Kathy Bernard - Publisher
"For by grace are ye saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"
violin was battered and scarred and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to
waste his time. No one would want to buy it, but he held it up with a smile,
hoping someone would see beyond the dirt and the wear.
I bid, good people," he cried, who starts the bidding for me? How about one dollar?
One dollar, anybody? Can I get a
dollar for it? One dollar, one dollar, do I
hear two? Two dollars, two dollars, who wants to make it three?" he shouted, then
elated when someone offered three. "Three
dollars once, three dollars twice, going...."
the back of the room, far back from the wealthy elite, an unlikely gray-bearded man rushed
forward and picked up the bow. Gently reaching for the violin, he tenderly wiped
the dust away with his handkerchief and tightened up the bent and tattered strings.
He then held the old instrument under his chin and lifted the bow to play a melody, pure
and sweet, as sweet as the angels sing. When the music ceased and only an echo
remained, the crowd grew still and silent, then burst into loud and feverish activity. The auctioneer, with a voice that was filled with
emotion, said, "What now am I bid for this old violin?" as he held it aloft with
"Who will bid one thousand? One
thousand, do I hear two? Two thousand. Two thousand, he crowed, his face reflecting his
excitement. Who will make it three? A
hand shot up. Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone!" said
he, shaking his head in wonderment as he looked at the excited and motivated crowd. The audience cheered, but some of them
cried, "we just don't understand. What changed its worth?"
Swift came the reply,
"The grace and the touch of a master's hand."
Many a man with his life out of tune, all battered, worn out by life and filled
with sin, is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd, much like that old violin. A glass of wine, a game, and he travels on,
he is going once, he is going twice, and then he is almost gone. But then God steps in with Jesus Christ, His only
Beloved Son. The man, feeling new hope and faith within his heart, cries out to
God for His mercy, His grace and His salvation. The foolish bystanders will
never quite understand the worth of that worn out soul, or the change that is wrought by
the touch of God's Grace.
How important it is to know and understand that no matter what the public
sees in those who do not wear fine clothes or shoes, do not speak like scholars, or live
in poverty in a bamboo shack, Gods grace, if sought, will elevate all men and women
to eternal life for God is not a respecter of persons. All humanity is equal.
What is Gods grace? Wikipedia Enclopedia defines it: In Christianity, "divine grace" (Gk.
charis) is "unmerited favor" from God. It is the outpouring of the love of
God on humanity. It is the basis of a Christian's hope for eternal salvation and is
considered the fruit of redemption, the reason Jesus Christ became a man, why He suffered
and died on a Roman cross. Rather than being only a description of the
character of God, it is considered the very essence of God and Who He is. Grace
describes the means by which humans are granted salvation.
And so, grace is of central importance in the theology of Christianity.
Catholic Answers (http://www.catholic.com) gives us these meanings of
that amazing grace, There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying and actual grace. Sanctifying grace stays in the soul.
Its what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life. More properly, it
is supernatural life.
Actual grace, by contrast, is a supernatural push or encouragement. It's
transient. It doesnt live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to
speak. Its a supernatural kick in the pants. It gets the will and intellect moving
so we can seek out, and keep sanctifying grace.
Imagine yourself transported instantaneously to the bottom of the
ocean. Whats the very first thing youll do? Thats right: die. Youd
die because you arent equipped to live underwater. You dont have the right
If you want to live in the deep blue sea, you need equipment you arent
provided with naturally; you need something that will elevate you above your nature,
something super- (that is, "above") natural, such as oxygen tanks.
Its much the same with your soul. In its natural state, it isnt fit for
heaven. It doesnt have the right equipment, and if you die with your soul in its
natural state, heaven wont be for you. What you need to live there is supernatural
life, not just natural life. That supernatural life is called sanctifying grace. And the
reason you need sanctifying grace to be able to live in heaven is because you will be in
perfect and absolute union with God, the source of all life (cf. Gal. 2:19, 1
Pet. 3:18). If sanctifying grace dwells in your soul when you die,
then you have the equipment you need, and you can live in heaven.
No church, no man, no angel, or saint can give us grace. We are
all, dead or alive, created beings by God. It is impossible to get grace from any
other source for it comes only and solely from our heavenly Father through the blood of
our Savior, Jesus Christ. And it comes as a gift, free to those who seek it.
But we have to accept that grace by a personal choice done through free will.
Some choose to turn away, living the way they want to... overlooking the payment that will
be sought when Christ comes back. It would be wise to remember that "If it
doesnt dwell in your soul when you diein other words, if your soul is
spiritually dead by being in the state of mortal sin, you cannot live in heaven. You will
have to face an eternity of spiritual death: the utter separation of your spirit from
God. - Galatians 5:19-21
What is the most precious thing you own? Is it family, spouses, or children? Is it money or
material possessions? Or is it the grace
whereby all good things in life comes
your family, children, friends and all the many
blessings, significantly eternal life, that flow to you from it?
Come boldly to the "throne of grace" and accept that Jesus
is Lord of your life through the faith that He paid for your sins. Feel confident in
knowing what Ephesians 2:4-10
God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we
were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. It is
only by Gods grace that you (we) have been saved! For He raised us from the
dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united
with Christ Jesus......For we are Gods masterpiece, and He has created us
John Newton, a prolific writer of poetry and the inspiration for this article, wrote
the beautiful words to the hymn Amazing Grace that has touched
the hearts of many Christians around the world for over two hundred years. Newton
was steeped in the sin of selling human beings as slaves.
It is said that on a homeward voyage, while
attempting to steer his slave ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to
refer to later as his great deliverance. He recorded in his journal that when
all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, Lord, have mercy upon
us. Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that
God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him. He later left the slave business
and became a widely popular minister in England.
It is interesting to note that the melody of this song remains unknown. It is believed to be a West African slave chant
that Newton heard sung by the slaves who were captured and held in the bowels of the slave
ship that he piloted around the mid 1700's. The
Bill Moyers special on Amazing Grace also speculated that it may have
originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang.
For the rest of his life, Newton observed the anniversary of May 10,1748 as the day
of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher
Words by John Newton 1725 - 1807 - Melody Unknown
Amazing Grace! How sweet the
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas Grace that taught my
heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils,
I have already come.
'Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
When we've been there ten
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.
us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
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