Earlier today, I was picking up some garbage in front of the church. Cars were going back and forth down Carrollton Rd., and I thought about typing out one of those Facebook posts. I have not written one of those posts in years. I have thought them plenty of times. But I really wanted to type out a good ole passive-aggressive, self-righteous public service announcement to remind people that they should not throw trash out of their windows in front of the Lord’s house.
Then it happened. Even though it the idea for the post was just a brief thought, it triggered a memory that I had forgotten about.
It had to have been about eighteen or nineteen years ago that the men at the church I grew up in were helping an older lady move. She had a grandson who had been born special. We were the same age and had been around each other for years. I can remember being intimidated by his love for the Word and memory for Scriptures, especially since his mind did not work the same as everyone else’s. For whatever reason, they allowed him to ride with me as we hauled furniture in my pickup.
It was hot. I chugged down the last of my pop. And I threw the bottle out the window on a dusty gravel road. I can remember his words clearly: “I know the Lord doesn’t like people to throw garbage out in His creation.”
He did not mean it passive aggressively. He was not being self-righteous. In fact, he was not capable of either vice. He was genuinely grieved by what I had done, and I was convicted. He showed me grace.
That is what God showed me again today when I was convicted of my heart and mindset on the side of the road. I am thankful for the grace of God to allow me to see my sin and repent. I am thankful for the grace of God in forgiveness. I am thankful for the grace of God in letting me remember. And I am even more thankful for the grace of God in that “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
And that’s what we are singing about this Sunday: the grace of God.
These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:
Here are our songs:
- Grace Wins – Just like I needed the reminder of grace earlier today, we all need to be reminded of the grace of God. It amazes me that I could so easily forget such an amazing thing as His grace. It amazes me how I continually allow my failures and sin to beat me down. It is good for us to realize that “grace wins every time”!
- Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) – The hymn “Amazing Grace” is almost the national anthem of Christianity. It sums up the testimony of every sinner who has ever been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, who saved a wretch like me!” But, praise God, He doesn’t leave us sinful wretches! He saves us and makes us new. He breaks the chains of bondage to sin and sets us free in new life found in Him!
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Romans 3:21-24, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 8:1-4, Jeremiah 17:9, Luke 15, John 9:25-29, Psalm 112:1, Psalm 31:5, Ephesians 2:4, Lamentations 3:22-23, 1 John 4:18, Matthew 13:44-46, John 8:31-36, Psalm 23:6, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 119:49, Psalm 119:81, Psalm 119:114, 2 Samuel 22:3, Lamentations 3:24, 2 Peter 3:10, Joel 2:31, Revelation 21:3
- In Christ Alone – The grace that we are singing about can only be found one place: Jesus. In fact, the hope that we need more than anything can only be found one place: Jesus. When we gather together and lift our voices to sing to the King of kings and Lord of lords, let us be reminded that we all need grace – need Jesus. And let us place our all – our “yes” as Big John preached last Wednesday – on King Jesus!
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: John 14:6, Ephesians 5:8, Psalm 28:7-8, Psalm 40:3, Ephesians 2:19-22, Matthew 7:24-27, Romans 5:1-8, Joshua 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, 1 Corinthians 15:28, Philippians 2:16, John 19:38-42, John 8:12, John 3:19-20, Acts 3:15, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Romans 6:15-23, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Galatians 3:13, Revelation 21:3, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 8:1-2, Romans 1:16, Deuteronomy 4:39, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 43:13, Daniel 4:35, Ephesians 1:11, Matthew 16:17-19, Romans 8:35-39, John 10:28-30, Psalm 115:18, Revelation 5:9-13, Luke 9:23-26, Philippians 2:5-11
- (inv/closing) Way Maker – This song is a good reminder – for an invitation time as well as preparing us to go back out into the world. We serve a Mighty Savior God. His power is not limited to Sunday, even though we often feel His presence so clearly when we gather. He is working in our midst. He is turning lives around. “Even when [we] don’t feel it, He’s working. Even when [we] don’t see it He’s working. He never stops, never stops working.” And, thankfully, He’s stil working on me.
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Matthew 1:23, 2 Timothy 1:14, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 25:1, Psalm 86:4, Psalm 5:7, Psalm 63:1, Isaiah 43:15-16, Matthew 19:26, John 14:6, Job 5:8-9, Numbers 23:19, Joshua 21:45, 1 Kings 8:56, Romans 4:21, Hebrews 10:23, John 1:4-5, John 8:12, John 12:46, Colossians 1:13, 1 Peter 2:9, John 3:15-17, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Ephesians 2:4-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 51:10, Romans 12:2, Romans 10:9-10, Philippians 4:19, 1 Peter 1:8, Romans 8:26, Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 68:19, John 5:17, Zephaniah 3:5, Philippians 2:13
If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.