"He….encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should
continue with the Lord." Acts 11:23
I'm So Thankful For His Grace!
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: "Who am I, O LORD God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O LORD God." I Chronicles 17:16-17
Yes, I am so thankful for grace! As we approach another Thanksgiving Day and I ponder in my heart all of the blessings that have been mine, none exceeds the manifold grace of God which appeared to me when I was desperately lost in my sins. W.E. Best expressions my sentiments when he said, "The sinner, apart from grace, is unable to be willing and unwilling to be able." Grace represents both the helpless poverty of man and the unlimited kindness of God. Someone once said, "The grace of salvation is a gift and you can't boast about a gift. You can only be thankful."
It was the word of "grace" that that brought salvation to me (Acts 20:32); it was "grace" that justified me (Rom. 3:24); His "grace" in saving me was not just sufficient but abundant (Rom. 5:7); my salvation was not through anything I could do but was a gift of His "grace" (Rom. 12:3,6,15:5); so like Paul, I can say, "By the 'grace' of God I am what I am" (I Cor. 15:10).
But God's grace goes far beyond the provision for my salvation, it touches every area of my life as I make my journey towards the heavenly city. God's grace for the journey is available for every situation ever imaginable. There is strengthening grace (II Cor. 12:9); sustaining grace (II Cor. 9:8); serving grace (I Cor. 15:10); standing grace (Rom. 5:2); singing grace (Col. 3:16); speaking grace (Col. 4:6); and maybe not a specific verse, but there is also succumbing grace as manifested in the life of Stephen at death's door (Acts 7:54-60).
We are so familiar with that great hymn "Amazing grace" written by John Newton, truly a sinner saved by grace (The text above prefaces his hymn in the Olney Hymnbook). Dr. Kenneth W. Osbeck, in his volume of hymn stories entitled, "Amazing Grace," states, "Until the time of his death at the age of 82, John Newton never ceased to marvel at the grace of God that transformed him so completely. Shortly before his death he is quoted as proclaiming with a loud voice during a message, 'My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior!' What amazing grace!"
Our hymnbooks usually only print five, six, at the most, verses of Newton's renowned hymn. Sometime ago, a friend at church, gave to me the complete text of Newton's hymn, "Amazing Grace," which, in it's entirely, contains thirteen verses. As I read them, I once again expressed to the Lord my thankfulness for His grace. I am sure that you will also.
In evil long I took delight, unawed by shame or fear;
Maynard H. Belt
Mich. Assoc. of Regular Baptist Churches