A note from John:
It is a gift to hand the reins over to my friend Valerie McMahon today. Valerie shared this poetic essay with my wife and me a few months back. I hope you are as moved as we were.
A note from Valerie:
Growing up in church, I remember always singing the song Amazing Grace, but I don’t think I fully grasped how amazing grace was until recently. After hurting my husband Shane greatly, he offered this amazing grace to me. I didn’t deserved it, but I was convicted to choose to believe and receive this powerful gift. It was then that I was convinced how much I need grace beyond salvation for my daily sanctification. What follows is a testimony and an anthem of gratitude.
By Valerie McMahon
It’s a small word.
You could even say it has super powers.
It has the power to forgive again….and again…and again.
It has the power to allow us to stand in the presence of a holy God washed clean from our sin.
It has the power to heal a broken heart and a broken body.
It has the power to give sufficient strength to the downtrodden and the weary.
It’s always AVAILABLE.
It’s always ACCESSIBLE.
The saving sacrifice of God’s One and Only Son made it POSSIBLE.
So why then are there moments, hours, or days when it seems UNBELIEVABLE that my hateful and haughty words, or my unloving and unselfish actions, or my wicked and worrisome thoughts could be covered by this grace even still?
It’s impact on the identity and destiny of a human being’s soul is nothing short of MIRACULOUS, which makes reasoning how or why a perfect and holy God would choose to give sinners like us this free gift a little REDICULOUS.
So, why do we get grace?
HE LOVES US. OH, HOW HE LOVES US!
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 5:8
Wait a minute…that’s it?
That’s the reason why we are qualified to receive such extravagance?
That’s the reason why our sins are forgiven after our heart felt repentance?
That’s the reason we can be rescued from the pit of Hell?
That’s the reason we have a redeeming story to tell?
That’s the reason our old nature can be put to death?
That’s the reason we can take guilt free, life giving breaths?
That’s the reason shattered marriages can be restored?
That’s the reason we can live out the callings we were created for?
This is AMAZING grace.
It CALLS the prodigal home.
It COMFORTS the grieving widow weeping alone.
It CREATES hope for the single mother who feels abandoned.
It SHEDS off the shame of the adulterous woman.
It SHOWERS the orphan with love and acceptance through adoption.
It SHAPES futures through prophetic words that are spoken.
It RANSOMS us from the penalty of our sin.
It REMOVES the sting of guilt and condemnation.
It RESERVES for the saint a mansion in Heaven.
It RECONCILES relationships that have been bruised and broken.
It RESTORES life to those buried under the lies of Satan.
It JUSTIFIES us freely through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ and his sacrifice.
It makes us JOINT heirs with Christ.
It is the fullness of JESUS…
It isn’t deserved and it cannot be earned.
We have to RECEIVE it.
Why would you leave a gift unopened? Imagine leaving a Christmas present unopened all year long. You walk by it everyday. You know it’s there. It has your name on it. It’s whole purpose for existing is to be opened and enjoyed. Yet, it remains untouched.
Because it is not easy to receive when you feel you don’t DESERVE much.
We struggle to RECEIVE when we struggle to BELIEVE.
BELIEVE that you are LOVED, ACCEPTED, and ADORED by God, the Father, and Jesus, Your Savior and Lord.
~A murderer believed…and grace changed him into a Gospel preaching missionary.
~An adulterous woman believed…and grace changed her into a woman set free from her sin, who shared her life changing encounter with Jesus, causing others to place their trust in him.
~A doubting disciple believed…and Jesus, grace incarnate, said blessed are those who would believe beyond what they could see.
~A bleeding woman believed…and grace set her free from disease, because she had the faith to reach out and receive.
~A God-fearing military leader believed…and grace made salvation available to ALL people, saving him and his entire family.
…shows no discrimination or favoritism.
…speaks the truth in love.
…is a good and perfect gift from above.
…brings grown men to their knees.
…is the power of the resurrected Christ living in me.
…meets us in our darkest hour.
…helps us accept God’s ways are higher.
…is understanding and full of compassion.
…is a forgiving embrace even when you feel you should be shunned.
…is the guarantee of our inheritance in the heavenly realms.
…calms the heart that is overwhelmed.
…says “You are enough” to the tired and weary mother.
…says “Your life matters” to the teen who is a cutter.
…says “You have another choice” to the woman considering abortion.
…says “You have a voice” to the battered woman who feels entirely numb.
…is quick to listen and slow to speak.
…is slow to become angry even when the flesh is weak.
…breaks the bondage of bitterness.
…gives credibility to our witness.
…covers every sin.
…makes us born again.
...gives us power to resist the devil.
...makes peace that transcends all understanding possible.
how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
was blind but now I see.
It may be a small word
to make the lame to walk
and the blind to see,
to open prison doors,
and set the captives
Will YOU believe?
Will YOU receive?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-“
~Dedicated to my husband, Shane, who has always loved me with the fullness of God’s grace, but only recently did I truly believe it, and receive it.~