Grace And Peace

Power of God resting upon you comes from the grace of God sufficient for you.

Scripture: Colossians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 1:7


Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m so glad to be back with you for a few moments of sharing from the Word of God. What we try to do is to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself. God’s word is eternally true whether or not anyone reads or believes it, but it becomes of value to you and to me when we apply it to our lives. That’s what I call putting a handle on it.

I’ve just been praying that God would put His love and His blessing and His power even into my voice. The tone of a person’s voice makes a lot of difference, doesn’t it? And so, I want even my voice as well as my mind and heart to be filled with the blessing of the Spirit of God.

We’re looking at Colossians, you and I. We got into the second verse of chapter 1, “To the Saints and faithful brethren”, we were talking about faithful brethren. “Know to whom you belong, for whom you’re working, be loyal, know the job, do the job, finish the job, and give the credit to your Lord”. Faithful brethren, that’s brethren in Christ. He makes the difference.

Some people you would, humanly you’d pass them by, wouldn’t you? The body chemistry isn’t the same, the background, the culture, the personality mix is different and you would simply pass them by. You wouldn’t be eager, let us say, to work with them, but faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae. You see, somebody else belongs to Jesus and I belong to Jesus then we both belong to each other, and the sooner we realize that, the better we’re going to get along. Good idea, wouldn’t you say?

So he says, “Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ and the love you have to all the Saints and the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven”. “Grace”, he said, “and peace”. This is the typical benediction the Paul used in many of his letters.

There is indeed a reason for it, it was more than a habitual verbiage that he used while he was thinking what to say next. There is a reason for it, because the starting point of dealing with anything eternal has to be the grace of God. Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am”. He said, “By grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”. When Paul was up against some impossible situation which he prayed God would take away from him, as a matter fight God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee”. Paul spoke of the grace of giving. Peter spoke of the grace of suffering, and Paul spoke in second Corinthians 1 about living by grace.

We’ll stop there momentarily just to refresh your memory on it. He said, “Our rejoicing is the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and Godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we’ve had our lifestyle in the world, and more abundantly to you ward”. That is what it’s at.

You live by the grace of God. Have you learned that? When your life is full of the grace of God it’s going to be characterized by a clean conscience, the testimony of our conscience, it’s going to be characterized by simplicity and directness instead of being complex and devious, and it’s going to be characterized as well by Godly sincerity. People are not going to have to wonder what you mean when you say good morning.

Living by grace means a clean conscience, a simple and direct approach to life, and the sincere heart. So he says, “By the grace of God we’ve had our lifestyle in the world and more abundantly to you”. It all starts at Calvary where I kneel and acknowledge the fact that I’m a poor, guilty, lost sinner and I have no way of saving or forgiving myself, and I have to say just as I am, “Without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me and that Thou whilst come to Thee oh, lamb of God, I come”. Grace to you.

Now, there’s all sorts of passages of course that deal the grace of God. The grace of God isn’t given for selfish use, “Only use not this liberty as an occasion of the flesh”, says Paul. Gracious promise to the humble. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. Grace is a part of the normal, Godly growth as exhibited by our Lord Jesus. “The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, the grace of God was upon him. God’s grace is made perfect in human weaknesses”. This is one of the beautiful passages in Second Corinthians 12:9, “My strength”, says God, “is made perfect in your weakness”.

So, Paul says, “Most gladly, therefore will I rather glory in my infirmity, my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. Power and grace are placed there in parallel structure. Power of God resting upon you, comes from the grace of God sufficient for you.

You want to think about that in connection with your own setup? Your own life? Some of you are going through situations where you do need God’s grace. Oh, how you need His grace to comfort, to help, to strengthen, to sustain, to guide, to protect, to heal. You need His grace, and so in your human weakness you come and say, “Oh God, I can’t make it. I can’t cope. I can’t bear this burden. I can’t solve this problem. I can’t heal this gaping wound. Oh, give me your grace”, and at that point He does. It says, “My grace is sufficient for thee”. Then wonderfully, you begin to realize that the power of Christ is being made manifest in your life. He said, “All glory in my infirmity, my weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon me for when I’m weak, then by God’s grace”, he says, “I’m strong”.

