It’s tough to sing of liberating grace when all we know are dirges about effort. We chorus qualities designed to keep us climbing (ever upward!)—songs of courage, risk, and faith—but then discover that we’re badly, sadly lacking in all three. Our promises are “ropes of sand.” Our self-talk leads to critical self-doubt. Unyielding guilt dries up our tongues. But there’s an anthem tuned to hope, and yes, it’s all about the Lord: “We have heard a joyful sound—Jesus saves, Jesus saves!” The finest songs begin with Him, and end with Him, and He’s in every note between. We sing of His success, not ours; of His compassion, not our plans. “Shout salvation full and free, Highest hills and deepest caves, This our song of victory, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.” Stay in grace. -Bill Knott
Believing in the grace of God includes believing that it came to us at the right time. In kindness, Jesus offers us the lifeline just when we want and need it—neither too soon, when we would have scoffed at rescue, nor too late, when we would have been completely sunk. If we imagine we would have welcomed grace much earlier, we underestimate our own deceitful hearts—and underestimate God’s deft and flawless timing. God’s grace is always right on time—at just the point we finally agree how lost we were and how found we are. No longer fret in vain regret: your grace arrived when you were ready for it. So stay in grace. (GraceNotes is written and narrated by Bill Knott)
Reminiscent of the time when part of a family physician’s modus operandi was visiting patients in their homes, “House Call”—a regular column in Adventist Review magazine provides evidenced-based and biblically sound health-related counsel to AR readers and now listeners. Drs. Peter N. Landless and Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, both board certified physicians address physical and emotional concerns from a whole-person health-care perspective—as well as offer the added benefits of biblical wisdom. www.positivechoices.com
In Other Words is the opinion page of Adventist Review staff: wide ranging, as befits the thinking of a group spanning multiple generations and encompassing more than half a dozen nationalities; spiritually earnest, as reflecting the thinking of a team of mature Christian professionals in areas as varied as journalism and technology, education and business, biblical studies and theology; sometimes lighthearted, always relevant. Wilona Karimabadi is the assistant editor of the Adventist Reveiw magazine. www.adventistreview.org
For all the healing that it brings, grace causes one great, fatal injury. Our pride—the jest that we are masters of our fate—cannot survive when we admit how fully lost we are—and fully saved because of grace. To be in grace is to always be in debt—gladly, joyfully in debt to One who smiles at all our ledgers. Christ paid the debt, erased the loss, so satisfied His Father’s justice that it now appears we never sinned. And so we dare not glory in ourselves: we glory only in the cross. The song that rises from our hearts is worth the dying of our pride, for “Jesus paid it all.” So stay in grace.
Have you ever been deceived? Led to believe something that wasn’t true? In a world of fake news, false religions, and “faceless” social media relationships, how can we know what’s real? Theologians Richard Davidson and John McVay, together with national journalist Mark Kellner, share unique perspectives on how even Christians—who may feel they’ve “cornered the market” on truth—can avoid being steered down the wrong path. Listen to the new podcast produced by the Adventist Review audio team and join the conversation. www.adventistreview.org
Grace is a great and cosmic love that reunites our lives to God—and a hundred daily miracles that illustrate what deep affection heaven holds for each of us. The phone call from a long-lost friend; the bit of birdsong heard between the din of passing cars; a child’s note with big red hearts left where we couldn’t miss it—these are the evidences of grace that draw us to a close-in Lord who loves to see us happy, full, and satisfied. Grace is Christ’s kind attentiveness to all that makes us whole. “I have come that they may have life,” He says, “and have it to the full” (John 10:10). So stay in grace.
Human nature being what it is—unkind, ungenerous, and unmerciful—it’s nothing short of amazing that the one who loved to call Himself the Son of Man could have lived with such consistent tenderness and grace. Jesus is that great exception to our otherwise unbroken rule of brokenness and sin. The unfallen one of us—whom heaven also affirmed as Son of God—offers us the grace we have no right to offer ourselves and rarely offer to each other. We follow Him in hope, believing that His saving act is the sole lifeline of humanity. He ever lives to intercede for us so that we, too, may yet lead lives that bless the world with unfeigned generosity. His grace will lead us home. So stay in grace.
It is the glory—and the mystery—of the gospel that the Lord of everything is also the Lord of grace. Infinite power is matched by inexhaustible tenderness. Unrivaled authority is paired with unrelenting kindness. The Judge of all offers Himself as the Saviour of all—an act so rare, so incandescent in the darkness of our world, that we are driven to our knees in awe and adoration. Christ takes on Himself the sentence that His justice mandates for our sin. And we who did the crime may do the time: we’re offered favored places at His side forever and for always. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:20-21). So stay in grace.