Grace Is Amazing

Friday, March 25, 2011
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John 1:16 – From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (NIV)

For a while, Grace was a popular name for girls in Scotland, especially among those who are now baby boomers. I used to wonder if the name Grace was chosen for spiritual reasons, because Billy Graham's revivalist meetings were taking place in Scotland when these girls were born. Maybe Grace was chosen as a name because everyone was rediscovering the hymn "Amazing Grace".

Then I realized it was probably something else, or rather someone else, who caused the name Grace to be popular in Scotland: Grace Kelly. She was idolized by people throughout the world, and when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco, her life was a fairy tale come true. Perhaps Grace was chosen as a name for all of those Scottish babies long ago because their moms wished happy, successful, and beautiful lives for their daughters.

The Greek word for grace in the New Testament is charis (cha-rees), from which we get the word charity. It describes an act of graciousness that has been divinely influenced or inspired. We often talk about our God-given rights, but in this case, we are talking about God-given guidance which influences our thoughts and hearts into showing mercy, lending support, and offering help to people. This grace is often applied in circumstances where our help, charity, and love are largely undeserved or unexpected.

That's exactly what God offers to us through Jesus Christ, His holy Son. He grants us a grace that can never be equalled. God's grace sustains the universe and maintains our lives. God's grace forgives our sins and redirects our ways. God's grace gives us a divine opportunity to be restored to His favour and everlasting love. We deserve to die for our disobedience, disrespect, and distrust of God. Instead, through Jesus Christ, God offers an undeserved way out of oblivion, a merciful path to heaven. That's why an ex-slave trader like John Newton could write a hymn called "Amazing Grace". It is totally unexpected; it is completely undeserved.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our grace, our mercy, and our love. Even though we are completely unworthy and undeserving of salvation, You offer us forgiveness, restoration, and eternal peace. Enable us to grasp this grace and to cling to the charis that You give to us. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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