James 1:5 says,"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
1 Peter 5:10 says, "But 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, settle you."
Psalm 1:1-3 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
When I started the Cold Coffee & Cotton Stems Blog over a year ago, I wanted a name that meant something special. I have always loved coffee and cotton stems but the meaning behind the name means so much to me. When the 'Cotton Stems' part of the name came to mind I decided to research the life cycle of a cotton stem. I love the way cotton stems look in a vast open field and also how they look in my home. However, I didn't realize how much went into growing cotton seeds. I will spare you all the technical details but here is what I want you to know about them.
Cotton stems undergo a long process from the time the seeds are planted and packed in the dirt until the white cotton 'bolls' burst open in the sunlight after growing in the hot sun. This means so much to me as God molds us and takes us through difficult seasons to make something beautiful come to life in us for His glory. Cotton Stems continually remind me that God is doing a great work in me. He is doing a great work in you too, friend!
He packs us down in the "dirt" (life seasons good and bad) and uproots areas of our heart that need cultivating. Then under the Son He grows us in His grace and we burst forth into who we were meant to be. Don't you love that? Just as the cotton stem plant is under the hot sun growing, we are growing spiritually under the Son Jesus Christ who will mold us into who we are supposed to be.
Growth begets grace.
I have been thinking about growth and how it begets grace in our lives. In our society, there is always strife. Everyone is always disagreeing and letting it divide them from others. Close-mindedness is rampant and no one wants to see life through the eyes of others. When we grow as a Christian I believe that we grow in the amount of grace we show.
Matthew 7:3-5 says, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Yep. I am guilty! If you're being honest with yourself then you know that you're guilty of this as well. We gawk at the failures of others and swear that we would never do such a thing; but we don't see our own faults. I think we forget that just because we sin differently doesn't mean that it isn't still...sin. Sin isn't rated on a scale of one to ten. It is not as if God rates our sin and treats us according to that scale. In His eyes sin is sin.
Why is it so easy for us to forget this? We have been given so much grace, friend. I have been given so much grace. You have been given so much grace. So why don't we give others that same grace?
I think the problem lies within how much we are growing spiritually. If we don't continually read God's word and pray then how will we give grace to others? When we start thinking that we have it all figured out; we miss the point. Pride starts to surface and trick us into thinking that we don't have any unkempt areas in our heart; but we do.
On the other hand, when we are growing closer to God daily we show more grace. We give it away more freely because we realize just how much we need Christ. If we did not have Him in our lives then we would be lost. Growth in our spiritual life keeps us humble and fully aware of our sin.
Growth begets grace.