Haldor Lillenas’s great hymn “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” is aimed at making one point very clear - the grace of God is wonderful. Each stanza begins with “wonderful grace of Jesus” and each stanza ends with “wonderful grace of Jesus”. We have reached “W” and that will be for the wonderful grace of Jesus.
What does wonderful really mean to us? Its actual definition means to fill with wonder. It could be used in a negative way. At the end of a long day at work the boss brings in a stack of papers that need to be finished before you can go home. “Wonderful,” you mutter under your breath. Of course, it fills you with wonder at how the boss could be so inconsiderate to wait until 4:45 to dump three more hours of work on you. That would be a negative wonderful.
Then you see the sharpest, speediest and most efficient worker in the office go past your door. She looks in and sees what has just happened. She comes into your office and takes off her coat and says, “We can probably get this done in an hour if we work together.”
Wow! You say, “Wonderful! Thank you so much!” That is positive wonderful and it fills you with wonder at the kindness, the concern, the care, the camaraderie and the self sacrificing nature of your co-worker. You are filled with wonder that anyone could do such an onerous task in your behalf. It fills you with gratitude and joy and peace and thanksgiving. That is the wonderful grace of Jesus.
Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He has taken the burden of our sin and nailed it to Calvary’s cross. He has taken the burden of our condemnation and carried it to hell and rose again to life for our hope. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He has promised to be there as our burden bearer for all time and eternity. Isn’t that wonderful? He did all that for us when we were yet sinners and opposed to him in mind, heart and body. He did it all by His wonderful grace.
We need to sing of His grace. We need to proclaim such wonderful grace from the housetops. We need to respond in genuine gratitude demonstrated in our daily lives for such wonderful grace. Indeed we can sing with Haldor Lillenas, “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin. How shall my tongue describe it? Where shall its praise begin?” O the wonderful, wonderful exceedingly wonderful grace of God.
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