Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Those are pretty remarkable words, don’t you think?
“Do you want the God of peace to be with you? Do what you have learned, heard, and seen in me.”
I don’t know that I would have the confidence to say that. And yet, perhaps the greatest lesson Paul taught the Philippians and all the other churches he ministered to was living by grace.
To not feel the pressure of performing in order to be approved by God. Rather, being fully confident that Christ had already made him righteous in God’s eyes. (3:2-9)
To live rejoicing each day in the grace he had received. Not only in the grace of the cross, but in the grace to live each day, whether facing plenty or hunger, abundance and need. (4:12-13)
And because of the grace he had received, he was willing to pour it out on those around him, even when they didn’t “measure up” to his expectations, disagreed with him, or were even downright hostile to him. (1:15-17)
Was Paul perfect in living by grace? Probably not. He had problems showing grace to Mark earlier in his ministry (Acts 15:37-39).
But he learned (II Timothy 4:11).
And he continued to learn to live by grace each day. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
May we all live lives marked by that same grace.
And may others see the grace that marks our lives and seek to know that grace as well.
If we do, truly the God of peace will be with us all.