So, you can be strong in grace. Paul says in second Timothy 2, “Thou therefore for my Son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”. The riches of God’s grace, the forgiveness of sins we have in Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace”.

In Ephesians 2 he says, “The purpose of God is that in the ages to come, He might show thee exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”. You, my friend, are going be God’s exhibit A, to show off to all the universe how kind God has been to hell deserving, lost sinners!-you that is and I have received God’s wonderful grace, and He’s going to show that off in the glory in the ages of eternity. “That in the ages to come He may show thee exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us”. Oh, that’s great, isn’t it?

Well now, he says, “Grace to you”. Have you ever prayed that other people may receive God’s grace? I don’t know that I’ve done that all that often. I pray in terms of particulars, if somebody is sick I pray for healing, if somebody’s broke I pray for his supply of need, and so on, but he says, “Grace to you”. This is invoking the grace of God upon other human beings.

There’s a lovely Christian group in the Cleveland, Ohio area, who’s standard greeting instead of saying hello, they’ll say, God’s peace be with you. It’s beautiful isn’t it? I like that-God’s peace be with you-and they speak lovingly of God’s peace and God’s grace in their greetings to one another. Oh, I like that!.

Give some thought, will you, to the matter of invoking the blessing of God by His grace upon other people. God listens to what you say, so that He can do what you say. Did you know that? Many of us have lives that are poverty-stricken and bare because we don’t really expect God to do much on our behalf, so we never say anything about it. There was a man years ago who was so much of a blessing to people. They said of him, “When Jim said, ‘God bless you’, God does it”.(laughs) That’s the way I want to be, beloved, I’ll tell you, I really do. “When Jim said, ‘God bless you’, God does it”.

Oh, to be so full of God’s blessed Holy Spirit, so full of His Word and so full of His grace that you spillover all of that to other people, and you invoke the grace and peace of God upon other lives, and God listens as you do it and He pours out a blessing upon other people. You think about that will you?

Now, you don’t have to go around being religiously officious and say, “My brother, may the grace of God be…..”, well come on! You don’t have to be officious. Don’t mistake religiosity for blessing. The two are oftentimes quite different, but it is a very, very wonderful thing to say lovingly and sincerely, “May God bless you with His grace and peace today, my brother”. God listens and He pours out a blessing upon that other life. You try that alright? Grace and peace.

Well, when he speaks about peace of course, that immediately brings up in our thinking all the different angles of truth that we have learned in reading God’s Word. There’s the peace that comes when the war is over, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

There’s the peace that comes from being occupied with God’s Word, “Great peace have they that love Thy law and nothing shall offend them”. There’s the peace that comes from concentration on God, rather than on things, “Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee”. There’s the peace that comes from praying about everything, “Be care filled for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

God’s wonderful peace and then there’s the peace that comes through realizing His Presence, “Peace I leave with you, My peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you”. And the blessed Holy Spirit, whose other name is the Comforter, Greek word parakletos which means one called alongside to help.
The blessed Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of that promise and so the very presence of our living Lord is real in our lives to give us inner, undisturbable, unflappable peace. The peace of God. Do you know anything about that?

Well, I’ll tell you dear friend, the starting point is to get on your knees and invite God into the various areas of your life, “Everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. Everything in His hands. “Bringing every thought”, says Paul, “into captivity to the obedience of Christ”, and when you do that, you’ll find that He pours out His wonderful peace in your life. You don’t worry very well after you’ve prayed and committed something to God. God cures worry if you’ll pray and commit it to Him and He gives you His peace instead. That’s where it starts.

Dear Father today, may Thy grace and Thy peace be real in our lives and may it spillover into other people’s needy hearts, I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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