Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

There’s Just Something About God’s Amazing Grace

Romans 3:23

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

God’s grace is amazing. I love the song Amazing Grace. I love the old hymns – and so do the folks in our church if the recent survey results are to be believed. 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 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all stand in the need of grace. Grace is all about what we do not merit – what we have not earned!

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 in 2013. Loving those who hate us – who are out to do us evil and harm – is what God calls us to do as Christians. This type of love is what grace is all about. Loving those who love us doesn’t take grace. Loving those who do evil towards us – now that takes grace. Grace is what the people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC showed after a heinous and satanic act by a 21 year old. They let grace rule the day. It was truly an example of amazing grace.

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 think of this verse often when celebrating the life of dear saints who have exhibited such grace. We will celebrate the life of a dear saint of our church in two weeks. She lived nearly 102 years and she was a woman of grace.

Another person comes to mind when I think of grace. This man found Jesus under my father’s ministry. 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 and for 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 hearts 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 – in spite of my failures. We all stand in need of God’s amazing grace!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.


August 2, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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