Starting off on the Right Foot – Leading With Love and Peace
I find a great lesson in how Paul always starts off his letters. He always begins with a greeting of grace, peace, and love. He always starts off on the right foot, and in the right mindset. Even when he is delivering a message of correction, he does it seeking peace and love, doing his best to live a life worthy of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul is on a mission, and he has learned that when you walk in love of the Lord Jesus Christ it becomes much easier to deal with conflict and issues. Everything becomes much easier as God clears the path for you.
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“Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2
There is nothing more powerful than God. And if God is love, we can logically deduce that love is power. It’s probably the last thing you would intuitively expect. Many view people who are loving as soft, and weak. And while that might be true for some people, that is not what love is at all. Walking in God’s love means walking in the power and might and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father! Key distinction is that we are to walk in God’s love, not man’s definition of love. Man’s love is conditional, while God’s love is unconditional.
One of the best analogies that I have heard that helps tie this together for me is that Paul is the velvet covered brick. He’s not a soft, mushy, flimsy, or brittle material that can be easily crushed or destroyed. No, he is a brick at the core. He is just covered with velvet, that allows him to soften the blow when he corrects bad behavior. This is because he stands on the rock and cornerstone Jesus Christ that is power and love. And Paul delivers his message in this authority and power, but in love.
When we address issues in the spirit of love and peace, we are holding on to the power of Christ that is within us. We have all the armor and weapons that we need to succeed. But when we become disturbed, upset, and let the person drag us out of love, then we are giving up our power. We are allowing that person to strip us of our armor and our weapons and our power which is God in us. I know it’s easier said than done, because people can say hurtful things and poke at our flesh. And when they do, it hurts. But let us now give up our power and authority in Christ, and who is always faithful.
Let our first steps be love and peace today. And may we walk in the power and authority of God’s love and peace all throughout the day. I call you blessed.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. Fill us with all of your goodness and mercy, joy, peace, love, and understanding. Let your Holy Spirit flow in and through us today as we start off our days. Help us to turn to you in everything Father, and give us strength to fight off the enemy at the very first sign of trouble. Help us to not take off your power and authority Lord. Let your power and authority defeat the enemy so that he cannot get anywhere near us today. Bless our families and friends and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Draw them close to you. We thank you for everything that you have blessed us with, and give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalm 95; 2 Thessalonians 1
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-21
- “Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
- “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” – Deuteronomy 7:9
- “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22
- “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9
- “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
- “The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16