“To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:1
Scripture reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Although Paul’s prayer for blessing includes a request of God’s grace upon all earthly needs, it is first of all a prayer for God’s blessing in the spiritual realm. All that God gives, spiritually and materially, is of grace. The Thessalonians had not deserved such blessings, but they had received them as consequence of Christ’s obedient life and sacrificial death in their stead. That is still true for us today. Everything given us by God is a gift of grace. All we have deserved is eternal destruction, yet what we experience is the heavenly goodness of God.
Along with grace, Paul also pronounces peace upon the members of the congregation. That is also an amazing gift of God’s grace. You will remember the tragedy of the fall in Paradise when man set himself against God, but God, in love, grace and mercy, sent the Prince of Peace to earth to bring about reconciliation between God and man and also among men themselves. God’s frowning face is changed to a smiling face of God’s providence and love for His people.
The peace that we now experience is a consequence of belonging to Christ and it has only a small beginning on this earth. It will culminate in an eternal peace in heavenly glory. God the Father is the source of all good and Christ has achieved that peace for His church on Golgotha.
Suggestions for Prayer: Give thanks to God for all of your spiritual and material blessings. Ask him for the peace that passes all understanding in your own heart.
Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.