Finances were beyond tight this particular month. Zealous giving for ministry followed by unexpected expenses left our bank account drained. We honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it through the month.
And then, that day, a letter arrived in our mailbox. Letter might not be the right word, because in reality it was a cashier’s check wrapped in a sheet of white paper. The check was for $5,000.00.
We were blown away. And we had no one to thank. No one except God. So, that’s what we did. We thanked God for this gift.
So, today, I have a gift for you
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:1-2
Grace to you and peace from God.
Grace is more than just abstract sweetness from God. Grace is active power. It is the laboring of the Holy Spirit in our lives that opens our hearts to God. We do not deserve it. We cannot earn it. We can only receive it. Grace.
Peace is more than just a state of mind. Peace is tranquility in the midst of the storms of life. Not because the storms aren’t real, but because we are confident in Christ as the storms rage. Peace is assurance that regardless of what happens on this earth, nothing can separate you from the love of God. Peace.
Right now a young man is on life support in a local hospital. As he drove home on his moped he was sideswiped by a turning vehicle. He experienced brain trauma and is now in a medically induced coma fighting for his life. Friends and family are gathered and the call to prayer has gone out. The storm is raging. The future is uncertain. Yet Jesus offers his comforting presence … peace in the midst.
Grace and peace from God is a gift. It is active power and it is comforting presence for every situation in your life. Regardless of your trial, your challenge, your storm, your uncertainty … would you come to the riverside, open your hand and receive grace and peace from God?
- Read Ephesians 2:4-9 and Hebrews 4:14-16. What do these passage show you about the active power of God’s grace?
- Read Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25. From these verses, what do you see about Jesus’ comforting presence in the storm?
- What does the gift of God’s grace and peace mean for you today?
Over the coming weeks, we are meeting at the riverside to learn to love God, love the people in our lives, and live as lights in the world. Monday – Thursday, I’ll post a short post with a story, 1-3 verses from the book of Philippians, and a few questions for you to consider. Friday, I’ll recap and give you some things to think about over the weekend. You may want a small notebook or journal to record your thoughts. Interested? Have questions? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please subscribe so that you don’t miss a post. The button is just up and to the right. I look forward to hearing from you!