I was preaching in a church recently and just before I preached the congregation sang the great hymn – Amazing Grace.
I knew that, at the end of the hymn, I would be speaking on the theme of God’s grace, so I became very attuned to this hymn as it was being sung. I could sense a great passion being displayed as people were singing.
The words echoed around the church building:
“I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.”
As I sang these words, and listened to them being sung with such conviction, something struck me so hard that I wanted to share it!
What went through my mind at that point was a thought that was something like this:
‘It is great that we are so thankful to God for His grace. We know and we declare to Him that we are all nothing more than ‘a wretch’ that owes everything to Jesus and Him alone. Why then are so few of us willing to share this unbelievably good news with other ‘wretches’ who don’t know the amazing news of the gospel?’
A couple of things occurred to me that I just want to share:
- Is it possible that sometimes we feel more satisfied than justified as a result of what Jesus did? In scripture the religious leaders often saw themselves as those whom God had favoured but failed to see that His purpose in saving them was that they would make Him known to others. They were satisfied, you could even go so far as to say ‘self satisfied’ and even thanked God that they weren’t bad like the lost people. (Luke 18:9-14 makes interesting reading).
- Could this ‘satisfied’ attitude mean that we forget that God wants our gratitude to Him to be something that never leads to us being glad that we are not like lost people but, instead, leads us to long for them to come to know the Jesus that has done so much!
As I reflect upon this Hymn and still ‘hear’ the words echoing around the church building. I confess that I am ‘amazed’ by God’s free gift of grace but also amazed at how easy it is for us all to make this about ‘me’ rather than about the one who saved us. I often find myself praying a prayer like this:
‘Lord, now that I am found, fill my thankful heart with a passion to help lost people come to know about this amazing grace’.