I am currently studying the book of Philippians. The other day I noticed that I tend to just glance over the first couple verses of the epistles (books of the bibles that are letters). My unconscious logic was that the introductions are typically very similar… “my name, to your name, something spiritual that sounds good.” and my thought, to some degree, was, “yeah, yeah, how ya doing… lets get to the good stuff.”
As I glanced past it in normal fashion I was cut to my heart that I would regard any portion of God’s Word as mundane… I mean, if Jesus was sitting at the table with me I would undoubtedly hang on every word and syllable from his mouth… Yet, as I sit with Bible in hand, I indeed have Jesus sitting with me… speaking to me… So, I repented for my apathetic reading of scripture and took time to meditate on God’s word in verses 1 & 2 of Philippians:
1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I took my time to read this introduction I began to wonder about grace and peace. I looked up the greek words using studylight.org’s interlinear study bible. I was awe struck by their definitions:
Grace: the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
Peace: the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.
WOW, I thought… Is there anything more I could want or need in this life and grace and peace. See, the point is that to skim scripture lightly and not allow its depth and beauty to penetrate and transform your soul is to do a great injustice to yourself and to the Lord… Would you tell Jesus to “…just skip to the good stuff”… No, for indeed all His words are the good stuff. May we take the time to listen and be transformed.