Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Grace

The Peace of Grace
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: 
John 16:13, Philippians 4:4-8, 1 John 4:18, Mark 9:24 (NASB)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” or a variation of that greeting, is used by the apostle Paul 16 times in the New Testament when addressing the church in various cities in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) version of The Holy Bible. In three of those cases, Paul adds the word mercy to the blessing. In the current times of this worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, this particular phrase from the Apostle Paul speaks to me.

Why are grace and peace, with the addition of mercy now and then, the preferred greeting from Paul? Grace, in the original Greek charis, means kindness. Peace, eirene in Greek, implies welfare. What is Paul doing with this blessing?

Paul was reminding the believers of the unmerited gift they had received … grace. He was also reminding them that the grace they were given had an amazing side effect … peace. But, as believers in Christ, are we allowing that peace to be freely felt?

For the last few years, God has really brought home a message to me. Every problem has one question attached to it: “Do you trust Me?”

No matter the issue, that's the ultimate question. If I trust Him, then there is no fear in any issue, because I know God will see it through to my ultimate good and to the transforming of me into the image of Jesus Christ. Even if I cannot see the good yet, God’s promises tell me that is the end goal.

Every blip on my radar that seems to stir up negative emotions ... Do you trust Me?

Every person who can't seem to remember the rules of the road ... Do you trust Me?

Every time I see one of the kids making poor decisions or going through a hard time, and want to jump in to "fix" it ... Do you trust Me?

Health issues in family members ... Do you trust Me?

And, that "Do you trust Me?" is also asking if I know just how much God loves me. Do I trust that what He says is true? If so, why do I doubt? If so, why do I fear? If so, why do I look at the circumstances rather than look to the Solution?

When we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth of grace (John 16:13), we find that peace follows. Our perception of what we are going through, whatever the situation, has to change in the light of the incomparable love of our Father. Accepting and internalizing the love of God for us will change our thinking, too. We can go from fear of everything to fear of nothing. 1 John 4:18 tells us why that is true.

But, it boils down to a lack of belief. His grace is there, too! Mark 9:24 is one of my favorite verses. It shows us that we can believe, yet need help in our belief. God doesn’t leave us on our own. He has given us many ways to cry out to Him for more grace, more peace, more faith. He longs for us to reach for Him rather than for something in the world – be it food, relationships, or even security in things we think we can control.

Grace and peace really do go together. When we get what grace really means, the peace that passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, as Philippians 4 tells us. That section of Scriptures gives a step-by-step way to have your mind and heart guarded by Christ. That is grace and peace at its finest.

Let’s Pray: Dearest Jesus, You have already given us so much, yet You want to give us even more. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit that You have put into our hearts, but we think our way out of it so often. Remind us of Your grace. Remind us of what is truly means in order for our peace to be complete. Bring those verses and Scriptures to mind when the world is swirling around in chaos in front of us, and do as You promised You would do…guard our hearts and minds in You. In Your precious Name we pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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  1. Awesome reminder!!! Thank you for your heart.

  2. So glad that the lessons God is taking me through are touching other lives. Thank you for the kind note!


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