Amazing Grace! We have been given His Grace toward us and for us. Not because we deserve it, because we don’t. God gave us His Grace through Jesus Christ long, long ago because He loves us! Not because of what we can do for Him but because of what He wanted to do for us. He wanted us to be with Him in eternity to praise and honor Him with glory because we love Him for what He did for each of us while we were still sinners, even before we were born, even before the world itself was made…He loved us enough to come draped in human flesh so that He could reconcile our sins through His death on the cross and then redeem us through His resurrection so that we would be with Him in eternity.
How sweet the sound of the words in the song by John Newton. John Newton, who was the captain of a slave ship for a few years and all the while God was working in him and on him. One day, he gave his heart and soul to Jesus and it changed him so profoundly until he had to sit down and write one of the greatest hymns that the Christian world has ever known. Not because of the melody but because of the words and the meaning behind them. This song is a sermon of love…God’s love for us and our love for Him because He loved us first!
“That saved a wretch like me”; John Newton could hear the slaves singing spiritual songs in the hold of the ships that he was part of their crew before being made captain on another ship. It was those songs and the conviction which came by them that made him write the song that we still sing today. Because God loves us even as wretched sinners and He loved each of us enough that He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on a Roman cross in order for us to live in eternity with Him. He didn’t have to do this but He wanted to do it because it was the only way to pay our penalty totally and completely so that we could be reconciled to Him and by Him.
“I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I can see!” We were all lost. Struggling through this life as sinners and we didn’t know that we were dead already because of our sins. But when the Holy Spirit touched our hearts and broke them so that we could see with our spiritual eyes, we would see just how lost we truly were. Then we would know that we needed Jesus as our Savior and we would seek Him out until we found Him and asked Him to come in and clean our hearts and our minds so that we could be His.
“Through many dangers, toil and snares I have already come. His Grace has led me safe thus far and Grace will lead me Home”; In life we do go through toil and snares which Satan has put in front of us each day, but God’s grace and His Strength will guide you and me through these times and carry us home to Heaven one day. Seek Jesus out for your salvation so that you will be lead home to Heaven one day because He is the only pathway to Eternity. John Newton knew it, Billy Graham knew it, and the Bible tells us about it, all that we have to do is give our life to Him and walk with Him until that day comes when we will be taken home to be with Him.
In the political and anti-religious climate is it even possible to have peace? Yes, it is! If you place your trust and your faith in Jesus Christ. Many of us today, Christians and non-Christians, either forget where our peace comes from or we never really knew in the first place. Granted, the peace which Jesus brings into your life is much different from “peace and quiet” or a “peaceful, easy feeling” but many people still look for both of those after they have “tried” Jesus and they will tell you that it only gets worse!
The problem with people like that is that they don’t know that you can’t “try out” Jesus and enjoy the benefits of being a true Christian who has given their heart to Him and allowed Him to truly change them from the inside out. There is no trial period before you make a decision to keep Jesus in your life or not. He is the One Who chooses you first, then you feel convicted of your guilt for the sins that you have committed and you know that you need Him in your life!
God loves each of us and He calls you through His Holy Spirit and it is His choice to choose you, not yours. It is your choice to respond to His call on your life and some people do refuse but most people know that their life will never be the same and it will never feel peaceful if they do refuse to accept Him as their Savior. Sometimes those who refuse on the first call will get a second later in their life but if you keep pushing the Spirit away and keep refusing His call on your life…one day He won’t call on you. God will let you go and let you have your life the way you want it, without Him. At that point, you will never feel His touch or His call on your life again.
You don’t get to decide to get saved. If and when you feel Him call you and you respond with a humble heart to give your life to Jesus, it is only then when the reality of being a Christian will come into your life. From that point on you will need to seek Him every day, read the Bible, pray that He will reveal His Wisdom in the Bible to you so you can grow in His Wisdom and knowledge. All of this is not dumped into your brain when you are baptized, you have to study God’s Word to know Him better because He already knows you.
Is being a Christian easy? NO! Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert. We are tempted by Satan every day from the time you become a Christian until you die! Why does Satan make it that hard? Because if he can get you to stumble in front of one person who might become a Christian, he knows that they may change their mind and not become a Christian. What makes it so hard is that you don’t know who or where those people might be. It might be your son or daughter. It might be someone you work with. It may be a total stranger in a burger joint, but if you cuss or somehow ruin their idea that you are a Christian then Satan has done his job.
You may never see that person again but they may never believe that anyone is a Christian just because of something you did or something you said. It takes prayer and reading God’s Word and praying about what you just read and making it a habit every day. Because until you are so close to God that Satan doesn’t want to come around you, he will. Work on your witness and your character until he can’t tell the difference between you and Jesus. With the Holy Spirit helping you and your reading and praying about what you read, Jesus will help you to become peaceful in all of your situations in your daily life.
Come into His presence with joyful singing and praise!
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 KJV
The Lord is with those who seek Him! Amen