Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Titus 1:4
Paul starts thirteen of his letters with ‘grace and peace’. It’s something I’ve been guilty of reading casually on my way to the ‘real message,’ thinking it was a lightweight greeting. I was wrong.
Paul was reciting part of the original Aaronic blessing. It came straight from God’s own heart. It transcended the period of the Old Testament and entered the Church Age. It transcended a blessing over the Jewish people to include all Gentiles who placed their faith in Christ. Today, it transcends the circumstances of our lives to bring us what we need most —- the graciousness of our Father and an otherworldly peace that cannot be explained.
Can you hear the words of this Aaronic blessing spoken over you? Stop where you are right now, close your eyes, raise your hands, and open your heart to this deeply personal and heartwarming sentiment.
“May the Lord be gracious to you, lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
Oh, to be so blessed. Don’t you know Titus benefitted from these words from Paul. Titus needed to remember the kindness of God towards him as he prepared to deliver words of correction to his hometown people of Crete. He needed to be in touch with the peace of God as he prepared to deal with contentious people who would not welcome the truth. Externally, he would enter a spiritual war zone, but internally, he would center his thoughts on the kindness and peace God offers ~ expressed toward him through Christ and again, through Paul.
Are you feeling the effects of this application? I am. Never have we lived in more of a war zone. People are unhinged and it doesn’t take much to set them off. Is it possible for you and I to live in the fray with a spirit that is unruffled? Titus and Paul would assure us that we can.
I’m taking stock as I start my day. How have I experienced the kindness of God? In what specific ways might I ask God to express His kindness today?
And how have I experienced an otherworldly peace when it couldn’t be explained against the backdrop of my crushing circumstances? Where do I need to experience God’s peace today? I can ask my kind and gracious Father for both.
I close with this blessing over you. Grace and peace be with you.
Lord, remind me that I don’t need to approach you in suits of armor. I can expose my soft side. Amen