Over the past month, I seem to have been inundated with the theme of GRACE throughout some of my devotional readings, songs heard, and books read. I thought that I would share a few of the treasures gained this month with my readers.
The most accurate description of grace I know best is that it is ‘Unmerited favour’. We have done nothing to deserve God’s saving grace in our lives. And we need to do nothing to sustain His sufficient grace for our present as well as for our future. This fact is indeed very freeing yet it certainly continues to humble me. No matter how often I get it wrong, waver in my faith, grow weak in prayer and devotion and dabble in idolatrous worship- His beautiful grace remains. His grace moves within me and around me, sustaining my every moment. I think it’s imperative for true Christians to stop and think often about these truths:
1. The most precious gift He’s given us– His saving grace.
2.The gift that keeps on giving- His sustaining grace.
This month I read the book “Newton and Polly” by Jody Hedlund. It was both deeply moving and highly enjoyable. The author drew on historical evidence as well taking some poetic license to re create the love story of John Newton and Polly Catlett.
Newton’s moment of reaching out to God to save him came while on board a ship caught in a terrible storm. Yet, he could later testify to the fact that God had indeed saved his life many times before. While studying the scriptures during the long months at sea, the Lord opened his eyes to see the man he truly was- a wretched sinner in need of saving. When his moment of salvation came, ‘his fears were relieved’ and a peace over took him, despite the fact that the ship and it’s crew were still in dire straits and unsure of whether they would survive the storm.
One of the most encouraging aspects to this book was discovering that his mother, who had died when he was a young boy, was a devout Christian who had, from the beginning of his life, taught Newton about the Lord and to memorize scripture. There were many times throughout the book where Newton remembered his mother’s godly upbringing of him, along with scriptures he had been encouraged to learn as a young child.
For those of us who are parents, it’s important to remember that the teaching and training of our children in their early years is not in vain; but the effort of which will come to fruition sometime in their future. Whenever you are feeling discouraged, remember this story.
“Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious to you.” (Isaiah 30:18)
I’ve written and spoken often of ‘waiting on the Lord’. God often delays in answering us. There are many examples in the scriptures of this (the story of Jacob, of Joseph, of the Syrophenician woman, of the apostle Paul). Paul asked three times for the removal of his “thorn in the flesh”. Yet God chose not to take it but instead reminded him that “My grace is sufficient for you.”
“They go from strength to strength.” ( Psalm 84:7)
There is no denying the unenviable fact that this life can be really difficult at times. I couldn’t possibly imagine a life without the Lord and therefore void of His grace. The beautiful reality for true Christians is that we can call upon Him and ask for fresh supplies of grace every day. The scriptures are clear that “His mercies are new every morning” (Lam. 3). The Lord was clear that we ‘will have trouble’ in this life. But as Spurgeon penned
‘You will never find a bundle of affliction which does not have sufficient grace bound up in the midst of it.’
Herein lies the next reminder:
3. The Gift that surpasses all gifts-His sufficient grace.
‘A man may have too much money or too much honour, but he cannot have too much grace.’ C.H. Spurgeon
His amazing gift of saving, sustaining, all sufficient grace can be wrapped in the person of Jesus- our indescribable gift!
Happy Christmas to you!