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A New Person at Work

Ephesians 6:23-24
Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (NIVUK)

Do you want peace, love, faith and grace?  At the end of this letter, Paul announces that they are freely available to every believer in Jesus.  Only one condition is needed to receive them - love for the Lord.  This closing benediction is a message from Father God and Jesus Christ to the Christians in Ephesus; and we need it too!  And not just us; we should know how to announce God's blessings to other people.  The warehouse storeman knows how to locate and supply component parts or completed products; the pharmacy dispenser knows how to give out prescribed drugs.  Of course, we do not 'own' God's gifts, nor can we create them ourselves.  But God wants to give them out and we have a responsibility to follow the apostolic teaching by letting people know that they are freely available.

Peace, in the New Testament, primarily describes the end of a war.  It is the result of stopping fighting against God; surrendering ourselves to His love and mercy (Romans 5:1).  That is how we become Christians in the first place, and every time we remember that God is not angry with us anymore because Jesus has taken the shame and blame of our sin - we are right to feel peaceful.

God is love and all love flows from Him.  Love is best described as appropriate-giving without any thought of repayment.  That is what God did in sending Jesus to die to take the punishment for our sins (John 3:16).  Every time we remember that we are loved that much, we feel loved (1 John 3:1).  Faith is believing all that Christ has done for us.  But unless God opens our eyes to the truth, we cannot believe.  So we need to receive His gift of faith and not presume we can work it all out for ourselves.

All this depends on God's grace - His nature of freely giving what we do not deserve and can never repay.  All we need to do is to accept the truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and then to receive every blessing that follows (Romans 8:32).  Doing so, is the mark that we depend totally on God and are willing to receive whatever He shall send.  That is not usual business practice, in a world where dog eats dog - but that is why the person who receives all this from the Lord can live a radically different life at work: peaceable, loving and giving, full of faith and able to be faithful, grace-dependant and therefore able to be gracious.  May the same Lord bless you today, at work, at home, in the community and in the fellowship of the church.

Dear Lord. Thank You for all the examples of godly living that I read in the Bible. Forgive me for not receiving all You are offering to me, preferring my anxiety to Your peace. Help me to learn from godly people around me at church and at work, so that I can be a living example of Your grace to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams