In the Gap for Growth
2 Peter 3:18 (TPT)
As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth.
18 But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May he receive all the glory both now and until the day eternity begins. Amen!
Guarding, growing, and glorifying! There is a progression between the three terms. If you guard yourself from spiritual error, you will not fall from your own steadfastness and thus will grow in your relationship with Christ. And if you grow in Christ, you will glorify Him with your life, which is your chief purpose.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, the last of the marathon runners were being carried off the field to first aid stations about an hour after the winner had crossed the finish line. Just a few spectators remained in the stands when they suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles. All eyes turned to the gate to see John Stephen Akhwari, wearing the colors of Tanzania, limping into the stadium. His leg was bloodied and bandaged from a bad fall. He hobbled around the track past the finish line as the crowd rose and applauded as if he were the winner.
Someone later asked him why he had not quit, in view of his injury and the fact that he had no chance of winning a medal. He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.” (From, Leadership, Spring, 1992, p. 49.)
Christ didn’t give His life for you just to start the Christian life. He gave His life so that you would finish it and finish it well. You will do so if you guard yourself from spiritual error, grow in the grace and knowledge of Him, and live to glorify His name.