Tag Archives: Amazing Grace

Grace – What’s So Amazing About It?

Grace nurtures hope. This past week has been one of the most difficult weeks in Texas. Never in the history of tracking weather, has major flooding from heavy rain occurred in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio – at the same time. Raging rivers have destroyed communities and shattered lives.

The most tragic of these is the loss of life due to the Blanco River rising so quickly that a vacation home was literally swept of its piers before the occupants had a chance to escape. Of the 8 people in the home, 5 have been found, 3 remain missing. Of the 5 found, only one has survived. Jonathan McComb was found 12 miles down river from where this house once stood.

You can see this is not a small cabin by the river. All that remains are the concrete piers you that supported the deck. As this house floated down the river, Laura McComb called her sister to say the house was floating down the river, and basically said good-bye just before the house smashed into a bridge sending the occupants flying.

The McComb family is from Corpus Christi and are members of First Baptist Church. I cannot imaging the heart aches the community and church are experiencing when tragedy like this happens. I do know the Christian community shares the hurt whether we personally know the victim(s) or not. Several of my Facebook friends have shared prayer needs for the victims and their families. While I may be in Virginia, Facebook and the internet has given me a connection to this family in Texas

My friend Karen posted this on Facebook today.

We waited 20 months for a Pastor. While I loved Joe, we needed a full-time Pastor. At times discouraged with the time it took, but God in his infinite wisdom and knowledge knew what we needed. He has never failed us.
It was well worth the wait! So deeply thankful for Brian Hill (the new pastor). You stepped into our lives in God’s perfect timing. God placed Jonathan McComb on the search committee and you got to know him and Laura and the kids. Now, your compassion is helping us all walk this journey. Thank you and God Bless you!

This is just one of countless examples of how Grace nurtures Hope. The Apostle Paul wrote about hope –

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)

Hope is the one thing that keeps the light on in our soul when our circumstances tell us otherwise. Hope is putting a positive spin on the situation no matter how bleak it may be. Without Jesus in our hearts, that is impossible to do.

When tragedy strikes, we have two choices. We can let the tragedy dictate our perspective or we can hold on the Rock of Jesus and trust Him to bring us through the tragedy. And we can only do that if we know Jesus personally, just like a friend. Jesus calls you His friend (John 15:15). Can you call Him your friend? When tragedy happens, you need a friend like Jesus.

Do you know Jesus in your heart? If you do, then you have the grace that nurtures hope.

If you don’t know Jesus in your heart, then perhaps now is the time to do this.

Ask for forgiveness.
Believe in the gift of salvation.
Pray to confess your sin.
Receive Christ into your life.

What’s keeping you from asking Jesus to be your friend today?

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Grace – What Is So Amazing About It?

In the 1740’s John Newton (1725–1807) captained two Liverpool slave ships in his twenties. From the detailed logs he kept we learn that during this time, John Newton never had the least scruple as to its lawfulness. From his perspective, it was all about making money. In 1754, he became seriously ill and gave up that business. Ten years later he became an Evangelical minister. He became horrified when he recalled his former means of earning a living. Grace changed him. In 1773, he penned the words to the now infamous hymn, Amazing Grace.

The apostle John described an encounter Jesus had with the local religious teachers. In this encounter, Jesus demonstrates Grace.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he went back to the Temple, and all the people came to him, and he sat and taught them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They forced her to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?” They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him.

But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.

Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus raised up again and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?”

11 She answered, “No one, sir.”

Then Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.” (John 8:1-11, NCV)

Grace changed this adulterous women.

In the Spring of 2013, I stumbled upon The Light Life Blog, written by Rachel Rowell. She blogged about how Grace changed her in this post Where The Journey Begins.

Grace changes everything. Have you been changed by grace? I would love to hear your story of how grace changed you.

Over the next several Sundays, I will be exploring this theme and invite you to follow along.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.