“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV
This verse 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 easy for us to read over these opening phrases in Paul’s letters quickly and not give them much thought. However, we see Paul use a variation of the phrase “Grace and peace to you in Jesus…” repeatedly, in his opening salutations, indicating that this is an important thought he is trying to express. Therefore, we should give appropriate attention to the phrase and the meaning behind it.
Paul is trying to establish a certain mindset right away with his readers and listeners. `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”. It 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 these blessings have been 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”. Paul is reminding his readers 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? And 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. Instead as believers in Jesus, we can 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.
Today we live 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