“Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18).
“It has been a delight to walk along with you,” Peter said, “but I really must be going. You see, there are many other groups from all around the world traveling to this Place called Grace, and them also I must visit. And, I’m sure I will see you again.”
Are there any parting words you could give us before you leave?
First, “Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:13).
You folks dress differently than in my day. We had long, flowing garments that could impede our progress unless we gathered the excess material and fastened it with a belt. Then we could run with the best of them. That’s what you need to do with your minds! Let the belt of Truth gather all the loose material into a single focus so you will always be ready for constant action.
And be sober; exercise self-restraint, and be always watchful; looking all about you for what the Lord is saying and doing.
And be full of hope to the end for the grace to be brought to you at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ! Most certainly shall the power of God be on full display when Christ returns. But even now while we await His return, Jesus appears to us again and again – and each time there is grace, the power to do God’s will. John put it this way, “Of His fullness have we received – grace upon grace!” (John 1:16).
Second, Give it all you’ve got. Give away to others what has been freely given to you. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (see 1Pe 4:10).
As Paul put it, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” (Rom 12:6-8).
It is all based upon Grace, the power of Christ working in and through you to do God’s will. There is no pecking order here; no hierarchy of religious titles and positions. “All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1Pe 5:5)
And Third, Grow in Grace. Don’t ever suppose that you have learned it all, or know it all. Keep an open heart; hungry for more of God, more of grace; more of life. Yes, grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. (2Pe 3:18)
Then, raising his aged hand to offer an apostolic blessing, Peter concluded his visit with these words – “May the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you — this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. Now, grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord”(1Pe 5:10,12; 2Pe 1:2).