Amazing Grace by John Newton

  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
  2. That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.
  3. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
  4. Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
  5. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  6. 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.
  7. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
  8. 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’d first begun.

Let me show you something…

So many times in my life I have complained about hardship. To me, my life was harder than it should have been. I have groaned to God, and blamed Him for the consequences of my choices. I have never been happy with where I was…it was never good enough.

Then God took me by the hand and said, “Let me show you something…”. He pointed me to this man and said, “This is My friend John. Learn from him”. Over the months, I listened to this man, and soon we became as brothers. Then one day he gave his testimony to me, and at that moment, I realized how truly selfish I have been all of my life.

My life has been filled with blessings, I chose to focus on the perceived shortcomings. Then I would shake my fist at God for the wrongs I saw as being from His hand.

God, my Heavenly Father, I thank you for introducing me to your friend John. I thank you for his heart, his faith, and especially for his testimony. Bless him and his ministries, his family, and all of his work in Your name. Father, I am so sorry for all of the false accusations throughout my life. My heart was corrupted and I was blinded by my selfish behavior. Forgive me please. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Tell me something…

Does being a Christian make you better than everyone else in the world? Your standing with God and Jesus allowing you to turn your nose up in judgment of those who don’t act as you think they should. Or maybe, just maybe, is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your savior, a realization that you are a sinner, worthy of condemnation. That you deserve shame, and the punishment befitting. Is it an acceptance that you are nothing, that we are all nothing without Jesus.

What is the cost?

Have you ever truly thought about how much it really costs you to smile at someone? Or maybe how many seconds you might lose on your way to work, to let another driver (notice I didn’t say car) pull in front of you to get around the wreck on the highway. Or maybe how much of a percentage of your day would be spent to say thank you and a few kind words of conversation with the girl scanning your purchased goods at the store? When you stop and really put a quantity on it, it becomes clear how small an amount of effort it is.

Oh, but for such a small amount of effort, the return is immeasurable. We all see how cruel and mean and hurtful this world is getting…if we all were intentional about in investing in some small kind acts throughout our days, imagine the change we could make.

God bless.

Is it a hug, or a wrestling match?

Stop and think about you and your life with God. How does it look? Is it a warm, loving, heartfelt, embrace that you never want to end? Or does it lean more to the rolling on the floor, pulling, biting, scratching, clawing, painful wrestling match that you just have to win?

I know that even if yours is closer to the first example, there will be times when you revert to a season that is more like the second. Simply, stop, recognize, ask for forgiveness, and then ask for a hug.

There are times in my life when I have been in desperate need of the reassurance of His love, that I have felt a warmth and calming peacefulness, like a soft blanket on a chilly night.

There are other times when I have fought against His will. Struggled against what I know to be right. Those times, not only did the pain become real in my life, but I thought I felt drops of water hit my heart. It was though God were crying and I felt His tears.

Through the years I have learned that you will lose when you wrestle with God, but He is always there with the hug of a loving father when you admit you are wrong and ask him to forgive you.

I pray for you all, and myself, to have the courage and wisdom to always seek out the will of God and not wrestle against it, but instead that we embrace it and let Him embrace us. Amen