A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
"God's Grace Still Amazes Me!"
Message summary: God's Grace ever-remains amazing!
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"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7,8).
One of the most beloved hymns regardless of our background and probably wherever we live on this terrestrial ball is "Amazing Grace". In fact on most lists it is number 1 in regard to being a favorite.
It was written by John Newton, who for a time in his life was a slave trader. Based upon what he had once been there may very well be those today in the cancel culture nonsense that would advocate cancelling him! Would that also mean cancelling his beloved song?
He was transporting slaves from Africa and confronted a vicious storm. His craft was severely weather-beaten, compelling him to call out to God for mercy and deliverance. The God his mother introduced him to as a child suddenly became very real and His power to still the storm took on fresh and relevant meaning. Newton experienced amazing grace and subsequently led a movement to abolish the slave trade in 1788.
"Amazing Grace" continues to remind us that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed. What Newton wrote in various ways and degrees applies to all of us, "I once was lost, but now am found, 'twas blind, but now I see".
Newton never lost sight of the grace he wrote about in stanza one, the "grace that saved a wretch like me". He said before he died, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things – that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior".
A danger for all of us is that grace may cease to be amazing when we lose sight of what we once were, a wretch that God saved through His amazing grace.
Today's text is a great passage to memorize. It's already in the first person (plural) but in my effort to completely personalize I say it this way, "In Him I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on me with all wisdom and understanding".
Amazing Grace has prompted other great songs including one that our title today is based on, "Your Grace Still Amazes Me". It is sung by a group called Phillips, Craig and Dean. Brooksyne and I have both been deeply touched by the stirring words of this song.
God's grace really is amazing and we never want to lose that sense! I never want to take His grace for granted nor lose the wonder. And He's still lavishing that grace today on undeserving people like you and me. Will you this moment His grace receive?
Your grace still amazes me,
Your love is still a mystery
Each day I fall on my knees
Cause your grace still amazes me.
Your grace still amazes me.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Faithful Father, my enduring Friend, Your tender mercy is like a river with no end. It overwhelms me, it covers my sin. Each time I come into Your presence, Lord, I stand in wonder once again. For Your grace still amazes me and Your love is still a mystery. Each day I fall on my knees cause Your grace still amazes me. It's deeper, it's wider, it's stronger, it's higher than anything my eyes can see and Your grace still amazes me. Thank You for lavishing me with Your tender mercies and amazing grace. Amen.
(Adapted from "Your Grace Still Amazes Me")
Songwriters: Andrew Shawn Craig, Connie Harrington
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Your Grace Still Amazes Me" Video Phillips, Craig and Dean
"Grace" Video CityAlight
"Amazing Grace" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"This Is Amazing Grace" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with Phil Wickham
This powerful scene from the ending of the movie "Amazing Grace" William Wilberforce & Slave Trade Act of 1807 Video It sure makes you long for principled politicians!
There's a sermon illustration here for John 15 or Ephesians 3:17. Any ideas? Look carefully and you'll see our house to the right of the standing tree, with the trail we enjoy so much beginning across the street from our house lined by only three trees now as opposed to numerous trees when we moved to our location 19 years ago. Most were rotted and fell down after heavy thunderstorms.
Some of the trees removed farther up the trail across from our house and these will go to a lumber mill. When we saw this log truck we thought of long-time friends Bruce and Cindy Jack. Bruce drove a huge log truck in northern PA for many years.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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