The phrase Grace & Peace is found in almost every letter that Paul wrote. Ephesians 1:2 says May grace & peace be yours, sent to you from God our Father & Jesus Christ our Lord. This was more then just a nice greeting. It was a prayer that came from deep within Paul’s heart.
In many ways these eighteen words are a summary of Paul’s message to the Ephesian church & to us through the ages.
Paul’s whole ministry is predicated on the fact that Jesus restored us to relationship with the Father.
Jesus is still actively involved in our lives as Lord supplying us with all we need to live in peace in the kingdom of God as family.
Jesus satisfied the justice of God through His death on the Cross.
He is also involved with us minute by minute supplying everything we need for life & godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
That is Grace !
I love dictionaries . I love exploring the meaning of words. Here are some of the definitions of grace that I have found.
As you read them I invite you to ponder the words in the light of the truth that you have real relationship with the Father & with Jesus.
- seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form or proportion
- pleasing qualities
- divine love/protection bestowed freely on people
- the state of being protected or sanctified by the favour of God.
- an excellence or power granted by God.
To grace (v):
- to honor or favor
- to give beauty, elegance or charm to
- to embellish with grace notes
- elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action.
- attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease.
- pleasing or attractive.
My favorite definition of grace comes from the book Thin Again (Arthur/Judy Halliday)
- Grace is the active expression of God’s Love.
- Grace empowers us to choose rightly in what seem to be the most choiceless of situations.
- It does not and will not determine that choice.
- Grace influences our innermost being,
- Grace brings our character into agreement with the very character of God
- This is an intimate acquaintance of our will with God’s will; our spirit with God’s Spirit
- It is a miracle of God’s presence perfecting our personal transformation.
- Grace is freedom that conforms us from within.
- Legalism is bondage that constrains us from without
So What ?
I once heard a pastor make the statement that the most important theological question is So What?
That may seem to be a very rude question especially when asked in church. I believe it is a vitally important & valuable question.
Truth- especially truth from the Word of God should change my life.
I invite you to spend time with these definitions of Grace. If they are true & if you choose to embrace them, to live as if they are real your life will be transformed.
Do you remember Paul’s prayer that we talked about yesterday? Do you recall his motivation in writing the letter to the Ephesians? Have you thought about how the situation of the Ephesian church was so similar to ours today?
They were moving away from their first love & trying to do the Christian life in their own strength.
How About You?
If you are honest , is your relationship with God as real as you would like it to be?
Take time with Jesus today.
Let Him talk to you about Grace!