Keeping Grace Amazing
“He who has not felt what sin is in the Old Testament knows little what grace is in the New. He who has not trembled in Moses, and wept in David, and wondered in Isaiah will rejoice little in Matthew or rest little in John. He who has not suffered under the Law will scarcely hear the glad sound of the gospel.” —R. W. Barbour
Grace is amazing—and I use “amazing” in its truest sense. When we contemplate grace, it should leave us shaking our heads in wonder, and raising our hands in praise. In pure undiluted form, grace is stunning… yet, I’m afraid that our flesh tends to water it down over time. A modern rendition of Newton’s classic hymn, “Amazing Grace,” would sound like this:
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a pretty good guy like me. I once was directionally challenged, but now I’m found. I once needed some corrective lenses, but now I see.”
You probably know how the hymn really goes, and that it is an echo of biblical truth. Grace saved “a wretch like me.” Not a “pretty good guy,” but a self-centered, independent mess. Scripture is very clear that all our good works in the flesh are but filthy rags, stinking rags in the nostrils of God. I “was lost,” not directionally challenged or just a little off track; I was completely wandering in ignorance. My vision wasn’t a little fuzzy, “I was blind.” Everything was black. I couldn’t see a thing, but He opened my eyes and I now see truth.
And, this seeing, this “founded-ness,” and this life are a result of His amazing grace.
In 2 Timothy 2:1 the apostle Paul said to his young protégé: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
That’s a command. It’s an imperative. Be strong in that grace. Own it. Appropriate it. Ponder grace regularly so that it never ceases to amaze you that a just and holy God loves you and embraces you because it is His nature and joy to do so.
God, keep grace amazing in my soul. May the Spirit prompt my mind to think about it often; may my emotions feel it deeply; and may my will bend to it continually. Amen.
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