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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

09 Jul '11

Amazing Grace

Posted by T.J. Addington in gospel, personal growth, spiritual formation, The heart
"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me"

Few songs are more deeply loved and more theologically true. It is not just grace: it is amazing grace! Every one of us in our deepest heart know our own depravity. Some of which we have never admitted to others. The older I am the more of that depravity I understand. Yet I know that all of that is covered by the amazing grace of Christ which far exceeds my deepest failures, sin or depravity.

Now multiply that amazing grace by every member of your congregation. Hundreds of people that have been immersed in the amazing grace of Jesus. It is an ocean of grace. If we even remotely understood the amount of that amazing grace represented by our local church family we would be astounded: in fact we could never comprehend it.

Now think of an unbeliever or broken individual who comes into that ocean of grace. If they meet people who understand and live out of grace. Have you ever walked into a church where you just felt you had entered an ocean of God's grace through His people? I have. There is a felt presence, a deep love, an unconditional acceptance that can only come through being in the very presence of the holy, forgiving, merciful, grace filled God. In the acceptance and love of His people you experience the acceptance, love and amazing grace of the Father.

Why are there not more congregations like that? I think it is that we often don't understand the grace of Jesus in our lives. The more I understand what that amazing grace has done in my life, the more I naturally extend that grace to others. Too many believers who have experienced that amazing grace lack that grace toward others because they don't understand, don't remember what God has extended to them. Legalism, harshness, critical spirits, anger, and lack of forgiveness reflect a poor understanding of our own depravity, our deep need and the amazing grace that God has extended to us.

Interestingly it is as we take the time to understand our own depravity that we better understand grace because we continually are reminded of our deep need - daily - for the amazing grace of Jesus. If I need that grace daily, if I am dependent on that grace daily, how can I not extend that grace to those I come into contact with - loving them as Jesus loves on us.

The purpose of this blog? To remind me what amazing grace looks like and to remind me to extend that amazing grace to others. And, hopefully to remind others what churches look like when the amazing ocean of grace welcomes the hurting, the sinful and the lost. Or even that member who irritates us deeply!