One-a-Day...for the Heart: God's Amazing Grace
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw everyone to Myself” (John 12:32 NLT). Jesus spoke of His impending death on the cross and the resulting salvation it would accomplish for everyone—Jew or Gentile. No one else could promise them an awakening of their spirits, forgiveness of sin, and eternal life with the Father. Sadly, His words fell on deaf ears for, though He had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in Him (John 12:37-38). Their eyes were blinded, their hearts were hardened, and the few who did believe in Christ’s promises were too afraid of the Pharisees to profess their belief in the Savior.
Most of us can’t remember what our first snowsuits looked like, much less where they came from or what color they were. We didn’t know that such a garment was needed to keep us warm on cold winter days. Our parents provided them without us even asking for them. We were unable to see the need and incapable of filling it. Our parents had a plan of provision throughout childhood, and we were often blind to our real needs, seeing only our wants.
Our Father God set the standard of parental provision. He had an astounding plan of provision and redemption for the world, and when sin darkened the fate of mankind, He did not leave us without hope. His amazing plan of grace and salvation through His Son's death, burial, and resurrection provided eternal life to all who would accept Christ as their Savior.
When it comes to spiritual things, we are often blind to see what we really need. It’s likely that few, if any within earshot of Jesus’ words that day, even knew they needed a Savior and would perish in hell without one. They were incapable of obtaining salvation on their own and ignorant of the fact they needed spiritual rebirth to secure it.
A Pharisee named Nicodemus pressed Jesus about the concept of being born again: Now, there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-5 ESV).
Note that Jesus did not tell Nicodemus that without a born-again experience one was forbidden from seeing the kingdom of God. Instead, that person cannot see the kingdom of God. In other words, he is unable to see the kingdom of God or incapable of seeing it.
When we look to Christ’s finished work on the cross and accept Him as our Savior and the only way to Father God, our spiritually-blind eyes are opened, and we are capable of seeing the kingdom of God. That is the essence of God’s amazing grace!
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.
(John Newton, 1772)
© 2022, Chris Werre