AMAZING GRACE - AMAZING
AUTHOR - BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 - BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT
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*Special thanks to
Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration*
Grace Has A Name
2 - 4 > 9: “But because of His great
love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have
been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming
ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace expressed in
his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been
saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift
of God - not by works so that no one can boast”.
1 - 17: “For the law was given to Moses,
and truth came through - Jesus
doesn’t have multiple names. There’s no other name on the
landscape of life offering this heavenly substance. Just One. But oh
what a wonderful One! His name is Jesus!
gospel writer John describes Jesus as being: ‘’Full
of grace and truth”. Well, if you are
something there’s no room for anything else. Established as always
existing from eternity past to eternity future, Jesus left the glory
of heaven and came down to us knowing we couldn’t make it up to
Him. The chasm between His perfection and our lack was too wide so He
came to bridge the distance by hanging on a cross.
We now stand as His righteousness,
altogether lovely one Jesus,
is and always has been grace
personified, and glorified! At this very moment choruses of “Worthy
Is The Lamb’’ are being sung throughout heaven and we the
redeemed join in, for it was grace
that bought our liberty! The “unmerited favor of God” being
poured out on our lives from a cross, will never be an understood by
us truth so we are left with only one option of response.
Euphorically overwhelmed, which is fitting of those who deserved
nothing and yet got everything! You see Jesus is “everything” and
“everything” is incorporated in Him.
1 - 16 & 17: “For in Him all
things were created: Things in heaven and
on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers
or authorities: all things
have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all
things and in him all
things hold together”.
4 - 11: “You are worthy our Lord and God
to receive glory and honor and power for you created all
things and by Your will they were created
and have there being”.
Apostle Paul expressed his rather emphatic conclusions in Philippians
3 - 8: “What is more I consider
everything a loss because of the surpassing
worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for
whose sake I’ve lost everything. I consider them garbage that I may
doesn’t leave much to the imagination nor should we. Jesus is that
wonderful folks! Amazing Grace from an Amazing Savior, all wrapped up
in an Amazing Love! A love that can’t be fathomed nor measured but
one that transcends “all
things” and graciously qualifies “all
things” as being worthy of its touch.
Grace and Jesus
are one in the same. As inseparable as living and breathing! You
can’t have one without the other. Indeed, grace has a name!
its mere presence, grace transforms lives! Grace is not a dormant
theory that we mull over in our spare time, as to its relevance. It’s
not to be intellectualized in an effort to relegate it to
understandable status to satisfy our mortal finite minds. Grace is in
fact, an undeniable game changer to the extreme!
earth shaking, life changing, magnitude simply can’t be measured
but is as real as real gets! It hits us where we are most vulnerable
and most needy. Our hearts are its target as if being a missile
launched from heaven. Grace alters everything dramatically!
Simultaneously it informs us of our need, our lack, and our greatly
loved place in God’s heart.
was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fear relieved”!
The exact same grace operating from two different but necessary
perspectives. Imagine the dreadfulness if God only informed us of our
and left out our available standing
through the cross of Jesus.
was one such shockingly surprising, biblically documented life, that
was considered by our Lord as amazingly worthy of His amazing grace.
Based on this life’s background, it stands out radiantly above most
others regarding its magnitude and impact.
is certain: No one in their wildest imagination would have expected
it! The most un-likely candidate for grace got a visit from the Giver
better known as Saul of Tarsus. Even more infamously known as a hater
in good standing
of all and any followers of Jesus.
persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, and at times killed many of those
who had pledged their hearts to this post-crucifixion,
post-resurrection and post-ascension Jesus, as their Messiah and
Lord. Stephen is widely thought of as the first martyr of
Christianity. Saul was in attendance and the joyful overseer at
Stephen’s being stoned to death! Although specifically
un-documented as to numbers, one can only imagine the amount of lives
that were terrorized at the hands of Saul as his reign of assault
continued with the intent of eliminating all remnants of the earthly
life of Christ. In short: A valued patriot of the temple and a
devoted enemy of the cross!
are many profound landmarks highlighted in the bible. Based on its
spiritual content, “The
Damascus Road” would qualify in the
category of the more elite geographical locations.
9 - 1 > 5: “Meanwhile Saul was still
breathing our murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He
went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues
so that if he found any there who belonged to “the
way” (early church descriptive of
Christians) he might take them as prisons to Jerusalem. As he neared
on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He
fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why
do you persecute ME”!
“Who are you, Lord”? Saul asked. “I am Jesus whom you are
persecuting”, He replied”.
“gracious” intervention in a life is always intimately personal.
For Saul, dramatically so. You’ll notice Jesus didn’t say why are
you persecuting My followers, or My church. His specific infliction:
This is between you and Me Saul.
pick up the story in verses
6 to 9 with Jesus speaking. “Now get up
and go into the city and you will be told what you must do”. The
men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound
but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground but when he
opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand
into Damascus. For three days he was blind and did not eat or drink
story of Saul goes on to reveal many other super-natural, grace
imparted, interventions in his life including him getting his
eyesight back, but his never to be forgotten day
one would be the game changer complete
with a name change to Paul. More accurately: The Apostle Paul! A man
who would become one of the most influential followers of Jesus to
ever walk this planet.
