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 has 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.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
As I read Chapter Fifteen of Luke yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of this wonderful old hymn written by John Newton, a former slave trader. Each of the three parables referred to here, explain exactly what grace is all about.
The first example is about the good shepherd, who when one of his sheep strayed, left the entire flock behind to rescue the one that was lost. This seems almost irresponsible of the shepherd, yet he places such value on each individual sheep, he desires to keep them all together and will risk everything to make that happen.
The second parable is about the woman who has ten coins and loses one. She will clean every corner of the house, look under everything and search diligently until the lost coin is found. She even calls on her friends and neighbors to help her. When the coin is found there is rejoicing, as there will be in heaven when one sinner repents.
The third story is regarding the wayward child, who is tired of waiting for his inheritance. His father gives it to him in advance and the young man goes and indulges in wild living until the money is gone. When he realizes he’s hit bottom, he returns to his father and asks for forgiveness. The father welcomes him with open arms, as the good son gets angry over this special treatment of his brother. The lessons are many in this one. We see two brothers. One has followed all the rules while the other is impetuous and foolish. The father loves both of his sons equally, exactly the way God loves us. When one left the nest and made a mess of his life, the father took him back, because of his repentant heart. The other son is jealous, but his father reminds him that has always had his love.
The grace that is shown in each of these parables is exactly the way our God treats us. Grace is defined as undeserved kindness. None of us deserves God’s amazing grace, but He gives it willingly, because of his unconditional love for us.
Today, think about that. The lost, when found, should be so ecstatic for His open arms. We should rejoice that God loves us so much that He gave His life for us. Because of that grace, we can look forward to heaven.