In Stuart Townend’s great worship hymn, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”, he adds in the second line, “how vast beyond all measure”. Haldor Lillenas in his hymn “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” uses these words in the chorus, “deeper than the mighty rolling sea, higher than the mountain, all sufficient grace for even me”. It is the incredible vastness of God’s grace, His love in Jesus Christ, which both overwhelms and blesses the believer.
In I Peter 1:6 Peter points out that the believer will encounter various (NKJV) or manifold (KJV) trials and temptations. The word used here for various or manifold is used again by Peter in I Peter 4:10 to describe the manifold grace of God. What Peter has said is that in every need there is a grace to meet it. In II Corinthians 12:9 Paul says that in his hour of frustration over his thorn in the flesh that God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” That wasn’t a need for saving grace; rather it was a need for supporting grace in his ministry. It wouldn’t be Paul’s strength showing through; it would be the strength and grace of God being made manifest in his life. In James 4:6 James says that God gives “more grace” to us. Since we cannot be more saved than we are at the point of conversion, more grace means that it is grace to live our newborn life not just get newborn life.
God’s grace is vast. It is deep. It is wide. It is sufficient for all needs. It is wonderful. God’s grace is saving, enabling, sustaining, wooing, giving, rejoicing and we could go on and on. At the table before a meal we say “grace” showing that we are thankful for God’s bountiful blessings. Grace is the unmatched and unrivaled blessings of God toward His own children. It is a general grace offered to all mankind in the rain that falls on the just and unjust. It is a bidding grace to everyone to come to the cross and be born again. It is a grace to strengthen the believer through the portal of eternity. It is the old adage, “There but for the grace of God go I”. God’s grace is beyond measure. It can never be used up. It springs from the very nature of God who is full of grace.
John Newton begins his hymn “Amazing Grace” by telling how that grace saved him. In the next verses he reminds us that it also sustained him in many dangers, toils and snares. Then he makes us clear that the grace that began our walk with God will also finish it with Him. In the original, not the American version of the hymn, Newton also assures us of the great promises of that grace for us that God has promised in His word. Let us learn more of that grace and sing it with exuberance each day.
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
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