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The Peace-making Father

Philemon 1:3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

This is Paul's usual written greeting. But, unlike many social pleasantries (in England we ask, "How do you do?" but nobody expects an honest answer!) it really means something. Paul knew that only the grace of God can bring peace. That is the gospel message for which he was in prison, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. It was also his personal testimony for he admitted he was the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). If Jesus could save Paul, He can save anybody! Nobody can have peace with God any other way.

The Apostle was writing to Philemon, pleading for him to forgive his repentant run-away slave Onesimus who had become a Christian. But Paul knows that a righteous outcome was only possible through God's grace working in everybody involved. He desired that the Holy Spirit would be active in each believer, assuring them of God's favour, and bringing peacefulness to those who trust in Jesus. That was Paul's pastoral practice (Philippians 4:2-9).

Dealing with sin is never easy. But for the believer, the biggest battle against sin has already been fought and won by Jesus on the cross. All the other battles need to be approached in the security which comes from the peace of God. After that the armour of God is there to defend us, and the Word of God is able to attack lies (Ephesians 6:10-18). Today, whatever you face, if your faith is in Jesus Christ then you must trust Him to reveal His graciousness and keep you in His peace. There is no other way to go forward.

Gracious and peace-bringing God. Thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, enabling me to come to You without fear, and with great confidence. I am sorry when I have sought any other peace for my heart. Please help me to remain secure in Your grace and not to run away from the spiritual battles which You allow me to face. Help me to trust in Your kindness and goodness, as well as Your saving power; so that I can be a good ambassador of Jesus Christ in my workplace as well as my church. In His Name. Amen
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© Dr Paul Adams