25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans 16:25–27 ESV Read More

11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

2 Corinthians 13:11–14 ESV Read More

Look at how much Paul rejoices at the end of these letters. Both of them have some hard teaching and some strong rebukes! But whatever sincere or difficult thing Paul wrote to the churches, he always finished with praise to God.

It’s almost as if the entire conversation was done, or the entire letter was written, with Jesus sitting there in a chair reading it. Or as if the letters were written after a long conversation with Jesus, in which Paul tried to get his thoughts together, but also get advice from the Lord.

As we look through the Lord, like a welding mask or some sweet sunglasses, at the people we interact with, we see them in His light. We begin to see people not as filthy sinners or self-centered punks, but simply people in need of a savior, just like we are. When I see myself as a Christian that sometimes struggles — but is still in Christ, I’m more able to offer mercy to my brother that sometimes struggles — but is still in Christ.

And gosh, the greater we see the grace and mercy of Christ at work in us, the more we see Him at work in others. The more we see Him working in others, the greater our hope and faith that He will also do such great work in us! It snowballs!

If I am confident that Christ is able to strengthen you and not condemn you, then when I have my times of weakness, I’m more likely to trust in the Lord’s strength. When I see that He has been helpful to me, that makes me want to encourage you. God will be there for you whenever you need Him!

He is the Lord of all, and He defines Himself by His mercy and compassion toward us. Isn’t He great!?

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