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"The 3:18s - Grow and Behold"
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ require spiritual and moral change until the end of our present lives. The Apostles Peter and Paul unite with two "3:18s" of Scripture to confirm this necessity of being increasingly conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus.
"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
Growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus results in being "changed into the same image." As moons to suns, the Light we absorb becomes the Light we reflect. Thus, the great questions of our existence involve the Person and work of our Savior.
"Who is He?"
"What has He done?
"What is He doing?
"What will He do forevermore as the Beloved of the Father, and our Beloved?"
The Christ declared by the Holy Spirit to "in all things...have the preeminence" must find such a place in our hearts and minds (Colossians 1:18). Even as I write these words in the realization of how long I have believed and communicated them, the awareness of how often I am distracted floods my consciousness. I attempt to write all these messages to myself first. This one is especially appropriate for such an emphasis. How I need to "grow" and "behold" in far greater and more consistent measure! And how patient and faithful our Father is with my too frequent wanderings from the centrality of the Lord Jesus in light of the questions above! "The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6).
Perhaps you join me in the realization of need to "grow" and "behold." If so, let us rejoice in a longsuffering Father who meets us where we are, forgives and cleanses as necessary, and then lifts us up to go forward. A glorious Savior awaits us as we proceed, and one who alone fills and fulfills our hearts as we seek His heart. Who is He? What has He done? What is He doing? What will He do forevermore? Keeping these questions often in heart and mind will go far in giving the Lord Jesus His preeminence, and in providing His enabling for our progress.
"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me."
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me."
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me."
"We also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
(II Corinthians 13:4)
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