Monday, July 24, 2023
We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Jesus made clear that life wouldn't be easy for us as His disciples:
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." 
Jesus wants us to find our peace in Him — what He did for us and what His victory over sin, death, and hell means for us. He doesn't sugarcoat the challenges we will face as His followers. If God's enemies did ugly, horrible, and abusive things to the Lord, he warned us that those things will likely be part of our lives as His disciples, too. 
Despite the hardships and persecutions, Paul challenged us as Jesus' disciples to shine like stars in the darkness of the world around us.  Peter said that even when we are abused, persecuted, or martyred, we are to live with goodness and godliness so others can see our way of life and be drawn to Jesus.  We should be prepared, always, to share the reason for our hope in Christ. 
How were they to find peace in such a troubled world? Only God can give that kind of peace through His Holy Spirit. When Paul wrote to these believers, he began his letter to the Colossians with the common words he often used for greeting other believers — grace and peace. However, this was far more than a throwaway, polite, and expected line at the beginning of a letter for Paul. Grace was the foundational work of Jesus given through Jesus' incarnation in human flesh, death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead.  Shalom (peace) was the resulting peace and wholeness in life that is rooted in the presence of God within them.  Paul's greeting was as much a prayer for them as it was a greeting to them.
If Paul gave this prayer greeting to these early believers, shouldn't we be blessing each other with grace and peace? Shouldn't our prayers be praying similar things for each other? Let's remind each other where we can find God's blessing: His grace and peace!
Father, please hear my prayer for grace and peace for my brothers and sisters in Christ, as I use the words of Paul to pray:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.*
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.^ Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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