“sufficient” for a man named Saul. A once fearfully renowned
killer of Christians, would himself be eventually executed for being
a Christian! The passionate hunter of Christians would become the
hunted. The once hater of all things pertaining to Jesus, would
become the most prolific writer of our New Testament scriptures.
is he who first introduces the early church to the revelation of
as a reality in need of embracing within the context of the gospel of
Jesus Christ. How ironic, but maybe not. You see Paul, on a dusty
road, as he made his way to Damascus, met the giver of grace Jesus.
He heard in the non-judgemental tone of his Lord’s voice his need
for grace. It was the same voice that stated at an earlier time: “I
haven’t come into the world to judge the world but that through Me
the world might be saved”.
implementation of gracious
intervention depends on the person’s
heart being spoken to. We don’t all experience what Paul did. God’s
needed dramatics to get out attention can differ based on where we
are in life. One should never discount their needed provision of
grace based on a far more subtle approach by God than what Paul
point of interest is to get our attention by whatever means is
necessary. But be sure of this: Whatever those necessary means are,
the application of them will always be in love and applied with a
massive dose of healing grace from His amazingly gracious heart!
thinking of Paul, I wonder if this might be a good time to reflect on
those who we have deemed as hopeless and perhaps re-think our
Lord’s grace was amazingly sufficient for Paul and is equally so
for all others! Paul stated, he considered himself to be the
worst of all sinners, which means whoever
your loved ones are or whatever they may have done, they will have to
line up behind
Paul in the category of least worthy recipients of grace, and to be
So third worst
they are, at their very worst! I’m so very thankful that Jesus
didn’t exclude ME
when He said: “Whosoever
will may come”.
all have a divinely pre-destined road. The spiritually interesting
aspect of that truth is: We don’t know we’re on it until after
the fact. Until Paul encountered Jesus, he had no idea that the
Damascus Road was his place of intersecting with heaven. In Paul’s
mind, his sojourn on that piece of geography had a very different
intended purpose than what would become his reality.
was Markham Road
in Scarborough Ontario. It was the summer of 1975 on a warm and
uneventful Sunday morning.
mornings to me had become my well established recover time from the
night be-fore’s activities. That I would crawl out of bed strangely
early was only the beginning to what awaited my unexpected purpose
for the day.
being visibly absent from my sister Cathy’s life for a long time, I
decided that a visit to confirm my ‘’still breathing status”
was in order. To be clear: Cathy was a Christian and my absence was
considered by me as best for her. I simply wasn’t the most
inspirational sight to behold at the time! Why abuse my sister with
that face to face confirmation, I thought. We did chat on the phone
occasionally with me thinking for the most part I had hidden what she
didn’t need to know.
idea, which should have quickly been dismissed by me as foolish, took
on a life of its own. Showered, shaved, and dressed with a second
look in the mirror to check if the more obvious tell-tale signs of my
life were sufficiently masked, off I went to “have
a coffee” with Sis. That was my
intention: A quick coffee and chat with my sister.
thoroughfare I travelled, while being completely oblivious to the
name of the day, sported the title of, Markham
Road. You see to me, it was just a day
like any other day.
lost in my memory bank was: Cathy and my brother-in-law Paul,
pastored a church in their town. Hello! It’s Sunday Bill! It
didn’t cross my alleged mind, so much so that I drove directly to
their home and was perplexed that they weren’t there!
sitting in the driveway four about ten minutes the light of
revelation hit me! OH CHURCH! Well, I had driven forty five minutes
to get there so I certainly wasn’t going to head back home, thus I
went in search of what I remembered spoken of as a “small white
church”, not to attend but rather simply and uncomplicatedly
announce my arrival, seeing as I had strangely
forgotten to call ahead to let them know of my “have a coffee”
quick left followed by another left and there it was, a “small
white church” with my sister standing outside the front door
greeting people. At the time, I with the spiritual insight of an ant,
didn’t register that finding the “little white church”
instantly was just a little strangely
amazing! Oh how God takes full advantage of our obliviousness to
enact His will in our lives! Next idea: Sit in the parking lot
quietly until church is over. Say nothing to no one as to avoid the
likelihood of embarrassing my sister, seemed like a solid approach
recognizing that her brother was strangely
sitting in her churches parking lot, Sis went into one of those
extremely energetic, animated, “come hither” waves of
politely waved back from my car, trying with a pleasant smile to
confirm my comfort level with waiting and perhaps in doing so, my
discomfort level with anything other than waiting, without actually
having to say it.
the waving continued to the point of my embarrassment so I proceed to
the front door to explain myself along with my strangely
sudden appearance and my most innocent of intentions. Folks, I just
wanted to have a coffee with my sister and say hi.
