I read a Paul Tripp piece that popped up in my Facebook newsfeed the other day. It was a fabulous little read, but it sure was attention-getting! He titled it No Longer Amazed by Grace; you can read it HERE. For those in ministry, this is a must read, I think.
Tripp’s article caused me to think. Maybe it’s done the same for you. The question begs to be answered honestly in our hearts with God as soon as possible. Is grace still amazing after all these years?
I wonder if that’s the reason behind my blog, if I’m honest.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:4
Have I forgotten my first love? No, I haven’t; I know I desperately love the Lord! But, has my view of grace over twenty years become faded, nostalgic, or a little “antique” when I think about it? Maybe I seek to overwhelm my senses with Fragrant Grace because, when I am intensely focused on the grace of God, I remember. The process of celebrating graces 20 years or 20 minutes old breathes vibrant life into the amazement I hope to feel in every part of my soul!
In my forty years of life, I can tally endless moments of forbearing grace; active, “in the moment” grace; and “long time later blessings” of grace. I’m sure most of us could, if we took the time. These beautiful words should overwhelm us:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Now, take these three verses (this paltry three of thousands) and contrast it to your “life list” of moments. You can certainly pick a few and narrow the list. Then ask some deeper questions.
When did your Abba forbear your offenses until the right time? “While we were still sinners…” echoes in my mind over and over when I think of the loving, patient response to the offensive choices on my list.
When did Jesus bear them? He was “an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” One single moment two thousand years ago impacted my entire life, past, present, and future. Every single second of the entire span. Every single offense.
Do you count the “long time later blessings” you’ve received? He loved me first, and I am strongly equipped to love as a response to his gracious, merciful love. I tend to think this is an after-effect kind of thing because I become increasingly aware of the incredible depth and breadth of his love over time, even if it dawned brightly the moment I chose to trust and follow Christ.
I hope grace never gets old, musty-dusty, or mundane. That just might be the same moment I start to believe it was both free and cheap. It was freely given, but more costly than I can grasp! I hope my eye on grace is always sharp, in focus, and searching for the grace-filled moment that just was, or shortly will be. Grace over the years is precious and beautiful, but I don’t want my amazement to fade with time and distance. Grace is fragrant and fresh!
Dear Jesus, your sacrifice was the fulfillment of grace at the cross. I can never thank you enough. Where words fail, I hope the Holy Spirit will help my heart convey the emotion behind the thankfulness I feel. When I consider your forbearance, your immediate presence, and your long term blessings through the lens of grace, it is simply amazing! May it always be! Give me a sharp eye to see and appreciate the various graces you lavish on me every minute. If I miss one, please point it out. I always want to be thankful and offering praise for the things you do. It’s my act of worship, and you are worthy of it!
I hope you enjoy this version of Amazing Grace performed by Il Divo. It is one of my favorites, though this song rarely disappoints when someone sings with heart, soul, and humility. Certainly skill helps, too, I suppose.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read. I’d love to hear your thoughts about grace! Is it still amazing after all these years in your life? Have you found ways to infuse thankfulness and joy into your perspective of grace, too?
Video Credit: This “Amazing Grace” video is not this author’s creation or property. All rights and accolades should be given to the artists and producers of this video. In addition, this blog author does not condone or recommend any comments by third parties at the YouTube site hosting this video.