Beyond the Gospels: Thessalonians

Today’s Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18-28

The grace of our Lord be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5:28

Sometimes the strangest things catch my attention, today it’s the small word with in Paul’s final words to the Thessalonians in this first letter. A blessing asking for the Lord’s grace to be with them. When something catches my attention in His Word, I take it as a prompting to dig deeper.
What does it look like for the Lord’s grace to be with us?
I think most of us see ourselves basking in His grace and forgiveness, living a carefree life, knowing His grace for us. But looking into the original language, Greek, I find the word meta translated here as with. According to the Dictionary of Biblical Languages, it means: in the company of; a marker of association. So to get a clearer picture of the blessing Paul gives, we can rewrite the verse as:
The grace of our Lord be a marker of association of you.

His grace should mark us. To be associated with Jesus does not leave us the way He found us. People should be able to see and experience His grace through us.
We are not only to receive His grace, but just like Him, we are to be ready to pour out grace on others. If we are associated with Him, we will be fountains of grace.
How are you when it comes to pouring out grace? when you’re driving? with your family? when your feelings have been hurt? when you’ve been misunderstood? when you’ve been cheated? when you’re sick? when those around you are suffering?
Is His grace with you a marker of your association with Him? do others find grace in your company?
I believe the more we understand His grace and allow it to work in our lives, the more we are willing and able to pour out grace on others.
With. It’s what the grace of our Lord is to be to us. With us everywhere we go.
Lord, Your grace is not just for me to receive, but it is with me to pour out on others.
Make me a vessel of Your grace, a fountain overflowing grace!

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