March 19, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”—Philippians 4:21–23 (NIV)
Closing arguments always matter the most in a court setting. It gives the lawyers the opportunity to remind the jury of the facts and the most important information of the case so they can make the right decision. Paul does something similar here at the close of his letter to the church of Philippi. He makes a point to emphasize brotherhood and the grace of God. This makes a lot of sense, because who better to speak on receiving the grace of God than a Christian hunter turned foundational spiritual leader?
What can we learn from Paul here? To always emphasize grace. We’re listening to a man who had his life radically transformed by grace and he clearly wants the same for others. Paul’s life mission just a few years before this was to hunt and kill Christians who were following and preaching the gospel. Then, because God decided to give Paul the gift of His grace, his life was radically transformed and he became new. God’s grace is a gift to all of us—and it is freely given, so we also are called to give it freely! Paul is reminding us that we have the opportunity to grow in spiritual strength and have our lives changed not because of our own human accomplishments, but because of the true source of grace in our lives through Jesus.
How can this transform how we live our lives? To emphasize grace is to put others before ourselves. This doesn’t mean handing out a free pass to someone who is unwilling to accept accountability or repent, but it means we are able to grow better together by not holding wrongdoings and mess-ups over the heads of our brothers and sisters. Living a grace-filled life is to live a life rooted in humility. You wouldn’t want your mistakes to define the trajectory of your life if you were repentant and seeking to change, would you?
Emphasizing grace always can change not only your life but the lives of those around you. By emphasizing grace in your workplace, you create a trust-filled environment. By raising your children with grace, you’re teaching them compassion and setting a Christ-like example for them as they hopefully follow in your footsteps. So, friends, follow God and Paul’s example and offer grace as freely as it has been given to you.
Pause: When was the last time you were in a situation where you didn’t show grace, but should have? If you could go back and change how you approached it, how would you do it differently?
Practice: The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been hurt or have the power to give grace, do so! You’d be shocked at how it can change a relationship.
Pray: Lord, thank You for Your never-ending grace. It’s not through my own works, but Your grace that I am able to be on this journey of sanctification. Please fill me with a grace-filled spirit so I may walk through life giving grace as freely as You give. Amen.
Kristen Hollis has served in the Communications Team of Calvary since 2020 as a Senior Copywriter and Editor. She contributes and edits content for Calvary’s digital and promotional initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kristen and her husband Zachary enjoy all things musical theatre, vinyl hunting, and having the opportunity to serve Calvary on staff while utilizing their talents.