This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Pastoral Reflections on Philippians

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”
Philippians 1:1-2

How awesome is our God that his love and our position in him never changes regardless of how we “feel” or our lack of faith. We can be so down in spirit due to our estimation of ourselves but we are evaluating ourselves wrongly. We should be evaluating our wonderful Lord and his promises and our position in him. That brings us to a right understanding of ourselves. We are as much his in our weakest faith as we are when our faith is strong. We are as valuable to the Lord when our faith is as small as a mustard seed as when our faith is as large as a mountain.  We are as precious to him in our sickness of body or mind, as when we are in fitness and health. What incredible encouragement to our hearts that we are precious to the Lord in every circumstance in life. A verse of praise from my life to reflect this truth:  

Though weak with fear at what the day brings
My mind filled with doubts for my life
I read of my Saviour who loves me the same 
If I fail and crumble through strife.

My days can be dark and my faith so weak 
My head bowed low in my heart
But my saviour he loves me always the same
And he has done from eternity past. 

Whether my faith is strong or struggling to live
Or my life filled with ups and downs
My Saviour he loves me for I am his 
And in Christ is where I am found. 

My life is not valued on how I feel 
Or on victories or unreached goals 
But on the price He has paid for me 
Which is the same for every soul. 

I am his and he is mine
His death, it secured my soul
His love for me will never be stopped 
And in him, I am made whole

Paul, in writing to the Philippian church, opens his letter with the greatest of blessings to be granted from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater gift than the grace and peace of God. Grace is the river of blessing that flows from God that has all the blessings of God in it. Grace is like a delivery train from God to the world carrying every gift from God.  One cannot define God’s grace without describing what it brings. It is by God’s grace that we are offered salvation in Christ; by his grace we are called; by his grace that we receive the Holy Spirit; by his grace we grow in faith and truth; by his grace we live and breathe; by his grace we worship with understanding; by his grace we enjoy eternal and never failing salvation. There is nothing that we receive from God that does not come by his overflowing river of grace. Grace and peace are what the Spirit of God inspired Paul to write to the believers for it was exactly what they needed. Amidst the chaos of division the church people were facing, the peace of God in their hearts and Christ-honouring relationships are what was lacking. 

Now Paul is the one God uses to bring that grace and peace. He writes them the word of God. What grace and what peace God’s word affords.  It stills the heart, it rests the mind, it deletes our doubts, it infuses hope, it brings unity with others; it increases our knowledge; it gives us understanding, it is a light to our feet and a lamp to our path, it keeps us from sin; it sets us apart from the world, it sanctifies us; it changes us to be like Christ and it gives us peace. There is no peace outside the grace of God.  

So today, to you dear reader, may the grace and peace of God be yours today in overflowing abundance. May you experience the reality and richness of living, swimming, and bathing in the grace of God today. So much so that you will know deeply the peace of God amidst your own trials and issues that you face today. 

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