Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013 … Grace ... AMAZING grace!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 239

Devotional Songs: Go to this link ...  Please take in this poignant and powerful song sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean, singingYour Grace Still Amazes Me, exhorting all to remember how deep, how wide, and how strong God’s grace is for anyone willing to receive it today.
And there is the classic old song, at this link ... written by John Newton, Amazing Grace, sung in this more contemporary version, by Chris Tomlin.

Highlight meditation passage – John 20: 19-20 [NLT]:  
19 That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. 20 As He spoke, He held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them His side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord! 
Highlight reading study #1 of John, Chapters 20: Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: John 13: 33-34 [God’s love abounds in His grace to all who come to Him in faith.] … [NLT] …
34 "... So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Reference Passage #2: Revelations 3: 20 [And to receive His love and grace, all we need to do is open the door.] … [NLT] …  
20 “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. ... "

My Journal for Today: Do you remember the scene at the end of Chapter 20 of John’s Gospel? Jesus had just materialized in that upper room to the disciples gathered there; and the first thing out of His mouth was “Peace be with you …;” and today, as I do, we might read that casually; but the astonishment of the disciples had to be overwhelming as Jesus came to His followers after His resurrection into that same upper room where He had tried to reassure them in Chapters 13-16 before He went to the cross.

But here He was in the midst of the eleven who had bolted in fear in the Garden that night when Jesus was taken by the Jewish guards. And there they were in the midst of their post-cross grief; and all of a sudden Jesus appears from seemingly no where; … and what were the first words out of His mouth? Yes, … “Peace be with you!” And perhaps they remembered that same quiet voice of assurance when Jesus had spoken to them several days earlier (see John 13: 34-35 copied above). But in the meantime, before that moment of reassembly in the upper room, the disciples had scattered in fear and had denied they knew Jesus. He had been unjustly tried and skewered on a “tree” unto death. And a few of them had seen the empty tomb after Jesus was buried. But here He was, having appeared out of no where, right there in front of them, … able to show them His scars and let doubting ones, like Thomas, touch Him. And the first words out of His mouth were words of love and amazing grace.

Do you identify with the disciples in that room that night? I do; … because my life is a poster-boy for what those men received that night; and that is God’s amazing grace. No, those men didn’t deserve God’s grace (just as I don’t); but they got it anyway. And that’s what Phillips, Craig, and Dean and Chris Tomlin sing about in the songs to which I’ve linked you this morning. God’s grace toward those of us who believe in Him is nothing short of AMAZING to those of us – none deserving it – who are willing, as Jesus said to His church in Rev. 3: 20, to merely open the door at His knocking and let Him in.

I don’t know about you; but I’m opening the door to My Savior and Lord today!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I hear You knocking; and I’m here to open the door. Come in; let’s hang out today together. … Amen

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