THE JEWELRY OF GRACE & CHURCH UNITY
Three Jewels of Grace to Promote Peace in the Church
Jewelry. I don’t wear much of it. My wedding ring, of course. Does a watch count? If so, that does it for me. Two pieces total.
I lost my high school ring ages ago. Never bought a college ring.
Had a fellow-elder poke fun at me once with jewelry. He gave me a shell necklace as a gift. Thought it would help me fit in better with the trendy Acts 29 crowd.
I’ve worn it once or twice, but really, I feel way too old for that kind of thing, although I do have one button down pocket shirt in my wardrobe and I am known to wear sandals quite often.
So, I’m not much into bling.
But I can tell you one ornament I definitely want around my neck at all times. It is a three-fold ornament of grace in First Thessalonians 5:16-18—always joyful, always prayerful, always thankful.
Why? This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (v. 18).
Make no mistake about these three staccato imperatives contained within a long list of other exhortations from Paul for community life in the church at Thessalonica.
They weave together in making for fitting jewelry to adorn God’s people.
Charles Spurgeon said it well:
When joy and prayer are married their first born child is gratitude. When we joy in God for what we have, and believingly pray to him for more, then our souls thank him both in the enjoyment of what we have, and in the prospect of what is yet to come. Those three texts are three companion pictures, representing the life of a true Christian, the central sketch is the connecting link between those on either side. These three precepts are an ornament of grace to every believer’s neck, wear them every one of you, for glory and for beauty; “Rejoice evermore;” “Pray without ceasing;” “in everything give thanks.”
I boil things down to this: God requires His people in a peacemaking community to manifest consistently distinct gospel graces.
They are three—the grace of joyfulness, the grace of prayerfulness, and the grace of thankfulness.
Are you adorning in your church the jewelry of grace by the power of the gospel?
Question: What one step might you take this week to grow in one of these graces with God’s help?