Saturday, August 10, 2013

Never Beyond Grace by Martin Wiles

"I sinned with a high hand,” he said.

Though nurtured by a Christian mother during his early years, John Newton followed in his father’s image after his mother died of tuberculosis. He lost his first job with the merchant navy because of "unsettled behavior and impatience of restraint." After deserting the Royal Navy, he was captured, placed in irons, and flogged.

Following his release, he took up employment with a slave-trader named Clow but was eventually transferred to the service of a Liverpool ship. During the ship’s homeward journey, Newton experienced God’s grace while in the midst of an enormous storm. He wasn’t beyond God’s grace after all, and he celebrated by penning the well-known song, “Amazing Grace.”

Despised by almost everyone because of his profession, Matthew may have thought he was beyond God’s grace as well, but he wasn’t. As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him (Matthew 9:9 NLT).

I’ve known a few folks and read or heard about many more that seemed to be beyond God’s grace. You know…the cruel type who cared about no one but themselves…who stole, murdered, abused, cursed, and imbibed in every addiction imaginable. The type I didn’t want to associate with.

But I finally understood that though my life never devolved to some of their degrees, I didn’t deserve God’s grace any more than they did. No one does. God gives it because of his love, and by its very nature, grace is undeserved. If I could earn it or deserve it, it wouldn’t be grace.

God’s grace is experienced by asking for forgiveness of our sins and then by simply enjoying his presence every day. You are never beyond his love and grace.

Prayer: Thank You Father God that Your grace extends to all who desire it.
Martin N MichelleWhy not share the encouragement? Pass this devotion along to a friend.
Want to know why I write? Read "Why I write."


  1. Interesting article, Martin. Thanks. Love the song and love how the grace of God surrounds us most noticeably during difficult times.

  2. So thankful for the all-sufficiency of His wonderful grace!

    Thanks for the great reminder!

  3. Dear Martin
    I wonder if these folk of which we are all actually a part for sin resides deep in the heart of man, are not more likely to hear Jesus' voice and experience His grace after so many years of being looked down upon those who should have loved them in the first place! I remember Philip Yancey speaking to a prostitute once and when he asked her why she doesn't go to church, she wanted to know why for she already felt so bad about herself. Why should she go to people who make her feel even worse about herself!
    Love to you XX

  4. Hi Martin! I did a blog post on this amazing man, I had no idea what preceded his life, and led him to write sacred music.

    God sure can use us in any way he needs us. I pray that I will stay open to that!

    Nice to meet you!

  5. I love the way you summed this up -- "God’s grace is experienced by asking for forgiveness of our sins and then by simply enjoying his presence every day". To that I give a resounding "AMEN!"

    I've recently written a blog post entitled, "Loneliness is a Lie" and chosen to illustrate it using a picture of the pillar of fire from Exodus. In the story I speak about how our Lord is ever-present but Satan often deceives us to think otherwise.

    Every day, every hour, we need to just enjoy his presence. Thanks again for the nice post. I found you on "next blog". I've joined your site and plan to stop back by again soon.

    Blessings to you.