Embracing Grace: At One Again

A 365 Day Devotional Journal

Day 41

Scripture: Romans 8; John 17; Psalm 84:11; Proverbs 4:9; John 1:14; Matthew 10:28-30; Romans 5:1-2.

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar / CC BY-ND 2.0

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament states that peace, peaceable, and peaceably,

occurs in each of the books of the New Testament, save 1 John and save in Acts 7:26,  (1) 

 

where, instead of translating the Greek word, eirēnē [εἰρήνη], as a form of peace, the phrase, at one again, is instead used. Sound familiar? God is called “the God of peace” or the God of at one again. (And yesterday, we discussed that Jesus is called the “Prince of peace.”)

This word, peace (Strong’s 1515, eirēnē), is a gift made possible through the atonement of Jesus. Through Jesus alone is it possible to be made at one again in God.

This is what Jesus prayed for us in John 17:21-23 when he was in the garden before his arrest:

that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (2)

Prior to this prayer, Jesus told his disciples that He was leaving His peace with them as a gift and not to be troubled or afraid. When Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection and before his ascension, he greeted them with “Peace.” In both instances, I think He was saying more than just “do not fear,” but he was reminding them they were at one again with God. I liken it to Song of Solomon 7:10, “I am my beloved’s…” and John 10:28, “And I give them eternal life…”

When God came to live in me, when I was made at one again with God (a spiritual union not unlike marriage), it meant I will never again be alone. The God who was, who is, and who will be is always present in me as I walk in the Spirit.

Nearly every book in the New Testament, with the exception of the gospels, Acts, Hebrews, James, and Jude, have within their opening passages a salutation to the reader that includes the words grace and peace in some form, or grace, mercy and peace. It is not without purpose that these words were included.

Here is a listing of the variances used in this greeting… In Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galations, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and in 1 & 2 Thessalonians:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

In 1 & 2 Peters, first

Grace to you and peace be multiplied,

then

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

In John’s second letter:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

And in John’s greeting to the Seven Churches in Revelation:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne. (3)

 

Grace comes from the Greek root, charis. God has chosen me, accepted me, and given me His favor and continues imparting His nature to me as I walk in the Spirit. It is God’s grace which paves the way for me to step into oneness with Him (see yesterday’s diagram of walking in peace.)

When I was studying these passages, I was reminded of Psalm 84:11,

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (4)

In Proverbs 4:9, Solomon said of Wisdom that she will ornament your head with grace, a crown of glory. And finally, with John 1:14,

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (5)

As I walk in the Spirit, I radiate Christ. It is this crown of glory that witnesses to the world of the reality of God living in me, full of grace and truth. Peace is something we need to actuate no matter what is happening around us so that, whether we witness calamities in the world around us or are personally beset with them, we are at one again with God, at peace. This is what Jesus was getting at in Matthew 10:28-30:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (6)

When we yoke something, we are joining, coupling, or uniting two together. When we speak of earthly marriage, we refer to it as two uniting as one. Of physical union, it may be called coupling. The yoke Jesus is implying here is the being one again with God.

Hebrews speaks of this great cloud of witness who endured so much while seeing these last days from afar, yet they walked in faith and peace. With this great multitude of witnesses before us, we can take comfort that we, too, are not alone.

A choice is laid before us. Do we rest in God? Or, do we try to carry the future through our own strength? The temptation is great to shoulder such a burden. When we grab hold of this truth, when we roll our cares onto Jesus, nothing can happen that will overcome the peace of God in us, for in Him we are one.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (7)

We are only passing through. This isn’t our home.

Read: Romans 8; John 17:21-23; Psalm 84:11; Proverbs 4:9; John 1:14; Matthew 10:28-30; Romans 5:1-2. Journal your private thoughts.

Father God, thank you for making me at one again with You. I praise Your Name, for Your Mercy is new every morning. Great are Your works, Oh Lord, and that my soul knows very well! In Jesus’ name, amen.

_____________________

1Vine, W.E. “Peace, Peaceable, Peaceably.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Blue Letter Bible. 1940. 24 June, 1996. 17 Mar 2011.
2John 17:21-23. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
3Phrases quoted from New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
4Psalm 84:11. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
5John 1:14. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
6Matthew 10:28-30. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
7Romans 5:1-2. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com

Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise

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