Celebrating God's Grace & Mercy Every Day!

April 10, 2009

As I wrote last year (here) Easter is always a wonderful reminder to me of how remarkable is the love, grace and mercy of God. The inexplicable wonder that he would save a 'wretch like me' from my sin and rebelliousness. John Newton's famous song 'Amazing Grace' always speaks to repentant sinners like me. The same sense of overwhelming gratitude, humility and thankfulness that flooded the heart of the former slave trader flooded me when I first came to faith some 27 years ago; a young happily married 31 year-old father of two who seemingly had no need of God. My conversion was dramatic and life changing. And yet, every day is a battle to remember that I am nothing but repackaged dust given life for just a moment on this earth. From dust I came and to dust I will return. Life ended in a wink and a blink, but for the mercy and grace of our God.

For me the ongoing challenge is always to grasp and hold on to the fact that it was MY sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross. It was MY rebellion, MY pride, MY vanity, MY self sufficiency, MY arrogance, MY hatred, MY ungraciousness, MY lies, MY deceit....! With Paul who persecuted Christians, and Newton who traded human lives, I stand condemned but for the grace of God. I need to recognise each day in my 21st century middle-class comfort that I lie prostrate with all other sinners at the foot of the cross in shame - a wretch! And yet, with fear and trembling I can wake each morning knowing that in some amazing way I have been granted freedom from such shame and forgiveness. A life of filthy rags is forgiven for no other reason than that God has chosen to extend to me his grace, mercy, love, kindness and forgiveness.

My God has given me just a little less than 10,000 mornings (since that day I came to faith) to wake in the knowledge that Jesus paid the price for my sins at Golgotha some 2,000 years ago. I don't know how many more mornings he will give me. But for those who know me please pray that the troubles of the previous day and the challenges of the next might never push aside the overwhelming sense of gratitude and thankfulness I have when I remember that Christ died for me.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Amazing Grace sung by Judy Collins and the Harlem Boys' Choir

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.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

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