The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Grace and Peace"
The Apostle Paul begins all thirteen of his New Testament epistles with a form of the salutation, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7; several of Paul's letters also add mercy to the greeting).
There can be no peace in the human heart apart from the grace freely granted by the Divine heart. First, we must be delivered from the condemnation of sin and alienation from God whereby He rescues us from impending judgment.
"He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
Having believed, and having escaped "the wrath to come," we must then continue to know the grace of God in Christ as the basis of peace (I Thessalonians 1:10).
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:2).
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
Every breath we breathe - and all things subsequent - flows to us on the wings God's of grace in the Lord Jesus. Of all such freely given blessedness, nothing possesses more value than the peace of God provided by His grace. Little wonder the Apostle Peter commanded that we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). Only through the Person and work of the Savior can our hearts ever find the rest that makes possible a life of peace experienced, peace exemplified, and peace expressed through us for the benefit of others. "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (James 3:18).
In the wilderness temptation, Satan offered the Lord Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world" (Matthew 4:8-9). With them, however, he omitted the bestowal of peace that must accompany possessions if they are to have any value and benefit to our heart. The devil could not, of course, have made such an offer. We do well to remember this about the allures of Satan, the world, and the flesh. None bear God's grace, and thus, none can bestow His peace. Only the Prince, the Prince of peace, can do that. And He does, to all who freely and consistently receive the grace He freely and consistently administers within the trusting heart.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises."
(II Peter 1:2-4)
Weekly Memory Verse
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen
(II Peter 3:18).
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