Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…
Thoughts for Today:This was not the first time that Paul linked grace with peace in one of his letters. (For example: 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, and Philemon 3.) Why? I think it is because the Apostle Paul knew absolutely that humanity would never know peace, without a clear understanding and knowledge of grace.
Many years ago, when I first became a Christian, I was taught a memory aid (using the letters G-R-A-C-E) to help in understanding the meaning: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor. We receive God’s grace not because of anything we do or have done, but because of who Christ is and what He’s done. We don’t need to follow a set of rules, regulations, laws or rituals. True peace from God can only come as a result of grace and faith. Anyone who attempts to obtain a right standing with God through his or her own efforts is destined to fail and will never have or know God’s peace. (2 Peter 2-3: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”)
Questions to Ponder:It is so easy to fall into the trap of what we must do to follow Christ that we forget the great unearned gift God has given every believer – grace and peace. Certainly there is a responsibility we all have to continue to grow as a disciple of Christ, but are you enjoying the ride? Have you experienced peace with God?