In her beautiful hymn “Accepted in the Beloved” Civilla Martin shares a variety of wonderful thoughts about grace. Each of them could be a meditation in itself. We have looked at many hymns, Gospel songs and choruses over the past 5 weeks. Each of them has proclaimed the marvelous grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ. The time that we spend thanking God for His indescribable grace each day is insufficient to generate the depth of gratitude and praise that His grace should elicit. Grace needs to become a more common theme in our thoughts and on our tongues. Civilla Martin captures some of that for us.
She begins, “In the Beloved accepted am I”. Grace places us in Christ. Christ is in heaven in the very presence of the Father. We are there with Him. Christ is in control. We are under His gracious control. Christ is unruffled. We are secure. Christ has been approved by God and raised from the dead. So are we. We are in the Beloved Son of God Jesus Christ. Just to reflect on that should keep us busy for eternity. All of her first stanza concentrates on this great truth that is effected by “His infinite grace”.
Civilla’s second stanza stresses our security in Christ. In Him we lack nothing. She says, “In the Beloved accounted complete”. Completely what? We are complete in the righteousness of Christ. We are complete in the promises of Christ. We are complete in the relationship of Christ to His Father. The brokenness of our lives has been restored in the completeness of His forgiving grace. Our hope is complete for Jesus said, “It is finished”.
Her last verse records the work of Christ to make us accepted and complete. By God’s “Infinite Grace” the wrath of the Father against our sins was poured on the head of His own dear Son. She describes it as “infinite wrath rolling over His head”. Then she exclaims, “Infinite grace, for He died in my stead.” The punishment of the cross was really ours to bear. But beyond the cross the grave was ours to keep us in eternal darkness and despair. But by infinite grace “He died in my stead”.
All of this should warm our heart not just occasionally but constantly. We are, as Civilla says, “In the Beloved, God’s marvelous grace; calls me to dwell in this wonderful place; God sees my Savior and then He sees me, in the Beloved, accepted and free.” Let these abundant grace thoughts fill you with joy, praise, thanksgiving and contentment today.
The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend. Amen
You may also enjoy this inspirational devotional book, The Gospel According to Molly,