This journey I am on to understand grace just continues on (click here to see the journey thus far). It has definitely been quite a journey so far, and I have no idea where it is taking me other than into a better understanding of grace. Where that better understanding will take me, and how it will potentially be used still remains to be seen…but that’s part of the fun of the journey.
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ”. That phrase, or a slight variation of it, is used in the New Testament many times. Paul uses it at the beginning of all 13 of his letters, Peter uses it at the beginning of both of his letters, and John uses it at the beginning of 2 of his letters (2 John and Revelation). It’s quite a popular phrase…and I believe a very important one.
The phrase says both grace and peace, it doesn’t just use one of them. It pairs those 2 words together because those 2 words, and the meanings of those 2 words, are very much connected.
Grace, as we know well by this point in the journey (because I’ve stated it constantly), is an undeserved gift that is offered to us. God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, salvation, and so on are all part of his grace…we don’t deserve any of them, but he offers them all to us. His peace, a peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7), is something else that can be added to his list of things we are offered but don’t deserve. God’s peace given to us is just another act of his incredible grace.
When life is beating us up and we are weary and tired, God’s gracious gifts of love and mercy during that time gives us peace to get through that part of the journey. His grace gives us peace.
When fear and doubt begin to reign in our heart and mind, God’s gracious gifts of kindness and salvation, as well as the reminder of who we are because of his salvation (child of God), gives us peace to work through our fear and doubt. His grace brings about peace.
When all is going really well and we forget just how much we really need God, God’s gracious gifts of love and forgiveness are still present in our life, which provides us peace both then as well as later on when things in our life change. His grace provides us continual peace.
His grace in our life, no matter what season of life we are in, gives us an incredible amount of peace. A peace that literally transcends all understanding. A peace that at times we can’t even explain, but we know we feel it and we know that it is from God. A peace that never gets old or loses its power in our lives. A peace that is an act of God’s grace.
And, we know that we are called by God to show grace to others the same as he has shown grace to us. Yea, it’s not always easy, but as Followers of Christ we are called to live godly lives whether or not it’s easy. As we continue to work to live for God, he will continue to give us the strength and wisdom needed to live for him, so we are not on our own.
When we show grace to someone else, we are showing them love and mercy and kindness and forgiveness just as God shows it to us. And a result of us doing that is…you guessed it…peace. Peace in our own heart because we are doing what is right and godly rather than acting or reacting according to our flesh. However, it also gives peace to the one we are showing grace to, because we are offering them something they don’t deserve. That act of grace is an act of peace…it’s us doing our part in making amends, forgiving, loving, etc with the other person. That is an act of peace.
When we are offered grace, we receive peace as part of that process. When we offer grace, we are giving peace as part of that as well.
Grace is so amazing!
Who do you need to offer peace to? Who needs peace in their life that you can be a vessel of God by offering it to them? Do you need peace yourself but perhaps haven’t been accepting God’s grace lately?
Whatever circumstance you are in, or the people around you are in, choose grace…and receive the peace that comes with it.