Grace Is Indeed An Ocean

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  -John 1:16-17

I know that people have written extensively about the lyrics to John Mark McMillan’s How He Loves, and I am attempting to amplify just one line of the song. (And yes, spoiler alert, the song was performed by the David Crowder*Band, but not written by them).  The particular line that I speak of is illustrated in the picture above.  If His Grace Is An Ocean, We’re All Sinking…

Follow me for a moment of imagination…

  • Imagine trying to swim the entirety of the  ocean without any help…Fail Right?
  • Imagine trying to drink up all the water of the ocean without any help…Fail Right? (plus way to salty)
  • Imagine trying to soak up all the water of the ocean without any help…Fail Right?
  • Imagine trying to hold back a all water of the ocean as if we could control it all…Fail Right?

The ocean is so immense and overwhelmingly deep and full that it is hard to wrap our minds around the sheer size of it…but lets attempt to.

70% of the world is covered in water by the oceans.  There are approximately 1,300,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters of water in the oceans, which is 1.3 sextillion liters.   To get to gallons, there are 3.78541178 liters in 1 gallon.  Doing the math, that means there are 343,423,668,428,484,681,262 gallons of water in the oceans.   That’s 343 quintillion gallons, or put another way, 343 billion BILLION gallons.   That’s a lot of water.

I think you may be getting the picture…at least I hope part of it.

There is no way possible for us to even begin to do these things even if we imagined that we possibly could.  Our human attempts to hold back the ocean are in vain.  (See any major storm or natural disaster on the coasts)

But like the immensity of these oceans…so is the incredibly mind-glowingly huge immensity of God’s grace.  The Scripture says that from “His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” from Jesus Christ.

From the fullness of what He did on the cross…and we need to sink in that grace.  We need to die to self by drowning in the grace that only Jesus Christ has given us.

We need to let it sink in that in His grace we must sink in.

Our attempts to live this life on our own merits, or proving ourselves, or trying to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, or working our way to achievement, or whatever way you want to call it…ends in falling short…way, way, to short.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” -Romans 3:23

You see the Law came through Moses.  It taught us about godliness, but the law only reveals what godliness is…in itself, it cannot make us godly, or holy.  Only the Gospel “good news” of Jesus Christ can do that.  That is truth and grace…realized.  And this is that truth and grace.

  • Our God created you and me with love.
  • Our sins separate us from God because they are rebellion and we are unrighteous & sinful.
  • Only Jesus lived the life of perfection that we could never have lived because He was fully God & fully man.
  • Only Jesus paid the penalty for our sin through His sacrificial death on the cross.  He willingly went there for us.
  • Only Jesus was willing as the Creator to give up His life for the created…you and me.
  • Only Jesus was able to take back up His life again and rise from the dead.
  • Only Jesus is able to provide life to those in need of rescue, redemption, and restoration from the death penalty of sin.
  • Only Jesus is willing to provide grace upon grace.

His Grace is poured out so immensely that it is like an ocean to drown in…only to find in that “dying to self”…Immortal Love & Life.

Immortal Love, forever full,

Forever flowing free,

Forever shared, forever whole,

A never-ebbing sea!

-John Greenleaf Whittier

His Grace is Indeed An Ocean

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Look & See

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God. -Abraham Lincoln.

There is a profound sense of truth to this.  As we look unto the things of the world, suffering, pain, anguish, war, disease, selfishness, and hate…it would be easy for someone to surmise that the “Good God” of the Bible is unbelievable.  Fortunately, the worldly things of this age were and never are meant to be the focus of our explanation.

The cornerstone of our focus is to be Jesus Christ, the living Word of God in the Flesh. (John 1:1, 14).

1) The Creation of the Heavens & the Earth testify to this being truth…

“that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse”. -Romans 1:20-21

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” -Psalm 19:1-2

The creation of the heavens and earth point to the authority and majesty of a Holy, Loving Creator.  This Creator not only perfects His creation…but has the authority of perfection in His Word.

2) This Word of God testifies to the truth within it….

“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;  the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.  They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” -Psalm 19: 7-11

They also declare their source as a Someone that we can know and who has made Himself known to us.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:1, 14

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” -Jesus Christ, John 5:39

The Word of God is Perfect and gives testimony to us that in their perfection…they point to the Living God and His authority as Jesus Christ (btw Christ is not Jesus’ last name, Christ = the Greek word “Χριστός” which means Messiah or Anointed One).

  • The Heavens are the testimony that God is & He exist, which is important for authentic faith (Hebrews 11:1,6).
  • The creation urges us to seek to know the Creator through trusting His Word.  The creation is such a powerful testimony that we are without excuse for seeking to know the Creator of it. (Romans 1:20-21)
  • The Word of God is perfect because of its source and it brings us understanding.  In understanding the Word of God we discover the truth of the Gospel through the grace of Jesus Christ.. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Romans 15:4, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 5:17-18)
  • Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promises of the Word of God.  (John 3:14-18)

Look & See…

If you have questions, do not set your focused gaze on the things of this world that have no true authority.  Focus instead on the Word of God and the Person of God, Jesus Christ.

His own words are…

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” -Matthew 7:7-8

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” -John 8:31-32

Look & See…

But By The Grace of God…

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain” -1 Corinthians 15:10

This is a “life verse” to me.  You know “life verses”?  Well, they It are those scriptures that stand out in Scripture that really just speak volumes in the matter of a few words.  Much like a mantra, famous quote, or motto.  This passage has great meaning for me and I could go on and on about the Word of God in just these 20 English words (as they have been translated from the Greek New Testament).

The apostle Paul was using them to describe the work of God’s grace on His life, and I feel the same.  Every now and then, I’m reminded to put this into writing.  It was the sacrifice of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the burial of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the Word of Jesus that brought this grace to my life.

I’m thankful for the choice to be His and to follow Him through faith.  Now I just want to me His man By His Grace, Proclaiming His Gospel, For His Glory.

So going back to 1 Corinthians 15:10.  This verse wrecks my life and restores it.  It echoes the person I am in Christ.

Why?

1)  By The Grace of God…It is His authority and His work that provides the grace.

2) By The Grace of God…It is GRACE! This “unmerited favor” of God based on the work of Jesus on the cross is a gift.  It is not something I earned or could ever hope to earn.

3) I am what I am…Because of His grace I am redeemed.  I am a new creation.  I am His child.  I am a citizen of His Kingdom.  I am rescued out of darkness.  I am no longer under His wrath.  I am a receiver of the Promise.  I am a man with a future.  I am a man with a mission.  I am HIS.

4) And His Grace Toward Me Was Not In Vain…His grace does not just give me a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. His grace that He gave me (once again, unmerited favor) builds in me a desire to follow because of overwhelming gratitude.  I seek to live a Christ honoring life not because I can earn anything, but because He has given me everything through the cross.  For that, I have complete joy to live for Him.

This Grace transforms life.  Jesus changes everything.  I am not who I once was and for that I am thankful.

Others in the past and present know this to be true as well.Image

Long ago a slave-trader turned convert of Christ, pastor, abolitionist, and song writer spoke these words…

“I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I wish to be.  I am not what I hope to be.  Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was.  By the Grace of God, I am what I am.” -John Newton (writer of Amazing Grace)

You can know the Grace of Jesus Christ as well.

Let me know if you need help to know the Word of God & the grace of God that only comes from Jesus Christ.