Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Grace – We All Need It!

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

IMG_0301Just a few thoughts this morning on grace. God’s grace is amazing. I love the song Amazing Grace. Here are the lyrics from the first verse from that old familiar and fantastic hymn.  Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

According to today’s passage – we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and we all stand in the need of grace. Grace is all about what we do not merit!

Paul writes in another Epistle about grace (the New Testament is filled with passages about grace). Ephesians 2:8-10 – 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Grace is so amazing!

Let’s read today’s verse in partial context. Romans 3:21-26 – 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

I wrote about loving one another in a previous blog post. Loving those who hate us – who are out to do us evil – is what God calls us to do. This type of love is what grace is all about. Loving those who love us doesn’t take grace. Loving those who do evil toward us – that takes grace.  This love and grace is being shown by the people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.  Even with the satanic and evil display by a 21 year old young person – they are letting grace rule the day.  It is truly amazing.

Today’s scripture speaks about the love that God shows us – because while we were yet His enemies – sinners lost without hope – He loved us enough to die on the cross for our redemption. Grace is unmerited favor – unmerited forgiveness – and God offers it to us – amazing grace.

Here’s another verse from the hymn – Amazing Grace. Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home. I thought of that verse because this past week a dear friend passed. A watched this woman exhibit God’s grace in so many ways.  She was a humble – loving woman.  She was full of God’s grace.  I attended her funeral this past Saturday and was honored to help with the service.

Another person – a man who found Jesus under my father’s ministry – also comes to mind. I remember as a child seeing this man – an old man it seemed – probably in his late 40’s at the time – maybe early 50’s – and he came forward to receive this amazing gift of grace from Jesus. After accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior – he looked at the back row of the church where the young people sat and told us not to waste as many years as he did – to seek Jesus now while we were young so we could live our whole lives with Jesus. I never saw such a transformation – this man from that day forward – desired to serve Jesus and did so until his death. I attended his funeral as well – to honor him and the way God used him to touch my heart and the heart of others – a witness of what God’s grace means and can do!

God’s amazing grace! It can touch a wretch like me and transform me from the inside out to become someone that Jesus can live in – work through – and shine in spite of my failures.  We all stand in need of God’s amazing grace!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 23, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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