MORE THAN NICE WORDS
2 John 3 NKJV
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
We have been accustomed to saying nice words when we greet people and when we leave them. Hey, so good to see you. It was great seeing you again. We need to get together more often. And there is nothing wrong with nice words. Being raised by two very southern parents from a different generation, I was taught social niceties. No problem there. It sure beats rudeness by a good margin. But here is the challenge: sometimes, when being socially nice, we say words that we really do not mean. These words work as a conversational lubricant, but they are not necessarily from our heart.
So, when reading the scriptures, we must not overlook the opening remarks of the authors. These are more than nice words. These are inspired words that, if we'll accept them, can enrich our lives.
So that being said, John's opening remarks in his very short letter are worth a closer look.
"Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ…" These three, grace, mercy, and peace, are three things from God we can use much more of in our lives.
Grace is a big word, especially for those of us in the new covenant, the relationship that we have with God through Jesus. Grace is more than simply God's unmerited favor in our lives. Grace is all God has done for us in Christ. By grace, we have been saved, but the grace does not stop there. In fact, Paul wrote the Ephesians that in the ages to come, God will show us the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness to us. There is still grace available to us for handling all of life. The Lord told Paul when he was struggling with some challenges that His grace, God's grace, was all he needed. God's grace is sufficient for whatever we are dealing with.
Mercy. Have mercy is more than a Southern gospel phrase. God's mercy is attached to His loving-kindness to us. We need His mercy when we come up short; when we miss the mark. When we sin and mess things up. Thankfully, God's mercy is huge, and according to Lamentations 3:22-23, God's mercy is new every morning. His mercy is renewed toward us. He does not run out.
Peace. The peace of God is priceless. One of the qualities of God that people long for. So many are pursuing alternate routes that supposedly lead to peace but wind up so disappointed. But Jesus said He gave us His peace (John 14:27). And regardless of how long you have been in relationship with the Lord, there is more peace available.
When John wrote this letter, he said that grace, mercy, and peace will be with you. And then he adds a caveat. In truth and love. So, in order to see more of these three wonderful benefits from the Lord, we must operate in truth and love. We need to stay in God's Word so we can know truth. And we must walk in the love of God towards our family in Christ.
There are books written about truth and love, so I can't cover those subjects in a short devotional, but here is a head start. Walk in what you know to be the truth of God and ask Him for greater insight into more of His truth for your life. Remember, it's the knowing and walking in truth that makes us free. And make a concerted effort to walk in love. The love of God is best outlined in 1 Corinthians 13.
As we walk in the light of God's truth and love, we better position ourselves to see more grace, mercy, and peace in our lives.
Thank You, Father, and thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your grace, mercy, and peace in my life. Help me to see and know how to walk in greater levels of truth and love.