“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”[2 Corinthians 1:2]
In the Old Testament the priest spoke peace to the people. He said, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace” [Numbers 6:26]. Jesus told us that when we come to a person’s home we should speak a greeting of peace into that home [Luke 10:5-6]. We can understand why Paul would give a greeting of peace, but why grace, and especially when they are already saved by grace? Does grace mean more than simply salvation?
John Bevere’s organisation conducted a survey questioning thousands of born again, Bible believing, church-attending Christians about grace. The survey asked people to “give three or more definitions of the grace of God. He writes, “An overwhelming majority of the responders defined God’s grace as  salvation;  an unmerited gift; and  forgiveness of sins.” [“Relentless” by John Bevere, published 2011, page 26]. He goes on to say how sad it is that only 1.9% of those surveyed believed that “grace is God’s empowerment!
A few days ago my wife and I visited an old man of 95 years of age in hospital. He was very frail and struggling to speak, but managed to say to me a line from a poem by Annie Johnson Flint, “He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater.” He had grasped the truth that grace is for far more than salvation or forgiveness of sins.
In this epistle Paul writes words spoken by Jesus, “My grace is all you need, for My power is greatest when you are weak” [2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV]. Here God’s grace and empowerment is one and the same thing. Zondervan’s Encyclopedia of Bible Words states: “This grace is a dynamic force that does more than affect our standing with God by crediting us with righteousness. Grace affects our experience as well. Grace is marked always by God’s enabling work within us to overcome our helplessness.” Bevere defines grace as: “God’s free empowerment that gives us the ability to go beyond our natural ability” [“Relentless” page 29].
In Hebrews we are told to draw near to God’s throne in order to find grace to help in time of need [Hebrews 4:16]. We need grace to serve God acceptably [Hebrews 12:28]! Following a prayer meeting in the early church we read “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” [Acts 4:33]. It is therefore not surprising that Paul would begin his greeting with the word grace, because God’s grace enables us to face and overcome in every circumstance and situation! Whatever your need today God’s enabling and empowering grace is available to you.
If you have never really understood that God’s grace is available to help you in your weakness will you allow this message to change the way you think?
Read Hebrews 4:16. What does this verse mean and how does it apply to you? Give thanks to God for His grace that provides everything that you need!