Grace to You
Bible Reading: Colossians 1:1-8
Colossians 1:1-2, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brothers[a] in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”
The story is told of a poor European family which saved for years to buy tickets to sail for America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey. After three days, the boy complained to his father, “I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don’t eat anything else before we get to America, I’m going to die.” Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship’s galley and buy an ice-cream cone. When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked, “Where were you?” “In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!” “All that for a nickel?” “Oh, no, the food is free,” the boy replied. “It comes with the ticket.”
The young church at Colossae was infiltrated by heretical teaching which diminished the truth of the sufficiency of Christ. The so-called Colossian heresy included elements of worldly philosophy, legalism, mysticism, and asceticism. In every sense it amounted to a depreciation of Christ in both His nature and work. Paul’s main purpose was to refute the heresy, so the book of Colossians speaks both to the preeminence of Christ and His sufficiency. God has graciously provisioned unto us, in Christ, everything we need for life and godliness. We are complete in Him.
As there is no inadequacy in any respect in anything that God has ever done, or will do, so we as believers have been fully provided for by God in Christ. The greeting of the epistle is rooted in this reality. How do you greet others? What do you say? Paul was in the habit of drawing attention to God’s grace and peace provisioned to us in Christ – ”Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”
We understand the role of grace in our salvation, for salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Unmerited favor is bestowed by God, who is rich in grace, at the moment of saving faith. Yet that experience is but a mere “introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2). As we proceed on our Christian journey, we come to realize better the full majesty and necessity of the grace which God “has lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:8). It is as Steve Green once wrote, “Surely we’ll find what grace is for as we sail to heaven’s shore!”
God’s grace is as an inexhaustible supply, a literal boundless ocean of grace! So was Paul’s thinking as he wrote thus to those dear readers! What would prevent any of us from better appreciating God’s provision to us in Christ? To be filled up with something, we must first be emptied. God gives grace to the humble. He sits on a throne of grace and gladly draws from His storehouse to meet the needs of those who humbly beseech His blessings in prayer (Hebrews 4:16)!
Charles Spurgeon has commented on this, “Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you . In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.”
HE GIVETH MORE GRACE
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.