Amazing Grace

Grace?

If you made a list of essential items for living, what would be on it? How would your list differ from others? I am sure the lists would contain things like:

  • Money
  • Education
  • Spouse
  • Good Job
  • Health
  • Grace

Would you have that last one on your list? It should be on everyone’s list. Why? No one can successfully escape this life without grace. You may know that. But successfully living this life is not possible without grace!

Life Essentials: GraceAmazing Grace

John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, hit the lowest pits of life before experiencing the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It’s easy to see why such words would come from him. The change in his life was drastic and dramatic. But what about a life that wasn’t lived in depravity?

That was the kind of life lived by Charles Wesley. What kind of song would a ready and willing heart produce for its Savior?

Wesley wrote about 6,000 hymns. He was the son of a minister and his life would have been considered decent and respectable. The hymn text below is thought by most to be the hymn he wrote when he repented of his sins and accepted Christ as Savior. And it seems Psalm 107 was instrumental in his decision.

Giving thanks is the first subject as well as a recurring theme. And the Psalmist gave quick instruction for readers (us!) to speak up about the Author of every grace and gift:

Let the Lord’s redeemed say so! 

God’s children should be quick to speak about Him. Has He given you the very breath of life? Has He provided for you? Has He gifted and equipped you to serve in His Kingdom? Then speak up! It’s the right thing to do.

Grace in DifficultyAmazing Grace

Then the writer describes events in the national life of Israel as one might describe an individual’s journey. They wandered without company or shelter. They were hungry, thirsty, and their souls fainted within them.

So what do difficulties have to do with grace? Do you remember Moses and the Israelites by the Red Sea? God led them there. All they saw was calamity as Egypt’s army approached. God’s view was very different. He knew He was about to win a glorious victory for them and for His glory. Notice verse 6:

They cried out to the Lord in their distress and He delivered them. 

The difficulties we often cry about might actually be something God allows so we will cry out to Him. How much heartache would we avoid if we just cried out sooner?  Two magnificent things follow.

First, verse 8 is repeated three times later in this Psalm:

Let them give thanks to God for His lovingkindness!

He loves us enough to be ready anytime we call out to Him. His might is more than sufficient to conquer our troubles. His acts are grand enough for us to marvel at His greatness. Do you see the other three uses of these same words?

Grace & Satisfaction

Second, He satisfies us to the full. God’s grace provides for us in infinite quanitity as well as quality. He gives only what is good. This is how He loves you. He is ever waiting to hear us call out to Him. By the way, did your Mom ever teach you it was rude to keep someone waiting? Just checking.

Grace & Freedom

God’s grace sets us free. And our freedom has two dimensions. We are free from sin and free to serve. Notice verse 14:

He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their chains apart.

The Father is greater than whatever holds His child! I can just imagine Charles Wesley reaching this point, laying his Bible aside, picking up his quill and letting the hymn flow from his fingertips. If we didn’t know his upbringing, we could easily believe he was the MVP of the Professional Sinners League. BUT, that is our human perspective. In the eyes of God’s justice, we all deserve that MVP award. Look through Wesley’s text and see if you can turn this into a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. When you’re finished, do you have any “crying out” to do? This might be a good time to do it.

Soli Deo Gloria! 

And Can It Be

Chorus    Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me?

Verse 1   And can it be that I should gain, an int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be that Thou my God shouldst die for me?

Verse 2   He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; O praise my God it reaches me.

Verse 3  Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose went forth and followed Thee.

Verse 4  No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne, and claim the crown through Christ my own.