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Paul’s letters: saturated with God’s grace

May 9, 2024

Daily Scripture

Romans 1:5-7, Philippians 1:2, Philemon 1:1-3

Romans 1
5 Through him we have received God’s grace and our appointment to be apostles. This was to bring all Gentiles to faithful obedience for his name’s sake. 6 You who are called by Jesus Christ are also included among these Gentiles.
7 To those in Rome who are dearly loved by God and called to be God’s people.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1
2 May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Philemon 1
1 From Paul, who is a prisoner for the cause of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy.
To Philemon our dearly loved coworker, 2 Apphia our sister, Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church that meets in your house.
3 May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

“[Paul] never recovered from the impact of grace: the word appears no later than the second sentence in every one of his letters. As Frederick Buechner says, ‘Grace is the best he can wish them because grace is the best he himself ever received.’” *

The Apostle Paul wrote 13 letters that became 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. He wrote about grace repeatedly. It appears dozens of times throughout his 13 letters. Paul had a typical way of opening and closing his letters, and it was always very similar to “May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (Philippians 2:1). Right next to many of the dozens of times Paul wrote grace, he also included peace. What could that mean for you today?

  • “[Paul] never recovered from the impact of grace: the word appears no later than the second sentence in every one of his letters.” * Grace changed Paul from persecuting and executing Christians to the faith’s greatest church planter. Grace brought together people groups (Jews and Gentiles) who otherwise hated each other (see Romans 1:5-7). In what ways has the power of God’s grace changed your life? Are there any instances from which you have “never recovered”?
  • The Greek word eirēnē meant peace. “Paul acknowledges that eirēnē is a direct derivative of…  “having been made right with God” (Romans 5:1)…. Perhaps this is why the noun appears in tandem with ‘grace’ in the introductions of his and other New Testament letters.” *** Grace leads to inner peace because God’s grace comes from his unending, never-failing love for you and those around you. How much peace do you have right now? Ask God to help you embrace his grace and increase your peace.


Lord Jesus, you are the ultimate source of grace and peace. Help me to embrace your grace and increase your peace in my heart, mind, and soul today. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher gave the class a project to create a binder with at least ten newspaper articles that had to do with national news. I turned in a binder with 76 articles. When asked to sell 25 coupon books for a high school band fundraiser, I sold 127. I’m not this way on everything, but when I get my mind behind something, I can be extremely determined to go above and beyond. This trait can be great when it comes to making your way through school or in the workforce. However, it’s not an ideal trait to have when it comes to faith and experiencing the goodness of God’s grace.

God often admires what humans don’t. God isn’t looking for those who are perfectly put together; he wants those who recognize that they are not. In his book The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning beautifully states this about grace: “Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and the weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.”

Let’s not fall into the trap of toxic perfectionism or do-good-to-feel-good. It’s not to say that we can’t do good or strive for the best, but those shouldn’t be what identifies us. If we are to fully experience the richness of the gospel, we must absorb it from a place of brokenness. We soak grace in and let it sink into every shattered space and dark nook and cranny we’ve been trying to hide. It’s only then that we realize the true power of grace to set us free.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Yancey, Philip. What’s So Amazing About Grace? Revised and Updated (p. 79). Zondervan. Kindle Edition, quoting from Frederick Buechner, The Longing for Home. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1996, p.175.
** William D. Mounce, general editor, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Zondervan, 2006, p. 503.
*** Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3, 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 John 3; Revelation 1:4