2Thessalonians 1:2 - Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh my. I was listening to a song the other day called Grace and Peace by Fernando Ortega. It's based on the above scripture. Here's a link to the song if you care to listen. It's very nice.
What prompted this post has to do with my study on Revelation. Of course it does! In the first chapter there are seven churches being addressed by the Apostle John, through Jesus Christ. His greeting is: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and is to come...and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 1:4-6)
Those words alone are powerful. He was, is and is to come. He is the ruler of all. It's all about Him and His grace and peace.
Time and again I will say, everything in this world and in our lives has to do with Christ, whether we want to believe it or not. He is the Beginning and the End. He created us and our lives are in His hands, whether we believe it or not. He loves us all, whether we believe it or not. His desire is for us, whether we believe it or not. His desire is that we know Him, receive His grace, peace...and mercy, whether we believe it or not.
Maybe I should have entitled this Believe it or Not!
An excerpt from Bible Study Fellowship Lesson Three states: True peace always flows from the matchless grace of the Lord Jesus. Grace is God's love and kindness that reached down to us in Christ. God is gracious to the completely undeserving. No one could ever earn God's grace, even if we tried for all eternity... He who was, is and is to come offers His grace and peace to anyone who wants and receives it through a relationship with Him that we might be found in Him. It is not extended to those who reject Him.
If that sounds like a hateful God, it's not. He is offering it to all people. Some just do not choose to understand it or receive it, sometimes outright, rebelliously reject it. Whatever the case, He does not hate those who do not choose, but He must separate those who choose to follow from those who do not. He is, after all, a just God.
Someone reminded me this morning in a Facebook post about the parable of the talents. It's a perfect example of His grace. Three men came to work for someone. One came in the early hours of the day, one came at midday, the third late in the day. At the end of their work, all three were given the same wages. Of course two of the men were not thrilled with this. But the deal was, they would each be given X number of denari. Not X number of denari/hour.
This is God's grace. And it's offered like this to us today, whether we have known Him all our lives, midway through our life or in the last days. Doesn't mean a person should wait till the last minute because we don't know when that last minute will be and we may not have an opportunity to call on Him. And why wouldn't we want His peace over our lives from now till that last day...to be sure we have that peace, to know we have that peace. What a blessing that is!
He alone sets us above the world. He offers us His kingdom. This world is not our home. Why settle for just this? Why not settle for more, for bigger and better things, in Christ? And, as a reminder, He IS coming soon.
Grace and peace. It only comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Receive them today, won't you? Ask Him to show you what they are and open the eyes of your understanding to more of His glorious truth...and life...through faith in Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:5 - ...To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.