Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wonderful Grace

I have been thinking a lot about grace lately. Where would we be without the grace of God? Where would we be without the grace He gives us to enable us to reach out to others when there is hurt? We talk about grace a lot in the church and rightly so, but how often do we really think about what that means, how it plays out in our lives? 

Those of us who call ourselves Christians have been shown so much grace and yet we don't always show that same grace to others. I know, it's hard and we need God's strength and grace in us to be able to extend that grace to our fellow human beings. It's good sometimes to stop and think hard about this wonderful grace that has been shown to us. We need to be still and let that grace flow over us, fill us with gratitude, hope and love, and then pass it on to those who come across our paths from the ones we see every day to the ones we pass on the street.

(photography by Gayl Wright)
One of my favorite hymns from growing up in church is “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” Not only do the words give encouragement about the grace of Jesus, the tune is such a happy one and always lifts my spirits. I always enjoyed playing it on the piano and hearing the congregation sing. It was written by Haldor Lellenas in 1918. I want to share the first verse and refrain with you. If you get a chance, go look it up, or better yet find the music and sing along.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame
Oh magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

(photography by Gayl Wright)

Another song that has been on my mind lately is “Beyond the Sky” by Fernando Ortega. Its tune, along with Fernando's voice is very soothing. It reminds us that one day our tears will end because God Himself will wipe them away. There have been some real hurts in our lives, some very recent and I think that is why these words have been on my mind. I hope they are also soothing to you. HERE is a YouTube version if you'd like to hear it. I'm including the words below.

Beyond the Sky (by Fernando Ortega)
One morning
When time is done
Bright heaven
Will be our refuge
The city of God Most High

I long for
That holy day
This longing
Sometimes it captures my heart
And carries me far away

Beyond the sky
Beyond all telling
Our Father Himself will be our light
His arms will hold us
And with His hand
He'll wipe away the tears
That stain our eyes

When darkness
Falls over me
This promise
It's like a fire inside
Burning the dark away

Beyond the sky
Beyond all telling
Our Father Himself will be our light
His arms will hold us
And with His hand
He'll wipe away the tears
That stain our eyes

(photography by Gayl Wright)
I hope you are blessed by reading and/or hearing these songs. You can also find more encouragement by visitng Lisha Epperson's blog where she is hosting #GiveMeGrace, a weekly link up on Sundays. There are many others who write and share about grace in their lives.

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