“You get nothing for nothing. You only get what you pay for.” Is this cynicism – or realism? Let’s think together about something else – something that lifts us above all of this – the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, the gift of God, the peace of God, the joy of God.
“Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? … He left His Father’s throne above – so free, so infinite His grace. … ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me!”
These words, from Charles Wesley’s great hymn of praise – “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood?”, lift us into a way of thinking that is, truly, out of this world. We leave the world and its way of thinking behind us. We turn our thoughts to Jesus, our Saviour. We think of all that He has done for us – and we rejoice. We think of all the blessings that He gives to us – and we give thanks to Him.
* God’s love is amazing. We see His love in the death of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. As we think of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, we remember His wonderful words- “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son … ” (John 3:16).
What’s so amazing about God’s love? It comes entirely from His side. There was no love for Him, coming from our side – “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Roman 5:8).
God’s love for us is His gift to us. We don’t earn the right to be loved by God. Our love for God can never be anything more than a response to His love for us.
When we think of how much the Lord has loved us, we can only say, “Thank You, Lord” – “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable or inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).”
* God’s grace is “so free” and “so infinite.” His mercy is “immense and free.”
Free – the grace and mercy is all coming from Him. God isn’t rewarding us – because of our great love for Him. In Jesus Christ, His Son, He’s reaching out to us – to save us.
“Infinite” grace and “immense” mercy – There’s no sin that’s greater than the grace and mercy of God. All of our sin was laid upon Jesus Christ, our Saviour – “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6); “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
* As we consider God’s great gift of salvation, our hearts are filled with His peace and His joy – “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7); “you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). We rejoice in this – we were lost, and now we have been found by Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Before we can “seek the Lord while He may be found”(Isaiah 55:6), He comes to us,seeking for us. He seeks for us, and He finds us. Before we can “call on Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6), He comes to us with His call. It’s the call of His love, the call of His grace, the call of His mercy. We hear this call, as we think of Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to us. As we consider our Saviour, we are “found out” – He shows us our sin, and we are found – He gives us his salvation. We hear the call to turn from our sin – “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts” (Isaiah 55:7). We hear the call to turn to the Lord: “Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). In God’s call of love, grace and mercy, we catch a glimpse of what He means when He says to us: “ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Amazing love, infinite grace, immense mercy – We can hardly begin to put into words all that this means. We can hardly begin to take it all in. All we can do is praise the Lord and give thanks to Him, giving all the glory to him and rejoicing in His free gift of salvation.