Passing on Greetings
Verse 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now that Paul has greeted his friends he passes along another greeting, a greeting from God, Himself. As a bond servant of Christ Jesus, Paul has the right to pass along the greeting of his Master.
These words are probably familiar to us as pastors often use this or similar phrases as the call to worship or blessing during a service. This blessing is something that we should take to heart and in order to do that we need to really think about what it is saying. What is our God saying to us?
Grace. God’s free and unmerited favor on our lives. Grace isn’t a result of our choice, although it is given because of our choices. To know that God chooses to see us with favor even though we live in opposition to Him – more than we would like to admit – should give us feelings of great gratitude towards Him. It is this grace that allows us to live with a hope that only living for Him can give.
Peace. Jesus said He would give us peace but not the kind of peace that comes from the world (John 14:27). Peace has been a popular sound bite for years, sadly not in the way Jesus meant it. We too often think that peace it only about the lack of war or division in our lives, but the truth of the matter is that the peace in this blessing is more like the serenity we experience on vacation. It is that sense of our soul, mind and emotions at ease. But the deepest sense of ease can’t come if we are not at peace with the God of creation.
To be at peace with God takes knowing Jesus and accepting His gift. It is knowing His sovereignty so fully that we know we don’t have to fret about every little thing that comes along. It helps us release some of our personal control on life which opens us to be able to rest in His purposes. That is where His peace is found.
So now we know the true gift that this blessing is. We can see the heart behind the God who sends it. There is no one who can give grace the way that our God does and no peace like His. Accept His blessing.
Making It Personal
Do you make a habit of paying attention to the words of the blessing in church? Where have you experienced God’s grace in your life? Do you know the peace of God in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you listen to the blessing when it is given? Do you think you have needed God’s grace in your life? How do you think the peace of Jesus feels?
Father, thank You for Your grace and peace. There is no one like You. We don’t deserve Your favor on our lives and yet You so freely give it. Help us live as You would desire us to live so we can always reflect You to the world around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.