“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV
This is part of the opening greeting that Paul offers in his first letter to the Corinthians. If you read through Paul’s writings in the New Testament you will notice that this is a familiar greeting that Paul gives with regularity in his letters. It is really easy for us to read over these opening phrases in Paul’s letters quickly and not give it much thought. However, we see Paul use a variation of the phrase “Grace and peace to you in Jesus…” repeatedly, in his opening salutations, which indicates this is an important thought he is trying to express. As such we should give appropriate attention to the phrase and the meaning behind it.
Paul is trying to establish a certain mindset with his readers and listeners right away. He is laying a foundational premise so that the reader would be able to receive the body of truth that was to follow. Paul speaks to them of “grace”. This is the favor of the Lord, it is the spiritual blessings that come from Jesus. Grace is Jesus giving us those things we don’t deserve and they are given to us, not because of anything we have done to earn them, but simply because of His love for us.
Paul also mentions “peace”. By this Paul is reminding his readers and listeners of the soul peace that is available to them through Jesus. He is reminding us as we read this today that we can have a mind of peace in Jesus regardless of what the circumstances are in our lives. We have the peace of Jesus if we choose to walk in it.
Wouldn’t it be good for you if you began every day with somebody reminding you that you are operating in the underserved outpouring of the grace of Jesus? That you have everything He has promised in His Word today despite the appearance of things as you go through the day. I would love to have someone remind me of that fact before I undertake to walk through each day. I need to be reminded of that.
Wouldn’t you love to begin tomorrow and each day that follows with someone speaking peace into your soul, into your very thoughts as you get ready for the day? Too often we begin each day with dread, uncertainty and even fear. As believers in Jesus, we can instead grab hold of His perfect peace in our minds. Tomorrow will begin a lot better if I start it in His peace as opposed to beginning the day in fear. These are the things Paul reminded his readers of frequently and we should take that to heart and each day begin in His grace and peace.
We live today in an age of emails, text messages, and social media, which do not afford opportunities for opening or closing salutations. But look at how powerful they can be in encouraging others. In all of your communications remember to share His truths to strengthen the reader and prepare them to receive what Jesus has for them in their day.
J Todd Hostetler