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"
– Ephesians 2:8-9


The old 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.

"What am 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...."

And from 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 its bow.

"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, God’s 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 God’s 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 ( gives us these meanings of that amazing grace,   There are two kinds of grace:  sanctifying and actual grace.  Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s 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 doesn’t live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to speak. It’s 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. What’s the very first thing you’ll do? That’s right: die. You’d die because you aren’t equipped to live underwater. You don’t have the right breathing apparatus.

”If you want to live in the deep blue sea, you need equipment you aren’t provided with naturally; you need something that will elevate you above your nature, something super- (that is, "above") natural, such as oxygen tanks.

”It’s much the same with your soul. In its natural state, it isn’t fit for heaven. It doesn’t have the right equipment, and if you die with your soul in its natural state, heaven won’t 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 doesn’t dwell in your soul when you die—in 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 assures, “…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 God’s 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 God’s masterpiece, and He has created us anew."

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 power. 

Words by John Newton 1725 - 1807 - Melody Unknown

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
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, and snares
I have already come.
'Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.


Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrew 4:16


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