The Lord does not allow our faith to be tested so that He will know if we love Him, but so that we will be shown where we are in our walk with Him, and how we need to modify that walk, either in words or deeds.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
God appeared to Abraham, gave him instructions about dividing some animals, made a covenant with him, (Gen. 15) and Abraham grew in the knowledge of the Lord. The grace was the covenant. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:23) This was Abraham growing in the grace of God.
Knowledge does not always impart grace, ask Judas Iscariot if you ever get a chance to meet him. Three plus years walking right beside the Lord Jesus, growing in knowledge more than any of us may ever know, yet never in grace.
Grace is unmerited favor, receiving something that we do not deserve, by being obedient to the will and Word of God out of a heart that desires nothing but that the Lord would be exalted above the heavens is how we grow in grace. Contrary to much of what is taught in many churches today, that grace does not mean that you will receive many wonderful things in this life, that the trials and tribulations will pass you by, in fact, just the opposite may happen. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12)
With that grace humility becomes a mainstay, the word Sovereign sticks in your mind continuously, and the only One who it can ever be applied to. With grace comes the desire to be crucified with Christ, to deny self for the glory of God, to have a life where everything and everyone is second to the Lord.
We are saved by grace, we have the opportunity to grow in that grace, but we must make that decision.
The easy grace that is so prevalent these days is the main reason for the apostacy we are in, many have got their key to heaven, so to speak, and do little to nothing to continue to seek the face of the Lord, save for those troublesome times, or when they believe they need something. Their grace costs them nothing more than an hour or so on Sunday morning. We have even invented names for these individuals, so they, and we, do not feel badly, they are “carnal Christians, weaker brothers and sisters, slow to grow believers.” It helps them to feel better and it keeps the pews at least partially full.
I ask you, what has this grace costs you, what is it you have given up, what is it that you despise today that you once loved, what part of your previous life, the life before Jesus Christ is not only dead and gone but abhorred even when the thought of it arrives. How much of your time each day is devoted to seeking the face of God, which part of you desires nothing more than to honor the Lord, no matter what it costs you personally?
The gift of salvation is a free gift. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8) To grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord costs something, something personal, in fact, the price is the entirety of your life, willingly given up in service to the Lord, asking nothing in return. No man serves a king in part and is honored by the king, but to him who devotes the entirety of his life to his Master, he will receive grace.
Ask yourself this question, is there grace in this statement, or simply the admittance of obligation to service? “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10) If you can say, “It does not matter what happens to me, or to those I love, His grace is sufficient,” then you understand this short letter.