Multiplied Peace (Part 4)

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV). When we were looking at the Yellowstone River running through the gorge from a height of 8,000 feet it was easy to be overwhelmed with the thought of its power. I also was impressed with the comparison to life. Real life in a fallen world is a river. You go upstream with growth, or you go downstream. There’s no standing still. Our reading today is very important to our understanding of how we may navigate this powerful surge in life. Our anchor is not straight down. It’s in heaven (v. 19). It is always located at the headwaters; and, it is pulling us in. The third principle we see from both Paul and Peter is that there is always more grace and peace to be enjoyed. Paul and Peter never assume your present experience of grace and peace cannot or should not be increased. They assume the opposite. They do not say, or imply, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you, unless you have all there is to have.” You never have all there is to have. That’s why each of their letters begins with a prayer for them to have grace and peace. All of us always need more grace and more peace. John Piper says: “Every day, we need new measures of grace and peace for new moments.” Since Paul doesn’t use a verb (“grace to you and peace”), you might try to water down his meaning to something like: “I pray you are now enjoying grace and peace.” No increase implied. However, this approach will not yield any truthful application. The word “to you” implies movement. Grace and peace are on the way; and, more is coming. With Peter, there is no doubt what he means. He makes it explicit with a verb. The word “be multiplied” means “be increased,” “be more,” “be expanded.” He assumes we need more grace and peace. And we do. In this life we will never be able to say, “I have arrived. I have all the grace and peace I can use.” We simply don’t. If there is more coming, you can have more. And you need more. The Christian life is not static. It is movement. We are growing in grace and peace, or we are going backward. Don’t be swept...

read more