Multiplied Peace (Part 6)

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: may grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:1-2 ESV).

There is never a time in the mountains in the eastern part of Yellowstone where there is not ice glaciers in the crevices. This is because these gorges are so deep and narrow that they are always in the shade. The ice simply doesn’t melt. We must capture a means of walking “in the shade.” That the next principle of multiplied grace and peace. The apostles tell us that prayer is the means of multiplied grace and peace. The unique thing about a spoken blessing is that it is bi-directional. It is addressed both to man and God. When we say, “The Lord bless you and keep you”, we are asking the Lord (vertically) to bless you (horizontally). So it is with Peter’s words, “May grace and peace be multiplied (by God) to you.” God is being addressed. And the church is being addressed.

And these words are not spoken in vain. Peter speaks them because he believes they matter. They are a means of bringing about what they aim at. They aim at more grace and more peace. So Peter believes that asking God to do this work will in fact be an instrument in bringing it about. It does; God answers prayer. We should believe that. Another means of multiplied grace and peace is the epistle these words introduce. It is astonishing that Paul begins every letter with some form of “grace be to you,” and ends every letter with some form of “grace be with you.” This pattern is unvarying. At the beginning the letter is about to be read. And in being read, grace and peace will come to us. The letter itself is the word of God. It will be the means of multiplying grace and peace to us. Then, at the end of the letter, Paul sees us leaving our encounter with the word and going out into the world, and he prays that grace go with us.

Peter confirms this understanding. In our reading, he says explicitly that grace and peace are going to come “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ.” “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (v. 2). In other words, not only am I praying for grace and peace to increase, I am writing a letter to give knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ as kindling for the fire of this increase. So, we come to the understanding that prayer involves both speaking to God and hearing from God. Hearing can only come through the Scripture. Discipline yourself to intentionally reading the Bible.