Grace, mercy and peace

CB0177272Timothy 1:2: To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Grace

Grace is the help that comes from God, which cannot come from any other source. Grace is the precursor for the acts of God’s favour to and through men.

When God calls us to do a particular work, he gives us his grace to carry it out. It doesn’t matter what it is. The resources that he makes available are from his grace.

When God wanted Moses to build a tabernacle for him in the wilderness; he mentioned certain people by name that he had endowed with intelligence, capability and skill, to turn all the gold and other raw materials that will be are needed, from the raw state to the exact things in the mind of God (Exodus 31:1-11). Those men were appointed by God to do the work to perfection, and they had the grace to execute it.

Only the hand of God can do the work of God. This is why he endows us with his grace, so that our hands become His.

His grace not only operates through us but it also operates in us. It causes attitudinal change in us; it causes long standing stubborn habit to be gone in our lives. It makes sure that we are on the path of life through Christ Jesus. His grace sees us through all negative situations and circumstances. Grace is the divine causative agent of everything good in us.

It is the means of God saving us. We were rotten in trespasses and sin and we were strangers to God. We are in bondage to Satan, kept imprisoned by inordinate passions that we cannot do anything about on our own.

But the grace of God made all the difference. The bible says that by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

Also, our spiritual assignment is not our work; it is the work of God, not an expression of our ability but God’s. We are only called to yield to the grace working in and through us.

When the message of the gospel of Jesus is proclaimed, it is a call to receive grace (Romans 5:17). It is not a call for performance, trying to be a better person, nor a call to sadness and a joyless life. Actually the bible says that the kingdom is in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

There is the joy of salvation that trumps whatever men seek by taking cigarettes, and hard drugs like cocaine, heroine, marijuana, crystal meth, etc. There is a joy of salvation that is like an ever-springing well on our inside, which cannot be moved but is sustained by God himself.

So when we come to Jesus, we have come to grace (John 1:14-17). It leads us into a new life, causing us to swim in divine blessings, making us able to impact the lives of others. Paul wrote that we should let our words be seasoned with salt ministering grace to the hearers, so that just as we receive grace we also convey it to others (Ephesians 4:29), edifying them.

Mercy

Grace pushes you into your future; mercy removes you from your past, while peace settles you in the present.

Mercy qualifies the unqualified. The healing of the man paralysed for decades, sitting at the pool of Bethesda is a classic expression of mercy. His past was sinful as Jesus Christ later told him after healing him that he should now live holy from them on.

When Jesus came to him, lying there at the pool paralysed, He asked him a question and he didn’t answer well. However, Jesus released healing to him anyway (John 5:1-16). Years of stagnation for the man came to an end.

If the man was not picked for a miracle, he would most probably have died in his condition. His was a most pathetic situation. It was mercy that reached out to him, disregarding his history and shortcomings and blessing him.

The mercy of God extends forgiveness of sins to us. We were not forgiven because we promised to be better, neither was it because we have offered God anything to compensate him for our rebellion; it was his mercy through and through, that we are accepted in the beloved, after our sins were cleansed away.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8). His mercy motivated him.  While he hung on the cross, he asked that God forgive his crucifiers because they don’t know what they do (Luke 23:34).

Peace

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). When he was leaving the disciples on earth, he said that he is leaving his peace with them, not as the world gives (John 14:27). It is a different kind of peace that flows from heaven.

Paul said we should not be anxious for anything, but with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving we should let our requests be make known to God (Philippians 4:6-7), and God will invest us with his peace. Peter also said that we should be anxious for nothing, but we should cast our care upon the Lord (1Peter 5:7).

Jesus and his disciples at a time were crossing the sea. The sea and the wave of the sea rose. The disciples were at their wit’s end but Jesus was fast asleep. They panicked. They questioned Jesus, saying, doesn’t he care if they die (Mark 4:25-31)? He was woken up. But instead of joining them to panic, he rebuked the wind and the storm, saying peace be still. He is a man of peace, bringing peace and calm to life’s raging storms. Inclusive of the one you are presently experiencing. God is about calming the agitations of the heart. The peace of God is meant to guard our hearts in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:15). The devil will have you troubled but the peace of God counters that in us.

Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); it is the mark of a settled relationship with God. The bible says through Jesus we have peace with God (Romans 5:1-2). That peace is not given by achievement. It is the result of the Prince of peace coming into us. The presence of God is manifest in peace that crushes all the works of the devil. Paul wrote that the God of peace will soon crutch the devil under our feet (Romans 16:20).

The peace, the sense of wholeness and completeness of divinity represents the kingdom of God coming to bare on the earth, because peace is an heavenly reality.

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