“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 (NASB)
With a toppled over “G” and a missing “C,” the word “grace” that was once displayed in my kitchen with decorative letters was no longer there.
In fact, seeing the word all broken and illegible had become the norm. The “G” had tilted over months ago, and the “C” was somewhere in a junk pile, where I tossed it when it fell off the wall earlier this year. I had gotten used to seeing “grace” in its disheveled state.
What I didn’t recognize, at least initially, was that this same display of broken “grace” looked exactly like the grace I was giving myself and those around me lately. In other words, it was definitely lacking!
Oh, it was easy for me to accept God’s grace. After all, He’s God. I found no difficulty in embracing His grace extended to me through Jesus, especially when I felt stressed. Thinking about God’s everlasting grace for the “big things,” like my salvation, wasn’t hard for me at all.
But somehow, that didn’t bring me the peace I need to conquer the small things of life.
Despite being madly in love with Jesus, turning my mind to Him while dealing with kids wetting the bed and losing their shoes doesn’t always keep me from sinking into a gloomy mood where my emotions get the best of me and frustration overwhelms.
Turning to God’s Word for help, I noticed the New Testament writers often paired the word grace with peace. In many of his letters, the Apostle Paul says, “grace to you and peace from God.” And the Apostle Peter, at the beginning of his second letter, greets the believers with these words: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”(2 Peter 1:2).
Upon seeing multiple combinations of these words throughout the New Testament, I started to view them as a customary greeting written before getting to the “good stuff.” But truthfully, all parts of the Bible are intentional and qualify as “good stuff.”
Thoughts swirled around in my mind as I pondered the apostles’ words. What did they mean by “grace to you” and “grace be multiplied”? And why did they always couple grace with peace? If God already extended the ultimate form of grace through Jesus, how can we multiply something that’s infinitely amazing?
The earliest Jesus-followers knew that grace doesn’t stop at God’s gift to us, but instead, that’s where grace begins.
God extended His grace to the whole world when He sent Jesus to reconcile us back to Himself. This is the essence of our salvation; it’s the big picture that sustains us and keeps us hopeful.
However, the joy and peace I feel from my salvation only trickles down into other areas of my life when I embody His grace and extend it to others. That’s why I believe the apostles put grace and peace together. It was God’s grace that brought peace between Him and humankind. And it’s our grace to ourselves and others that puts peace between us and the difficulties we face.
Yes, there will be more days when my kids will be kids. But when I can give them grace in those moments, we are all better for it. They will see an example of how to love others, and I will draw closer to God, even when my flesh wants to do otherwise.
Acknowledging God’s grace in the big things, like our salvation, is just as important as acknowledging it in the small things. And those are the times when we experience the fullness of His peace that’s available to us all.
Dear God, thank You for Your truly amazing grace. Please help me give Your grace away to others as freely as I’ve received it from You. May I see You as God over the small things, just as much as the big ones, so I can experience Your unending peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
2 Thessalonians 1:2-3, “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” (NIV)
Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” (NASB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
When have you seen God’s grace in your life? How can that situation serve as a reminder of how to extend grace to others?
How often do you find yourself giving grace, even when you don’t feel like someone deserves it?
Join the conversation! What’s one way you can begin to extend grace to yourself or someone in your sphere of influence today?
© 2019 by Jasmine Williams. All rights reserved.