After the IRA took the life of his child, Gordon Wilson said, "By the grace of God, I forgive you." Isn't it interesting that the same thing that happened to Gordon Wilson is what happened to God?
His enemies took the life of His Child. And God said: "I forgive you."
God, and His servant Gordon Wilson, possess a love that will not die. Regardless of what anyone does-even taking the life of their child-they refuse to stop loving.
We Have Met the Enemy-and he is us!
God's love and His grace are difficult for us to grasp. Though born again with a new nature, the heart of an enemy still dwells within us. We still sin, we often fail, we frequently grow weary in our well-doing. In fact, it happens so often that we wonder if God's grace is sufficient for us. We wonder how Gordon Wilson could forgive the terrorists who caused his daughter's death, and we wonder how God can forgive us.
We Have Met the Lover of Our Souls
The Hillsong Church in Sydney has given us the beautiful gospel song, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." When I consider that title, I am moved beyond words. If it said, "Jesus, Lover of My Spirit," I could understand it better, since my spirit is what has been quickened by the Holy Spirit to commune with God. But my soul? That's my mind, will, and emotions-the fickle and failing part of me over which I hang my head in shame too often. And yet, Jesus is the lover of my soul-the unconditional, grace-filled lover of my soul.
Charles Wesley also wrote a hymn with the same title over 265 years ago. In his fifth verse, he wrote this of Jesus, the lover of his soul:
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.
That's how it is that God can love your soul and mind with His unconditional love. It's because "plenteous grace" with Him is found, grace to cover all our sins. It's because He is the fountain of life, a fountain that flows whether we do good or do ill. He is a never-ending fountain of unconditional love, an artesian well of soul-healing grace.
We Have Met All-Sufficient Grace
Charles Wesley called God's grace "plenteous," and the apostle Paul heard Christ say to him that His grace was sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Charles and Paul have probably discussed this in heaven by now and concluded that they were talking about the same grace of God. God's grace is plenteous, which means it's sufficient for our every need.
It doesn't matter why we are weak, God's grace is sufficient, plenteous, and never-ending. God delights in making His grace known to those who are weak in order that Christ's strength might be made manifest in them.
I don't know if you are weak at this moment or not; and if you are, I don't know the reason why. Perhaps you have failed morally or spiritually. Perhaps you have lost your health. Perhaps you are being buffeted by Satan as was Paul. Or perhaps you have failed to love God unconditionally as He loves you.
Whatever has made you weak, I know that God's grace, expressed through His unconditional love at Calvary's cross, can make you strong. The singers from Hillsong Church have it just right when they sing of our response to His unconditional love:
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let You go.
You've taken me from the miry clay,
You've set my feet upon the Rock and now I know.
I love you, I need You.
Though my world may fall, I'll never let You go.
My Savior, my closest friend,
I will worship You until the very end. (© 1992, John Ezzy, Daniel Grul, Steve McPherson)
May we join our voices with theirs in praise of such grace and love.
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.