Paul always puts grace and peace together. Every one of his letters opens with “grace and peace.” The only exceptions are his two personal letters to Timothy where he says “grace, mercy and peace.”
In his letter to the Colossians we get a clue to why this is, when he writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Let me start at the end of the verse. The word “thankful” is the Greek word euchristos. It’s where we get our word Eucharist (or Communion). The root word (charizomai) means to (a) live gracefully, (b) forgive gracefully, (c) rescue gracefully, (d) restore gracefully. That’s just how Jesus—the Prince of Peace—lived on earth, and that’s what His broken body and spilled blood purchased for us: peace with God.
So a thankful Christian is a peaceful Christian. Or another way of saying this: a Christian’s peace-fullness comes from thank-fullness.
When we “let the peace of Christ rule” in our heats, it’s because we understand what His grace has purchased for us. And we want others to know this grace and peace as well!
- Peacefulness is contagious—a peace-full person has plenty of peace to share.
- Peacefulness is unifying—fear makes people run away, but peace brings them close to God and close to each other (Luke 2:14; John 14:27).
- Peacefulness promotes worship—we don’t worship what we fear, but we worship what we are drawn to (Luke 19:38; Hebrews 10:22).
- Peacefulness signals victory—the absence of conflict is peace (Romans 16:20).
If you don’t have peace in your life, can I suggest that you might want to start by looking at your thank-fulness level. When you are thankful for what the Prince of Peace did on the Cross for you, it’s so much easier to become thankful for all the other blessings that He gives as well. This thank-fullness will raise your level of peace-fullness!
On Sunday we are going to continue to look at the power and beauty of grace-filled gratitude. Please join us!