Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017 ... Amazing, Saving Grace

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 53 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Judy Collins singing the most popular Christian song ever … Amazing Grace … powerfully declaring the reality and truth of God’s wondrous saving grace.

Highlight Verse[s]: Matt. 5:48, John 8:10-11 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The extent of God’s amazing grace on display even to an adulteress.
Highlight Passage [context]: Matthew 5:43-48, John 8:1-11 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus on the extent of God’s grace.

Reference Passage #1 [NLT] : … Acts 9:20-22 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK ...
… God’s amazing grace even saved a sinner like Saul to become the Apostle Paul.

Reference Passage #2 [NLT] : … Romans 5:8, 10:9-13 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK ...
… And God’s amazing grace will save ANYONE who humbly repents and declares that Jesus is LORD … yes, even a broken sinner like me!

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Phillip Yancey, went to scriptural examples of Jesus teaching and demonstrating God’s amazing/saving grace, … not the least of which was the miraculous conversion of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. The ODB author wrote: Jesus’ teaching about absolute ideals and absolute grace seem contradictory. … Jesus never lowered God’s perfect ideal. In His response to the rich young ruler, He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). 
Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace. He forgave an adulteress [Matt. 8], a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him, and a man named Saul [Acts 9], who had made his mark persecuting Christians. 
Grace is absolute and all-encompassing, extending even to those who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34). 

And any time the subject of God’s “AMAZING GRACE” is raised in my quiet times with God, I can’t help but reflect on the first verse of the poem by John Newton, a slave master turned Pastor, who wrote the lyrics to the most popular song in the history of God’s Church [linked above], … ”Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, Who saved a wretch like me.”

Why? … Because I was that wretch; and like the adulteress (from John 8) or the Jewish hit-man, Saul if Tarsus [see Acts 9], … I once was saved by surrendering to God’s amazing … saving … grace (see Romans 5:8 and 10:13). Perhaps you know personally of God’s AMAZING GRACE. … I pray so.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, I pray all, who read here with me, have - like me - been saved by Your amazing grace. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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