Galatians 1:3: “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,”

March 9th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Paul opens his letter, as he does several others, with 2 words in a particular order: grace and then peace. Grace is always listed before peace because every person must experience the grace of God before they can grasp the peace of God. This was especially meaningful in this letter to the Galatians, because grace, the gospel of grace, was under attack in their church. False teachers were trying to bring them back under the law.

We know that no one deserves or merits heaven, as Scripture clearly says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But through the great exchange on the cross of Jesus’ life for ours, heaven has become attainable, not through works but through grace. The acrostic for G-R-A-C-E helps us to remember this truth: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Trying to earn salvation is a treadmill that many have tried to run on, but they always end up exasperated and discouraged. What we need is daily grace, a concept 19th-century evangelist D. L. Moody understood well:

A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, nor can he inhale sufficient air into his lungs with one breath to sustain life for a week to come. We are permitted to draw upon God’s store of grace from day to day as we need it.

This old story illustrates the difference between trying to attain salvation by keeping the law and the free salvation God gives to those who accept His salvation that comes to us by His grace.

A husband and wife didn’t really love each other. The man was very demanding, so much so that he prepared a list of rules and regulations for his wife to follow. He insisted that she read them over every day and obey them to the letter. Among other things, his “do’s and don’ts” indicated such details as what time she had to get up in the morning, when his breakfast should be served, and how the housework should be done. After several long years, the husband died. As time passed, the woman fell in love with another man, one who dearly loved her. Soon they were married. This husband did everything he could to make his new wife happy, continually showering her with tokens of his appreciation. One day as she was cleaning house, she found tucked away in a drawer a list of commands her first husband had drawn up for her. As she looked it over, it dawned on her that even though her present husband hadn’t given her any kind of list, she was doing everything her first husband’s list required anyway. She realized she was so devoted to this man that her deepest desire was to please him out of love, not obligation.

When we surrender to God’s grace, He puts within us the desire to please Him.

“LORD, please keep us constantly in Your grace throughout this day.”