Rodney Sexton – UK:
The grace of God has reached for me, And pulled me from the raging sea, And I am safe on this solid ground. The LORD is my salvation. Keith and Kristyn Getty
Grace – what an amazing word! Grace – the undeserved, unmerited, unearned, un-looked-for love and kindness of God. This is what I experienced when I discovered the reality of a relationship with Jesus amongst a group of young people which contrasted greatly with the do-your-best type of Christianity I had grown up with. Not that I knew it was grace at the time.
My first encounter with ‘grace’ as a doctrine was not a happy one. Whilst, I am sure, the intention had been to instil security and gratitude for all God has done for us in Christ, I increasingly gained the impression God loved some and not others, was arbitrary in his choice and didn’t care many were going to a lost eternity. My mistake. I had a lot to learn.
Now, decades later, when I hear, sing, and speak about grace I feel excited, thankful, and often overwhelmed. What follows are just some of the ways Heather and I have known the ‘amazing grace’ of God in our lives.
Grace: God came looking for me when I was not looking for him. The god I thought I knew was not the God I came to know in Jesus. I would not have found him by my own efforts. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Grace: God turned my life upside down. No longer to teach maths but to preach and teach the good news of Jesus. Not my first choice, but his best for me. (Ephesians 4:7)
Grace: God has brought many wonderful people into our lives – people who have loved us, cared for us, challenged us, and stood with us. This, the joy of being in the family of God. (1 John 4:11-12)
Grace: God has poured out his Spirit upon us and given his ‘gifts of grace’ – charismata. We have seen him do things that were impossible for us to do. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
Grace: God has kept us and held us through times of difficulty, when ministry has seemed hard and dry, when division caused some to leave us. (Isaiah 43:1-2)
Grace: God has not turned his back when mistakes have been made, including some big ones. He has not given up on us when others have. (Hebrews 12:10-11)
Grace: God has given the joy of seeing lives changed, ministries developed, and churches transformed. This has been, and still is, a precious privilege. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Grace: God has granted us the vantage point of being able to look back over the years and truly say: ‘It was grace that brought us safe thus far…’ (2 Corinthians 12:9)
…And grace will lead us home. (Jude 24-25)
The beautiful song quoted at the beginning can be found here.