Almost all of the letters in the New Testament were written to respond to problems in the early church. The Corinthian Church had more than its share of problems and we have a couple of letters from Paul to this church. Paul, however, begins with praise for the good things they’ve accomplished; praise and a blessing. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” It seems like such a simple phrase, but these words contain so much importance as we realize the depth of meaning. Paul could easily say the same to each and every follower of Christ today. Grace. What a beautiful word. It includes the way that God forgives us – His grace; it includes the way that God teaches us and causes us to grow – His grace. A blessing of God’s grace upon us includes all the depths of the love that God has for us. Paul also blesses the church, and each person who reads us with peace with God. So many people are troubled and tormented in theis world. Those troubles may be physical because of illness or persecution. They might be internal because of disturbing thoughts or attitudes or even the recognition of our sin followed by the lack of recognition of God’s forgiveness. Peace with God is the recognition that God has restored us to a proper relationship with Him. Peace with God gives us strength to endure difficulties that we could never imagine. This blessing of Paul to the Corinthian church is the blessing that we have today that God continually confirms as we seek Him. Thanks be to God.
Lord, I’m grateful that I can rest in Your grace and in Your peace. I don’t deserve either, but You lavish both on me. Let my life reflect that grace and peace so that others may experience it as well.