Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace – 4 February 2007

It is easy to understand why Isaac Newton’s hymn “Amazing Grace” is not only a favorite of many Christians, but also of non-Christians.

The famous first line, “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound – that saved a wretch like me!” is not hyperbole. Rather, it is autobiographical truth. Newton was indeed “a wretched man” – the commander of an English slave ship. Yet, eventually God’s grace did change his hard heart. Leaving the slave business, he spent the last forty-three years of his life preaching.

The second line of this hymn is particularly meaningful to anyone who has experienced the deep, positive change brought about through belief in Jesus, our Lord and Savior: “I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see.”

God’s grace is indeed amazing! In His grace we find forgiveness and a new life in which we can not only grow ever closer to the ideals taught by Jesus, but even aspire to do “greater works” (John 14:12):

12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”
~ New American Standard Bible

As I’ve written before, these “greater works” are works of love and compassion. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul the apostle wrote: “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13) And as John Wesley wrote to Isaac Newton in 1765, “Love is the plainest thing in the world.”

Everyone understands love. Unfortunately, there are many in this world who choose the opposite. Hopefully, many of those will experience God’s amazing grace before it’s too late.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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