Grace to you . . . and Grace Be With You


Take a few moments to listen to Michael Card sing the last verses of Hebrews 13:20-21.

Now take a few more moments and take a glance at what the apostle Paul taught us about our need and assurance of God’s grace to us in Christ, in the way that he begins and ends his letters to the church.


Romans. 1:7, 16:24            To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Cor. 1:3,  16:23                                Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

2 Cor. 1:2,  13:14                                Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ ,  and the love of God,  and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Gal. 1:3,  6:18                      Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Brethren,  the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Eph. 1:2,  6:24                     Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.  Amen.

Phil. 1:2,  4:23                      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Col. 1:2,  4:18                      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This salutation by my own hand – Paul.  Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Thess. 1:1,  5:28               Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Thess. 1:2,  3:18               Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Tim. 1:2,  6:21                  To Timothy,  my true son in the faith: Grace,  mercy,  and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace be with you.  Amen.

2 Tim. 1:2,  4:22                  To Timothy my beloved son: Grace,  mercy,  and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.  Grace be with you. Amen.

Titus 1:4, 3:15                      To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace,  mercy,  and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. All who are with me greet you.  Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Grace to you – because you can’t live today without it. And grace be with you as you get up and go live this day. Grace comes to you as you hear your Lord approach you in his word, and grace will be there today when you get there. The reason why we need the assurance of “grace be with you” is because if God has been gracious only in the past,  but will not be in the future,  Christians are of all people most to be pitied.  As precious as the bygone blessings of God may be,  if he leaves me only with the memory of those,  and not with the promise of more,  I will be undone.  From now to eternity will be lived by future grace, as John Piper taught this years ago in his book, “Future Grace.”

Grace be with you is God’s promise to give you what you need to keep on holding fast to Christ and his promises. This means that you will never come to a place in your pursuit of following Christ where you will say, “I’m good . . . I got it from here.”

Grace to you as you read the words of Christ, and grace be with you as you put his Word down and go about your day. Grace be with you as you deal with a sick child;  with you as you await words from the doctor; with you as you go to work and face a bully employer or a temperamental co-worker; with you in your unresolved pursuit of justice; with you as you muster courage to speak up for Christ over lunch; with you as you walk alone widowed; with you in the tribulations of life; with you in your next disappointment; with you as the world stands against your hope in Christ alone; with you in your trying marriage and parenting.

Grace is the undeserved affection of Christ to awaken our need of him – without which, we would still think that we’re good enough, strong enough, wise enough – to live independent of his grace.

Therefore, believe that grace awakens your understanding of your need of grace. If you can see that God’s grace is what explains everything that is right about your life, then it’s because grace came to you first. To know how needy you are of God’s grace is evidence that God has been gracious to you. Those who are in darkness can’t see their need for light, but if you do see your need for light then someone outside of you turned the switch on – inside of you: GRACE!

Now, also believe that all your tomorrows will be sustained by grace, a promise of future grace that will be there when you get there. It’s Jesus’ way of saying, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

 

 

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