Oh the Wonderful Grace of God

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Providence

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. (Psalm 152:1-2)

I have spent some time in recent weeks dwelling on the vastness of God. Personally, I think that one of the great needs of today’s church is to recapture an understanding of how great God is. Not only great in the sense of good, but also great as in vast, eternal, all powerful, all knowing, just, holy and so on. At times I worry our ideas of God are just too small!

The wonderful thing is that the more you realise the holy vastness of God, the smaller you feel. The smaller you feel, the more you realise how gracious God is in dealing with you. How marvellous it is to be able to rely upon an entirely dependable God! Oh the joy of receiving the grace of God.

Back when I started these emails, at the first lockdown, I made quite a lot of use of “All Things for Good” by the Puritan Thomas Watson. As we come nearer to the end of this lockdown I thought I’d return to him once more, and so for the next few emails I’ll end with an extract of his honey-dipped words:

Admire and adore God's free grace in calling you—that God should pass over so many, that He should pass by the wise and noble, and that the lot of free grace should fall upon you! That He should take you out of a state of vassalage, from grinding the devil's mill, and should set you above the princes of the earth, and call you to inherit the throne of glory! Fall upon your knees, break forth into a thankful triumph of praise! Let your hearts be ten stringed instruments, to sound forth the memorial of God's saving mercy. There are none so deep in debt to free grace—as you are; and none should be so high mounted upon the pinnacle of thanksgiving. Say as the sweet singer; "I will extol you, O God my King, every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever!" (Psalm 145:1, 2). Those who are monuments of mercy—should be trumpets of praise! O long to be in heaven, where your thanksgivings shall be purer and shall be raised a note higher!


So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) - At times God uses our afflictions to draw us to him. At other times, we struggle with something or other which reminds us that we are not as perfect we as think. And then we fall upon God’s grace. Afflictions are, as in the case with the Apostle Paul, a means to a greater glory

Pray for Them

But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ (Luke 15:17-19). - The interesting phrase here is: “he came to himself”. I am sure we all have friends and family who are not Christian, and maybe they have been dismissive of any conversation about the faith for many years. This doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of the matter: you can still pray. Pray that the person will “come to himself”. The prodigal was not with anyone when this took place, he was simply by himself

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