Grace to You
To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.—2 Timothy 1:2
There are statements I repeat over and over again. For example, in my home, I make two statements frequently to my children; "I love you" and "Make good choices" are among the two. And I repeat these sayings because I want my children to remember them.
In the same way, Paul does this with Timothy. In this last letter, the last one he would ever write, he says some very consistent things to Timothy, who is his son in the faith. One such expression is, "Take courage." But sometimes we miss that Paul says something repeatedly without fail at the beginning and the close of every letter he ever wrote? Without fail he says "Grace to you" at the beginning, and "Grace with you" at the end.
Well, because he wants to beat it into our thick skulls. In our stubbornness, we tend to forget that it's grace that fuels our identity and relationships. That we both need grace and need to extend grace to others. We forget this all time when we live in fear, shame, and guilt. And we tend to forget this all the time when we are justifiably angry, irritated, and frustrated with others. Don't we?
You need to hear this today. Grace is what distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Grace is the power by which God accepts us and transforms us. And you need to both receive it and extend it. So today, remember this—Grace to you, and grace be with you.
ASK THIS: Do you need to receive God's grace or extend God's grace today?
DO THIS: Accept it or extend it, and do it right now.
PRAY THIS: God, I accept the fact that you love me despite my sin, and I receive your grace today for all my failures. But I also extend this grace to that person who needs it so that they may know your grace through me.
PLAY THIS: Unspoken. Call it Grace.
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