Abundant Grace & Peace

The New Testament writers were captured by God’s grace and peace.  Paul, in his letters to churches and individuals, opens and closes his greetings with these God given virtues.

Peter, in this first letter, penned with the help of Silas, (I Peter 5:12), greets these Christ-followers in typical first century fashion.  

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”

What do individuals, families and churches truly need?  God’s grace and peace.   Physical needs, psychological needs, spiritual needs, emotional needs – the range of needs in our lives is staggering.  Every week seems to be another deluge of needs, serious needs, that call for a pleading with God for prayer, and a practical engagement with those who have opened up about their present reality.  “Prayers lists never seem to shorten,” someone noted at a recent bible study.  

Peter, from the time Christ had first called him to leave one vocation and commence anotehr, experienced God’s grace and peace.   He ‘bumped’ into God’s grace and often protested his own self-sufficiency.  Christ reminded him again and again of his real need.

What went through the heart and mind of Peter when Jesus said, 

1) “Follow ME and I will make you fishers of men?” or

2) “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men?” (Matthew 16:23) or

3) “…this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times?” (Matt. 26:34) or

4) “…Simon son of John, do you truly love ME?” (John 21:16)

As Peter pens First Peter, he has had time to reflect.  He has learned how desperately he needed God’s grace and peace.  Before he writes too many words, he must, by God’s Spirit, reflect his desire (and God’s) for all believers.   Today, April 2015, our need for God’s grace and peace is no less.  Praise God, His supply is no less either!  

“Grace and peace be yours IN ABUNDANCE!”

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