“To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord”. 1 Timothy 1:2
While reading the letters that the apostle Paul wrote, I noticed that almost every letter he wrote began with those words; “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the letters written to Timothy, and to Titus, he includes grace, mercy and peace.
Like many of you, I have read these books written by Paul, dozens of times, and always seemed to overlook the opening greeting, as if it were not that important.
What jumps out at me, is the way Paul says these words. It is bold, and up front, like he was an emissary of God, coming to the people, as if he had just come from God himself. Kind of like an ambassador, proclaiming the heart of the kingdom represented.
I get this picture in my mind of a rider on a horse, riding feverishly through the night, with a message of hope for those in distress; perhaps soldiers, weary from battle, which may need some encouragement.
The rider dismounts, and comes to the people, and the first words out of his mouth are; Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from your King! How very refreshing and encouraging to hear.
Paul gives us that kind of feeling when he begins his letters, regardless of the content of the letter, he set us as ease, with the reassurance that he has just come from God himself, and God has given a message to His people, “Grace, Mercy, and Peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul chose these words, because he himself was the recipient of them. Paul was a persecutor of the church. He actually chased down Christians, and standing by as they were put to death.
He was actively destroying the very church that Jesus was trying to build. Paul was on a mission to destroy, what he thought was an abomination to God.
Paul knew that he deserved death for what he had done; no question about it; standing by, as saints like Stephen were being, stoned to death, cheering the crowd.
Paul knew that he was an enemy of God, but now, through God’s grace and mercy, he found peace; joy inexpressible! How could he contain it?
Paul was able to express this in almost every letter he wrote, because it was what he received, and it was so valuable to him. He wanted to express it every time he wrote.
Like Paul, you and I received Grace, Mercy, and Peace from God too, and like Paul, we have the authority to declare it to others as well.
So the next time you enter a room with your brothers and sisters in Christ be bold, and with confidence declare, Grace, Peace and Mercy to you from God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord!