. God has promised to be with us always, and that includes during every temptations.

3. Trespasses are situations designed by other people, intentionally or unintentionally, to hurt us. The Lord use this because He wants us to learn how to forgive. He wants us to return good for every evil hurled at us. God gave us the perfect example when Jesus was hurt, insulted by the people on His way to Golgotha. Jesus could easily call on His great army of angels who are always ready for His orders. Instead, He gave them mercy and called on His father to forgive them. God wants us to go through this because it is when we’re truly hurt that we can really forgive. Getting even is easier, but when we fully understand what was done on the cross,how much it cost, we will learn to endure anything for His name.

Our journey through life alongside troubles,temptations and trespasses is hard. But remembering that God is always in control is enough to sustain us until we reach the end of the road where God is waiting for us, arms open wide and with the sweetest smile you would ever see.

Summary by Joyce Gamboa
Grace Place celebrates every Sunday, 10:30 am at Tiara Oriental Hotel, Makati City. For inquiries, questions and directions to the location, please text MSG GRACEPLACE <your name> <your message> to 2948 for GLOBE and SUN. (SMART to follow)