My life was radically changed in 1987 when Jesus saved me! I have, over time, distilled the Christian life down to one mantra: If we ain’t got grace, we ain’t got nothin’! Grace, God’s unmerited favor, is one thing we have that the world can neither take away from us nor offer to lost sinners.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
“But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many” (Romans 5:15).
Grace – getting something you don’t deserve. What’s so amazing about grace? Philip Yancey, author of What’s So Amazing about Grace?, simply states: “God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are. Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us.”
I am eternally grateful His grace abounded to me, for I have experienced grace in abundance, from God and His people. I daily experience this magnificent benefit of the Christian life.
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
The Great Commission, in one sense, requires those of us who are found to reach out to those who are lost with what Yancey coins “the last best word” – namely grace. It is grace we have received and grace we are called to dispense as we share the good news of Jesus in word and deed.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [including the work of evangelism], which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Jesus says, “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus says, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). And Jesus says, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Yes, we are His witnesses, but what kind of witnesses? Hopefully witnesses who experience and express His grace in abundance!
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved!
When I was lost, I feared man but not God. Now that I’m found, I fear God and should not fear man. Yet, alas, I sometimes do fear man when I think about sharing the gospel. I fear rejection. I fear not knowing what to do or what to say. I fear not having the answers. How shall I deal with such weakness?
Cast all you care upon Him, “for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.
Great is His faithfulness, for the grace that appeared the hour you believed is the grace available in this hour of need as you seek to reach out to the lost in your sphere of influence. And God is faithful.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine.
Mortality. It is a somber reminder that something is wrong, terribly wrong, for the curse of sin is death. And everyone is confronted with the reality of death regardless of religion, creed or philosophy. Even the creation itself groans (Romans 8:22). Is there hope? Is there a deliverer? Can anyone reverse the curse?
But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Oh, the sweet-smelling aroma of God’s grace found in Christ Jesus our Lord! Yes, there is hope. Yes, there is a deliverer, and yes, He has reversed the curse, “for the last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). His name is Jesus and He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
Grace is not only essential to our salvation, it is essential in our witness. You see, grace makes our faith distinct, and grace makes our message unique. In short, grace makes all the difference.
For every other religion is based upon what man can do to earn God’s favor, appease His wrath, and get to paradise, heaven, or nirvana. A man-centered, works-oriented paradigm is the view of all religion except the true religion found in God’s Word – Jesus did it all on the cross.
All religions except Biblical faith are based upon human accomplishment – this do. Christianity is unique in that it’s based upon divine accomplishment – this happened. Yes, Jesus did it all on the cross. But there’s more! He also rose again on the third day, conquering sin and death and making a way for helpless sinners be reconciled to a holy, righteous God.
Because of this wonderful truth, we now have access to God through the Son. Therefore “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
In our witness, the expression of growing in grace ought to include the giving of grace to those who’ve not yet experienced His saving grace, because “to whom much is given much is expected” (Luke 12:48).
Are there people in your life who are lost and “not worth your time”? Perhaps they just rub you the wrong way. Maybe they don’t enhance your life. In fact they may the kind of person or people you would rather avoid and not have to deal with. Maybe they have a sullied reputation. Or it may be you just think them a “lost cause.”
Well they just may be the person or people God wants you engaging. They may not be worthy of your time, your energy or your love in your estimation, but God may be calling you to extend them grace – yes, God’s glorious grace!
Why? Because people need the Lord. Jesus came ‘to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10). For He “did not call the righteous to repentance, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). In fact, you and I are the result of Jesus reaching out to lost sinners with compassion and grace.
May we who have experienced God’s grace, go out, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and share the gospel with those who have yet to be delivered by His Amazing Grace!