“When GRACE becomes AMAZING!” (the God of all Grace)
(Part 1 of 3)
Preparation: We always talked about grace.one time or more times in the last few months. But do we really know what its all about? Do we know why its important?
1* It should come as no surprise! No wonder the most familiar spiritual song of our modern times is “Amazing Grace”. It is the mini-autobiography of a rough-around-the-edges English sailor, John Newton, who scribbled down this little poem in the early 1770s to describe his personal journey through life’s dangers, toils, and snares. It was Newton’s account of his life’s past, present, and future – a story so relatable that it relates to each of us and our very own human experience.
Can you relate? Have you ever had a moment in life when what you needed most was grace? when all you needed was the comfort and relief of amazing grace? maybe you didn’t even know what grace was, all you knew is that you need something you had never known before.
That is grace. You needed and need grace!
Perhaps, you find yourself at that very moment right now. Like John Newton and like me, and like everybody else, you come to moments in life, where you need grace that’s so amazing, it can only come from one place –> the God of all grace.
2* You see, life is a journey. Life is a pilgrimage, and often times, it is a pilgrimage thru pain, a journey thru troubled times and desperate moments, some of it caused by others and some of it caused by ourselves, and some of it unexplainably caused by the everyday course of life, heartache and heartbreak, temptations and trials, dangers, toils, and snares. And thru life, thru the journey, all of us are looking for a place of calm and safety, of comfort and strength, a place to call home, a place of grace.
Grace is one of the Bible’s most amazing themes. It is also one of God’s most amazing demonstrations of His loving attention toward us. Some 3000 to 3500 years before Newton and you or I ever lived, someone else wrote a song (poem) about our shared need for grace as we journey along our way.
These words are found in the Old Testament book of Psalms.
3*Psalm 84:2-5,7-8,11-12 “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God. O Lord, hear my prayer. Give ear, O God! For the Lord is a sun and shield. THE LORD WILL GIVE GRACE AND GLORY. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
For sure, life is a journey and somewhere in the pilgrimage, somewhere along the way, our soul longs and faints for God. Somewhere along the way, all of us, we need the next level of strength to carry us on (strength to strength). Somewhere along the way, we need the guidance, nourishment, and protection of God (sun and shield). And too, somewhere along the way, we need the grace and glory of the Lord. At some point in life, all of us will come to the place where we need the God of all grace.
4* And it is in that moment, when GRACE becomes AMAZING!
The best definition of grace that I can think of is this –> that God has made all of Himself available to all of us all of the time. He is the God of all grace, and He has made all of Himself freely available to all. Grace is the availability of God’s salvation, and love, and mercy, and truth, and strength, and comfort, and hope, and peace, made fully and freely available to us, at any given moment in life, when we need it and ask for it. That is grace! It is the simultaneous collision of God’s salvation, love, mercy, truth, strength, comfort, hope, and peace into our life in our most desperate moments = Grace.
The God of all grace is always available to us.
5* Old Testament
Exodus 34:6 “The Lord passed by and proclaimed, ‘The Lord God, merciful and GRACIOUS, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”
Psalm 86:15 “You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and GRACIOUS, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”
Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is merciful and GRACIOUS, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.”
Psalm 111:4b “The Lord is
GRACIOUS and full of compassion.”
Psalm 112:4 “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is GRACIOUS, and full of compassion, and righteous.”
Psalm 116:5 “GRACIOUS is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.”
Psalm 145:8 “The Lord is GRACIOUS and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.”
Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, GRACIOUS in all His works.” Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be GRACIOUS to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for Him.”
Isaiah 30:19b “You shall weep no more. He will be very GRACIOUS to you at the sound of your cry, when He hears it, He will answer you.”
Isaiah 33:2 “O Lord, be GRACIOUS to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.”
Joel 2:13 “So rend your heart, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is GRACIOUS and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”
Jonah 4:2b “So he prayed to the Lord, ‘For I know that You are a GRACIOUS and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.'”
Malachi 1:9 “Now entreat God’s favor that He may be GRACIOUS to us.”
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