Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:2 ESV
Grace and peace… both gifts from God. So instead of measuring and judging whether or not the apoptosis measure is in others — or acting as the manners police — shouldn’t we be pursuing more fervently that God pours out grace and peace to His people?
And doesn’t grace come in the face of adversity and trial and temptation? Is it “graceful” to be kind to a benefactor or isn’t that just normal human nature that even the godless understand? It is graceful to be kind to someone who is acting like an enemy in the middle of that oppression and persecution. And Godly peace is not just the absence of conflict — we see that the peace that comes from God is the firm foundation that sees the house still standing after the waves and winds have come and gone.
So will we pray for peace and grace to come in abundance upon the body of Christ — even in the midst of a pouring out of great trials and challenges and sufferings around us so that God’s abiding presence in us and through us is a shocking and compelling testimony to the lost?
Do we want to know grace and peace deep and wide and tall and far reaching? Do we want to see grace and peace abound in the body of Christ even as judgement and wrath is poured out upon the enemies of God as a declaration to Satan through the body of Christ, “Let my people go so they can serve God!” Just as Moses and Aaron declared to Pharoah in the days of the Old Testament.
Isn’t abounding grace and peace a deliverance from the cries of the flesh and whisperings of the enemy to a restored walking in the garden with the Lord, even as the flames in this world would appear to surely be about to consume us. Do we trust God enough to pray for such things for the body of Christ?
Do we fear that those we love most might not endure because Christ may not be in them — but we would rather cuddle them in their death than seek and knock and stand as a mediator on their behalf like Moses did when God sought to destroy the nation of Israel for their great wickedness and idolatry?