innocent and simplistic was my desire. I wasn’t even sure why I had
it, but it was becoming more complicated by the minute!
suggested I should come in and enjoy the service. “You must
come in’, she said.
thinking; Sis you are so close and yet so far way. I mustn’t
come in, is the brutally obvious truth! I don’t belong here, was my
well founded conclusion. I’m not like you and I’m like them
whoever they are.
were my thoughts without words attached. All I could actually say was
“No thanks, I’m more than glad to wait outside. I’ll be here
when you’re finished and we will have a little time together if
you’re free to do so”.
sisters have the power of persuasion folks! With me thinking, I might
be able to fake my way through an hour of church if I could sit in
silence as to not say anything stupid in the light of where I was,
accompanied by my sisters hauntingly sincere tone as she presented
her desire for my inclusion, I relented and agreed to walk through
those church doors, almost expecting that very old roof to fall on my
very young, twenty-seven year old head, upon entry.
wasn’t that I believed in God, but if there was such a One as God,
that roof was coming down! You see as much as I didn’t know Him, I
knew me! As previously mentioned: I didn’t belong!
twenty minutes or so into the service, with the roof still intact, I
felt confident my plan for the congregations survival of my
unexpected visit had proven itself to be successful. We could all, in
short order, go home safe and sound with no one the wiser as to the
type of person I was. The mask that I was so careful to check before
leaving home had seemingly endured. Not long now until my initial
intent would come to fruition: ‘’Quick Coffee Time” and home!
then it happened! How to put that day’s experience into the
“written word” has always been a struggle for me to be honest.
Painting a ‘’word picture” of the indescribable is the task at
hand without the needed vocabulary to meet the challenge. How does
one explain concisely and appropriately their sacredly intimate
introduction to God, especially when it’s obvious to the recipient
that it was God doing the introducing without invitation?
that’s why they call it an intervention without invitation. Perhaps
it’s God having something of divinely textured importance to
declare whether we want to hear it or not. Perhaps it’s God saying;
My intervention without your invitation is Me answering someone
else’s prayer on your behalf . Personally speaking: I often wonder
if perhaps my introduction was less about me and more about God’s
faithfulness to someone else like my Mother.
I get to heaven I’ll have all my maybe’s answered if I care to
ask, but for now this I know as being emphatically true: My Lord’s
introduction was wrapped in the warmest blanket of grace imaginable!
there I was or more accurately stated, then they weren’t! One
minute I was keenly aware of my complete surroundings including the
people and the time left remaining until I could exit the white door
I had entered. Then in a second, as if an internal switch had been
flipped, none of them or time mattered as if not existing.
the natural I should have been shocked but strangely, I wasn’t
afraid as I became deaf in an instant to everything that was being
said and sung. I sat completely and comfortably immersed in a warmth
that was foreign to me in every way. While having no understanding
what this was, I knew instinctively it was good and personal and may
I add powerful. I couldn’t talk as if having been put on alert to
only pay attention. To be honest I had no desire to talk as my once
known reality was being replaced rapidly by something else. Something
much bigger than me!
best description: Having the controls of my all-inclusive life
suddenly taken over for a period of time but not frighteningly so. A
sense of being drawn into a place of immeasurably attractive love.
speaks! I know that thought is intimidating to some but the truth is
He does. And on this day He did! Few words, considering I would have
listened all day but perhaps he didn’t have all day to update me.
Those few words changed my life forever. The sweetest words my ears
have ever heard, said with the sweetest tones!
I am Jesus and I love you. I want you to know that”. And in a
second everything went back to normal, except
a building full of strangers, I broke down and cried my heart out
uncontrollably for hours but not out of sadness, but rather euphoric
gladness. Considering what I had just heard, how could I not be
haven’t been normal
since that introduction! I’m convinced that train has permanently
left the station! He knows
my name folks, which amazingly means He knows yours too!
Apostle Paul would concur: Whether it be the Damascus Road or Markham
Road isn’t the point. On every road of our lives there stands an
amazing Savior who encompasses and offers an amazing grace for the
taking as a free gift. Free to us but not free to Him. Thus free but
not cheap! It can only be received but never earned. You see if it
could be earned, it wouldn’t be a gift! Two thousand years ago
Jesus spoke these words into each of our hearts from a cross of His
am Jesus and I love you. I want you to know that. Amazing
Grace - Amazing Savior, indeed!
E-BOOKS BY BILL TAYLOR*
OF A SHEEP
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK ONE
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK TWO
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK THREE
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK FOUR
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK FIVE
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK SIX
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK SEVEN
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK EIGHT
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK NINE
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK TEN
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK ELEVEN
OF A SHEEP - THE SERIES - BOOK TWELVE
ROSE AND THE THORN
HEARTS - NO LIMITS
ROAD LESS TRAVELED
IN CHINA SHOPS
IS A JOURNEY
HEART IS SACRED
- IT’S A NEW DAY!
FRIEND - MY PEACE - MY LORD
DECIDE - CHOICES
REAR VIEW MIRROR
LOVE MADE PERFECT