The New Testament in 40 Days
Over the past two months, we’ve been reading through the entire New Testament. This week, I wrap up my last devotional with a quick thought from two books written by the Apostle Peter.
Today, as a staff, we talked about the immense value it has been as a church to read the entire New Testament. Our eyes have been opened to new things, we’ve been challenged with hard sayings, and we’ve wrestled through difficult passages.
I hope you joined us in the process. If were late to learn about this or fell off along the way, I encourage you to finish it over the next couple of months. It is a lot of reading, and some of it is hard to understand, but it is also the Word of God.
His Word contains both life and power for your journey. Don’t miss out!
More and more and more and…
Have you ever found yourself watching a movie and realized you’ve completely missed an important element from early on? You started the movie, but weren’t fully engaged until later, and now you can’t quite put all the pieces together.
Maybe you’ve experienced this reading a novel. So many names and places are being mentioned, you can’t keep them all together. You don’t have context to know where they all fit…so you discount them.
Sometimes I find myself doing this when reading one of Peter or Paul’s letters to the churches around the world (called an epistle). I blow off the first couple of paragraphs. After all, it’s all just introductory remarks…right?
Then I remember it’s God’s Word. It’s all inspired. It all has value.
I had that experience reading 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Normally, I would have missed this small but powerful line, but luckily, I caught it this time around.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance. -1 Peter 1:2c
It’s so important, Peter repeats this same line in the opening of his next letter to these friends.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. -2 Peter 1:2
This is a blessing of sorts. Peter is speaking three things over us the readers, but first let me give you a little context.
Peter is one of the twelve disciples, chosen by Jesus to lead the fledgling church in His absence. At the point Peter writes these two letters, he is leading the church from Rome. The group he writes to is struggling with intense persecution for believing in Jesus. They also are reeling from false teaching within in their churches.
Into their world Peter speaks these words of encouragement – “Grace and peace be your in abundance.”
Grace is unmerited favor. We don’t deserve it, but God gives it to us anyway. We are saved by God’s grace, and we are also given grace in times of heartache or difficulty. Peter speaks this over the church and you.
Are you dealing with pain, suffering, hardship or frustration? Grace to you.
Are you receiving hurtful words or actions for trusting in Jesus? Grace to you.
Peace comes from the Jewish word “shalom” which means wholeness or right relationship. Peter blessed his readers with a life of wholeness – spirit, mind, body and soul – with God. This comes by a right relationship with God through Jesus.
When we have peace with God, we find peace of mind.
Are you struggling with fear or anxiety? Peace to you.
The New Living Translation replaces the word with abundance with the words “more and more”. Abundance means it just keeps coming – more and more and more and…
Peter prays more and more grace and peace in our lives.
It’s never ending. You may not need it today, but tomorrow you will – grace and peace in abundance to you. Your need may increase from a lot today to even more tomorrow. More and more grace and peace to you!
Grace and Peace to you Mom & Dad
As a parent, I bless you with grace and peace in abundance. May you have more and more unmerited favor and wholeness of mind during the good, difficult and hard times with your family.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.