Paul wrote thirteen letters. Some were to individuals. Some were to a group of people. All began with the same message formed as a prayer.
The content of the letters varied. But the longing in Paul’s heart, the motivation for writing & the truth he wanted to convey was consistent.
By the time Paul wrote to the Ephesians he was in prison, almost blind & nearing the end of his life.
His message in eighteen words to them & to us was:
May Grace & Peace Be Yours
Sent to You From
God our Father
Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Peace is freedom from disturbance; a quiet/tranquility, mental calm, the cessation of war or violence, the freedom from disorder, dispute or dissension. Peace is freedom from anxiety; make peace– re-establish friendly relations.
Peace does not come as a result of what we do. It is not about obeying a set of rules; about behaving perfectly . That is religion.
Peace is a result of what God does. Peace is something that is sent to us from the Father.
Peace comes from relationship.
Receiving that peace is dependent on the nature & depth of our relationship with Him. The post K for Know gives clues to growing in relationship with the Father. That post talks about the difference between belief & trust; the difference between gnosis & epignosis. Be sure to check it out.
Unforced Rhythms of Grace
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Oxen in Bible times were joined together by a yoke. The yoke was a heavy piece of carved wood that joined the two animals together . The yoke was carved to perfectly fit the neck of each animal. As long as they pulled in the same direction there was no friction or pain. The more mature & bigger animal took the lead & pulled more of the load.
Again the natural demonstrates the spiritual.
Being yoked with Jesus brings rest from our own efforts.
Being yoked with Jesus allows us to find peace in the midst of every circumstance.
Being yoked with Jesus is Grace in action
Eugene Peterson in The Message puts it this way:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Enveloped In Peace
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
But in every circumstance and in everything.
By prayer and petition.
With definite requests
Continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace shall be yours.
That tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ,
Fearing nothing from God
Being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is
That peace which transcends all understanding
Shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 AMP
Come to me all of you who are weary & carry heavy burdens & I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you . Let me teach you because I am humble & gentle & you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly & the burden I give you is light .
Matt 11:28-30 NLT
Step 1 Carve out time to spend time to come & have a conversation with Jesus.
Step 2 Tell Him about your weariness, anxieties & racing thoughts.
Step 3 Read Matthew 11:28-30 through slowly several times
Step 4 Ask Him questions.
Step 5 Write down the impressions/thoughts that come to you.