Here are our our two playlists on God’s grace combined into one. I have not combined the two posts that went along with the playlists (that’d be a strange read) but I have included each of them in the hopes that they would be an encouragement to you today. So please, enjoy grace . . . again (and again!).
SONGS OF GRACE
I’ve been reading through Ephesians recently and came across Eph 2:7 and tried to think of what it might mean to have “immeasurable riches of grace” shown to me for all the “coming ages” (ages plural!). I couldn’t. My brain was inadequate to the task. I live a mere 70 years here on earth if all goes well, and then there will be an age of kindness and grace and then another and then another! The reason? Ephesians 2:7 has the answer again: All this is provided for me because I am “in Christ Jesus.” As long as he endures, so will grace and kindness flow towards me. Who is sufficient for these things?
So I invite you, come again, sing of the grace that will follow you all the days of your life, and even ever after, world without end.
Though we are going to continue posting playlists on our resurrected blog, we’ve decided to make them a tad shorter. Instead of ten songs, we’ll be posting five. This way the playlist is more apt to be used while driving to work (the national average for a one way commute is about 25 minutes, I believe), taking your kids to school, or cleaning your kitchen (I say, if it can’t be done in 25 minutes then why even start!). Also, we might not always post them on Tuesdays anymore. Maybe we will, but maybe we won’t. We like to keep ya’ll on your toes :-)
Today’s grouping is about God’s grace to us. For me, grace can be easily overlooked in the mudane, command-following humdrum of life. Remembering that it is the very essence of our salvation and sanctification should, however, makes it one of the most precious truths we reflect on throughout our day.
“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, “A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.” The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many American churches.
For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned–our degree and our salary, our home and garden and a good night’s sleep–all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love. We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt. This and so much more is sheer gift; it is not reward for our faithfulness, our generous disposition, or our heroic life of prayer. Even our fidelity is a gift, “If we but turn to God,” said St. Augustine, “that itself is a gift of God.”
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”
– Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out