Even Something Tiny … Counts!

After our guests departed from Micah’s graduation party, Micah shared, “Now, my friends know where I get my enthusiasm from, Mom.”

I thought about that assessment a bit and smiled. I take my enthusiasm as a compliment.

I am an enthusiastic person – especially when I am celebrating the life and recent achievements of our son Micah and his graduation from high school. It’s a big deal!

Yet, there is another part of my life that generates enthusiasm and excitement too. I can’t help myself. When I discover a life-giving truth or life-affirming insight in Scripture, I literally – no joke – bounce off my chair! My heart leaps within my chest and my soul sings. I love these kinds of moments.

Really.

No exaggeration.

The word of God inspires my enthusiasm and gives me joy, joy, joy!

So, without further ado, let me share with you what I am so enthusiastic and excited about:

Paul, Silas, and Timothy

To the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you.

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Do you know which word caught my attention?

It’s probably not the word you think.

Was it grace?

No.

Was it peace?

No.

Was it God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ?

Nope.

How about Paul, Silas, or Timothy?

No. No. And no.

Well, what other parts of speech are left?

There are just some prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, and a demonstrative adjective that remain in these sentences.  These words, surely, garner little notice. Unless we pay attention to their usage, placement, and purpose, such words pass before our eyes with little fanfare and certainly without enthusiasm. That’s really okay for the most part. These words support transition and structure and help our sentences make sense in the English language.

However, when my eyes paused and focused upon the word ‘in’ this is when my ‘aha moment’ came.

Let’s read it again:

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

The Greek transliterated word for in is en. En means to be inside, within, and that something is at work and operating from the inside. I love that! What Paul is saying to the church in Thessalonica is that they are in God the Father. They are inside of the Lord Jesus Christ. They at work and operating from within God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a big deal!

When we understand that we are in with God – we don’t need to feel abandoned, left out, or alone in any circumstance or situation we experience in life. Even the insignificant count!

When we are in with God, we have His grace and His peace.

Like I said, this is a big deal! Grace comes from the Greek transliterated word charis. Charis is the Lord’s favor and kindness. In fact, charis may be described as the Lord leaning toward us to bestow his grace, favor, and care in our lives. And peace? Peace comes from the Greek word eiréné. Eiréné means peace of mind, to join together, and to make whole. Imagine it: this peace is God’s gift of wholeness to us – especially in times when our lives feel so disjointed and broken. The Lord’s peace makes us whole again.

So, let’s make this even more meaningful. I have many friends who are experiencing a variety of challenges that are beyond comprehension. Life is just plain hard. They need to know that they are in with God and His Son Jesus Christ and they need the gift of peace and grace. Like the Thessalonian church that was experiencing a number of challenges and needed to know that their God and Savior was with them, my friends do as well.

We need to know that regardless of circumstance, are we in with God when tough times come.

If I were to write some letters to my friends like Paul did to the Thessalonians, here is how I might begin my letters:

To the one whose child is straying from his family and their faith in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who is struggling with alcohol addiction in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one whose grandson is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who has been denied his retirement pension in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who lost both his wife and his son in two separate, unrelated events in the course of four days in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who struggles with depression in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who is on non-speaking terms with their family in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one whose son is deployed in lands unknown in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who lost a baby in miscarriage in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who failed his first year in college in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one who has been unemployed for months on end in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one whose parent struggles with dementia in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

To the one whose life is filled with an unspoken sorrow in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

Friends, in such times, we need to know that we are in with God and that He is leaning towards us in kindness, with favor, and with peace.

It is the Father’s all-encompassing peace which has the Divine power to bring us to wholeness again.

Friends, this is why I am encouraged and lean so much upon the Word of God. A seemingly insignificant word like ‘in’, invokes power, strength, and presence because of its location and relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you get that?

Because of our location and relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we may receive the grace and peace of Christ we so desperately need in difficult, difficult times.

No matter the time, situation, or circumstance, the Lord is present. We are in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and there is grace and peace available to us – here and now.

Are you encouraged by this truth?

Are you in?

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and turned to Him for every part of your life and breath? If yes, then, of course, you’re in!

Or would you like to receive the grace and peace of Jesus Christ and experience wholeness? Doesn’t that sound life-giving and good? If yes, write me and let’s begin a conversation!

Like I shared, I am so excited by what a little word like ‘in’ showed me today. I hope you are, too!

2 thoughts on “Even Something Tiny … Counts!

  1. Great thoughts and great encouragement!

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