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The Best for Last

The Best for Last

Words of Faith 9-16-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Philippians 4

[20] To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  [21] Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. [22] All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household.  [23] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

 

         Have you ever noticed that sometimes the very best things are said last?  You visit with an old friend, and you talk all evening about everything and nothing.  Then, at the very last, as you linger, you finally to say those things that come with a rush from the heart. 

         Even the "little things" we say like Goodbye or "Farewell" are like that.  They are casual, yet they have the deepest of meaning: "God be with you..." "May you fare well.”  The closing of Paul's letter is like that. 

         We almost miss it if we rush on to the next epistle.  As Paul put the finishing touches to the letter, Epaphroditus was near the door ready to hit the road.  I believe that what Paul said in these last lines came with a rush from his heart that we can feel even twenty centuries later.

        For all that has been said, argued, and even pleaded in this letter, may God be glorified in all things.  Tender greetings are sent.  Especially to those in Caesar's household. These must have been the most unusual and exciting of converts! 

        But it is the last line, the benediction, that really that sums up all that Paul has said.  "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."  

        It sounds like a fairly religious thing to say, but in fact, these words express the very heart of what Paul was about.  Paul's greatest wish, the cry of his soul, was for the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to be with your spirit.

         Why?  Grace is a most overwhelming, powerful, and exhilarating place.  You know that if ever you have been there.  Grace is a place at the foot of the cross, where we realize all that Jesus gave up and suffered on our behalf.  Grace is a place where we realize our utter helplessness to save ourselves.  Grace is a place where we are overwhelmed by our inability to do anything but receive His mercy and forgiveness.  Grace is a place where we can't try hard to get more.  Grace is a place where our judgmental attitudes toward others are tempered by our own enormous need that is met in Jesus Christ.

        When HIS grace is with our spirit, we don't necessarily have all the answers, but we have a much better set of questions.

       Most powerful, these eleven words are not really much of an ending, but they are a terrific beginning.  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit today-- Amen.

 

     Lord, I pray that all I do and say this day might bring glory and honor to You.  May Your grace so reside with my spirit that I may be a vessel of Your grace to those around me.  Clear aside any attitude that is not of You.  Aware of my own great need for Your grace, may I be more understanding of others and their need for You.  Amen.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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