“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (2 Tim. 4:22)
The Apostle Paul in our New Testament Bible wrote many letters to the churches he established and influenced. His letters expressed a great amount of love to his readers which included both encouragement to continue doing well in their conduct and actions as well as, at times, reprimands in order to graciously steer them back to the Lord. He was much like a father or mother should be who loves and cares for his or her children.
As I was reading in his letter to Timothy, his second one to his son in the faith, I went to the very end of the letter and saw these words: “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (verse 22) These words from Paul are short but very encouraging and hopeful. He knows how important it is for those who follow God to know that He is with them as well as His wonderful grace. And Paul also knows the power of words — either to tear down or to lift up and promote motivation for godly living.
Once I read this ending to Paul’s letter, I wanted to go and see many of the other last words Paul said to close his correspondence to those he loved and cared for so much.
“Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ … ” (Romans 16:25a)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 12:13)
“Brothers, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (Galatians 6:18)
“Peace to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 6:23-24)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (Philippians 4:23)
“Grace be with you.” (Colossians 4:18b)
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (1 Thess. 5:28)
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.” (2 Thess. 3:18)
If you have read this far, you know that Paul highly values the grace of God. “Grace” has been defined by others as “God’s unmerited favor.” There is nothing we can do to earn His grace, but we can receive it and we can bless others with it as Paul is doing in many of his letters.
How can you use words to love and encourage someone in your life? Perhaps it is a family member, a good friend, or even someone you do not know very well that you want to bless. Send them a text or email or even a note in the mail written by your own hand. You will brighten someone’s day and follow in the biblical footsteps of one of the great servants of the Lord Jesus Christ who gives all of us His grace.
Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.