Monday, September 19, 2011

Amazing Grace Verse 2

Credit: Free images from acobox.com
Amazing Grace was written by John Newton and published in 1799. I reviewed the first verse of "Amazing Grace" in one of my earlier posts, and if you would like the background information on the author John Newton, or the song itself, see Amazing Grace, first verse.


T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

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T'was Grace that taught...

Romans 11:6 (NKJV): "And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved"

Grace, or unmerited favor, the free gift of God, purchased by the death of Jesus.

Romans 6:23 (NKJV): "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

When we talk about Grace, we almost always, as if by rote, think of our salvation.  This is a good thing, because this is this biggest thing anyone could have given to them.  Yet, grace is a far bigger part of my life.  Once you realize the depth of your sin, how much you sin, how often your sin, and how much God really has forgiven - then you start to see.  In my life, the little things that I still have, like my home, my car, my food ... they seem so much bigger, given the fact that God gave it all to me, even while I am still a sinner.


So, what this lines means to me, is that Grace, the unmerited favor shown to me by God, has given me everything I have.  That has finally taught me humility, faith, love and duty.  Grace.  Grace has taught it all.
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my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved.


Psalm 33:8 (NLT): "Let the whole world fear the Lord and let everyone stand in awe of him."

Psalm 33:8 (AMP): "Let all the earth fear the Lord [revere and worship Him]; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."


Two different words here.  I have read so much in preparing for this blog, but all of it was about actually being afraid of the Lord.  I can understand being afraid of punishment, but even that is a little out of place, if you believe in unmerited favor, as in, you deserve one thing, but you get another.  We know that God is Just, be we know he gave us Grace.  That's the point.  Jesus paid the price of our Sin ... all of it.  So, no, I don't really fear the Lord is going to strike me down.  I do, however, as in the Amplified Bible above, revere and worship the Lord.  Why, because he loves me, provides for me, and carries me, when what I deserve is death.  Praise the Lord ... Love the Lord, but fear him only in the sense of the verse above.  Let those who fight against him, FEAR him.




That leaves Death, the big fear.  Not going to happen to me.  My body will die, but I am but a guest on this planet.  When my body dies, I will be with the Lord Jesus in Heaven, since he has both paid the price needed and promised me he has gone to prepare the way for Me and you.


That is HOW Grace my fears relieved.  Because of Jesus' death, and resurrection, I live forever with God. Wow.


John 14:2 (AMP) In My Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you.


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How precious did that Grace appear...

Brokenness, that is what this is talking about.  You, when you first believed, understood just how messed up you are, and God gave his only son over to a VERY painful death, while you were still a sinner, just so he could give you eternal life with him.  I was, still am, ashamed of my daily sin.  It hurts me to know that I am forgiven it all, and loved, even as I sin.  When I realize what I have done, it breaks me.  Brokenness.  

Romans 5:8 (AMP) "But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us."


He had his own son pay the price, as a human, for your sin, making you clean, so you could be with him.  Pretty scary, when your eyes can finally see just how bad we are, and how good He is.

Acts 26:18 : To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.

For me, I did not really come to understand brokenness until just recently.  As in the last few weeks.  I always had everything covered, in my own mind.  I was the man, and I could find a way.  After all, that was the way I was raised, and God had always stepped in to help me out, so why should it change?  For the story of how I came to faith, read Diving In.  


But it did change.  I read a book, Good News for Those Trying Harder by Alan Kraft, and it changed everything.  Now I understand what the Bible is trying to tell me.  

They my eyes were opened, very painfully I might add, and someone reached out with God's love, and I grabbed hold.  It was AWESOME.  It really changed everything.  I could see.

IT APPEARED HUGE!!

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The Hour I First Believed  ...

If you have read Diving In, you already know that I don't remember anything.  Both Long and short term memory issues.  Kinda like living as a dog.  Not really challenging for me, because I can remember no other way to live.  Not so much fun for those around me.  Yet, I remember exactly where I was when I accepted Jesus.  I also remember the time of day, the Hour, if you will.  In psychology they call it a significant emotional event.

Psychologically speaking, that is Bunk.  I don't have the capacity for significant emotional events that end in a positive way anymore.  Head to road event fixed that for all time. Seriously, I also have a real tough times with things I can not see, touch, feel and measure.  God just did not fit the type of person I was.  I was just sitting at a desk, thinking about what someone had told me about Jesus, and the light went on.  Boom.  It was almost audible.  I love YOU for who YOU are it said.  Wow.  Significant?  Yes.  Emotional?  Just Love.  That was the hour I first believed.

But there is more to this line.   There is the implication that I have moved away from the event at that hour; that I am less secure in my salvation and less receptive of God's grace now that I was then.  Most of my friends call that "spiritual maturity."  I call it sin.  I was willing to do whatever the spirit asked back then.  Now I think about it, to make sure it is God.  I was the barbarian for Jesus, not looking for reasons, just doing.  Now I have become the civilized Christian, who at times looks and acts like one who does not even follow Jesus.  That is what this line means too.  Go back to the moment you were first made whole in Jesus, and start again for God. There is a really good book on this subject too.  "The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within" by Erwin Raphael McManus.  


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