by Pearson Johnson, Director of Student Care and Discipleship
Books, supplies, roommates, COFFEE, snacks, syllabi, and enough cash for a few weeks. Ready to start another semester here at BJU? Not quite. We all realize, whether students, faculty or staff, that we need more than just the material things that supply our needs. We need much more from God, and I want to encourage us to meditate on two resources we have been given and will be given which meet our deepest needs for the coming semester: grace and peace.
Paul begins most of his Epistles with some form of a simple greeting: "Grace to you, and peace" (Eph 1:2, cf. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2 etc.). What does he mean by greeting us with the words "grace and peace," and how can that affect our outlook on a new semester?
Bryan Chapell defines Grace as "the compassionate and prevailing power of God on behalf of His people," while D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones described grace as God's "beneficent kindness and condescending love." God looks on our weaknesses, our circumstances, our stresses and pressures and He responds with compassionate, loving, undeserved grace. This grace empowers us and enables us to meet the circumstances of life with dependent, diligent determination. What a blessing this is in the face of a daunting semester!
The greeting goes on. Because of the grace we are given, we can be at peace every moment of our lives. Peace is the resulting experience of the believer that understands that everything is right and as it should be under the sovereign, good, and gracious hand of our loving Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. We are at peace with God and we have peace in the middle of the storms of everyday student life.
Grace and peace-- it is what we have been given by our Father through our Savior. It is also what we need in every challenge, in every circumstance, in every opposition, and in every opportunity. May God grant us all the grace and peace that will enable us to glorify Him in this new semester!