I slept longer this morning than I normally do. By the time I had showered, grabbed my lunch from the refrigerator and made my morning smoothie, I didn’t have a lot of time to read my Bible before leaving for work. So as I sat down to read, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me a word in the time I did have.
It just so happened that I was starting the book of 1 Thessalonians this morning. The first thing I read was the greeting of Paul to the Thessalonian church that says “Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:Grace to you and peace.” This greeting is used 17 times in scripture by Paul, Peter and the Apostle John.
I knew immediately that this was my word for the day. “Grace and peace.” Peace in grace. Peace because of grace. Grace for peace. Peace from grace.
As a messenger of God, Paul brought them the message of God through the Holy Spirit to His church in Thessalonica-Grace and Peace. He could have started with commands or ordinances. He could have pointed out faults or shortcomings but He didn’t. Of all the messages He could have given, He gave first and foremost grace and peace.
To those in God and the Lord Jesus Christ, grace and peace. An effect and fruit of being “in” Christ is supposed to be grace and peace. How often I fall short. How often I expect a more harsh greeting from the Lord because of my failures or weaknesses or shortcomings. While I expect a furrowed brow on the Lord’s forehead, He instead offers grace and peace. While I struggle to make it on my own I ignore what He has already given-grace and peace. As thoughts of circumstances assail me, it is there for me-grace and peace.
It is because of God’s grace that we can live in peace. He has provided by His grace, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation and justification. We are right before God, in good standing, with our sin-slate wiped clean by the blood of His Son. That, in itself, is peace.
It is by grace that we know that all of His promises are yes and amen, His blessings are lavished upon us, we have favor in His sight, protection by His mighty right arm, the care of a perfect father, an abundance of wisdom and knowledge, a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. Our yesterday, today and tomorrow are all taken care of.
In Christ..In Christ... there is grace and peace. He is our shelter, our fortress, our sure foundation. I picture myself in the palm of His hand, under the shadow of His might right arm and the natural result is ...peace. My God is able and willing and powerful to perform all that His Word has promised.
Of course, we receive nothing from God except through faith, but even faith has come through grace. He has given to every man a measure of faith. It is enough.
I guess He answered my prayer. I’ve been thinking on this all day. “Man does not live by bread alone but by every WORD….or two words that proceed from the mouth of God and today God has spoken, in fact in His Word He has spoken again and again….Grace and Peace! Thank you Lord! I receive it in Jesus’ name!