“There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Philemon 1:23-25
There are times, while reading the Bible that a verse says one thing on a page, but the Holy Spirit uses it to say much, much more to me. This is such a time. I cannot tell you the depths to which my soul had sunk when the Spirit reached down to me and spoke. When Paul wrote this epistle, those who were with him were mentioned as being with him and saluting the house of Philemon. One of those was the man who wrote the gospel named for him, John Mark, or Marcus. It just so happens that my name, as you must know, is Marcus. What the Spirit spoke to me in this verse meant so much more. What I read, solely for me, was thus:
“Marcus, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”
Praise God! I would wish that all men’s names were within the pages of the Bible and that all men could have read that! I know it is taken completely out of its context, but I read what I read and the Spirit used it like only God can.
You see, I have long been suffering self doubt and denial of who I am in Christ. Sure, I’ve witnessed and encouraged others in The Lord. I know I am saved. Yet, I just could not accept that I am worthy of anything with which God might want to bless me beyond salvation. No, I did not get some grand blessing that opened my eyes. What I did get was a spiritual reawakening.
Being saved by grace through faith is something I cannot unlearn. It is ingrained into who I am. It is by His grace alone that I am changed and made more like Christ. It is by my faith that God supplies all of the grace that He has upon me, or any of us. My faith in Who Jesus is and what He has already done through His finished work on the Cross has been the supply of grace. Somewhere though, I stopped looking to the Cross. I started to believe the unworthiness and forgot that Christ makes me worthy. I focused in myself and set aside the Cross, only I didn’t know it. It was subtle as my life was not going how I believed it should, little by little, I gave up.
But then, when I was back to wondering what I had done wrong and where I was mentally and spiritually, God spoke and reminded me that it was not that He wasn’t willing to give me grace. It was that I was not willing to receive it and be content with what I have and with who I am. So, He reminded me. And now, I am running back to that Cross to be at Jesus’ feet.
I’m running into the throne room and seeking my Father. I just want more of Who He is and the grace that He has for me, because I need help to live this life and be content. I need help to not look beyond what He has for me today. I need help!
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
If you have felt the same way, go to your Bible. Find this passage at the very end of this letter and write your own name at the front of verse 25. Read it out loud to yourself and let the Spirit remind you today, while it is Today, that you are His child and He is always there for you. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
God bless you!