Amazing Grace Indeed

 

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Decades ago, I mixed up the cleaning solution bottle for my contact lens with the wetting solution bottle you use to put your contacts in your eye. Yep. Pretty stupid. And extremely painful.

Because my eye burned like fire from the cleaning solution, it watered excessively. Because of the excessive tears, I couldn’t get the lens out. Until I removed the lens, flushed my eye with water, and my eye stopped watering, I literally was blind in that eye, and could not see.

After I got the lens out, I called my optometrist. He had me come right in. Fortunately, his office was mere blocks away. Once I made it to  his office, he put drops in my eye and covered it with a patch. Man.

Although that scary event was momentary, it seemed an eternity before I got the contact lens out,  rinsed my eye with fresh water, and could eventually see out of that eye.

But there is something scarier than losing our physical sight. It is losing our spiritual sight and being blind to who God is and the grace he offers us.

People all around us every day are blind to the saving grace of God’s gift through his son Jesus Christ, and for them it truly could be an eternity of blindness and separation from God.

Maybe they have never heard the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Maybe they have heard, but they are unconvinced Jesus is THE Way, THE truth, and THE life. There is no other way to the Father in heaven except through accepting Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to witness to those around us of the power that can be found in trusting Jesus, and claiming him as Lord. We need to be careful we don’t become blind to our purpose, but hold fast to the Truth instead.

Because our eyes have been opened to the truth of who God is, we can share the story of God’s amazing grace to those around us with the hope their eyes will be opened as well.

Losing our eyesight is a scary thing, but losing sight of who God is, and what he has done through his grace for us is far scarier. Thank God he is the one who opens the eyes of the blind.

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“Whether he is a sinner or not, I couldn’t tell, but one thing I am sure of,” the man replied, “I used to be blind, now I can see!” John 9:25 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I Once Was Blind

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

There is a story told in the Bible in the book of John Chapter 9 about the healing of a blind man by Jesus. The man had been blind since birth and at that time in history, people falsely believed sin had caused the blindness.

For the sake of my illustration, I’m going to call the man Simon.

bing imagesJesus spat on the ground, made mud with the spittle, placed it on Simon’s eyes, and told him to go wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam.

So Simon went, washed, and came back seeing.

Simple as that.

When Simon’s neighbors and those who knew him as a beggar saw he was no longer blind, they questioned if it was indeed Simon, or someone who just looked like him.

“This can’t be Simon. He’s blind. Always has been. Always will be.”

“It is me! I can see!” Simon probably shouted.

“How’d you get your sight?”

Simon told them all about what Jesus had done.

The custom of the day was to present yourself before the religious leaders when healed. bing imagesSo Simon’s neighbors took him before the Pharisees.

“How’d you get your sight?” they asked.

Simon told his story again.  “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”

Because Jesus healed Simon on the Sabbath the Pharisees were livid. They weren’t excited and happy for the miraculous healing. Nope. They were upset because it occurred on a day they said healing could not take place.

Are there ever times when we question whether someone we’ve know for a long time could possibly change for the better, the way Simon’s friends questioned that he wasn’t the blind beggar they’d always known?

Do we want to define them as who they were? Not who they have become once in contact bing imageswith Jesus? Do we only remember them for the times they failed, constantly reminding them of their failures, and refuse to believe they could succeed? Are we unwilling to accept they have changed?

Jesus redeemed Simon from a life of blindness. Not only did Jesus restore Simon’s physical sight, but upon Simon’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah, he received spiritual sight, as well.

Jesus came into this world to pay the price to redeem each of us from our sins … from our spiritual blindness. When we follow Jesus as our LORD and Savior, he gives us spiritual sight. As a result, we become new creations in him.

Jesus told the man who was born blind to go wash, and he did. His healing came after he was obedient. Same with us. Our healing also comes after obedience.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“Yes, Lord,” the man said, “I believe!” And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I have come into the world to give sight to those who are spiritually blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

The Pharisees who were standing there asked, “Are you saying we are blind?”

 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But your guilt remains because you claim to know what you are doing.  John 9:38-41 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Even Still, God Loves Us

Full disclosure…I am a sinner. But most importantly, I am a sinner, saved by God’s grace.

God sent his son, Jesus, into this world to die for sinners just like me. Even still, God loves us. Amazing grace.

St. Maria im Kapitol, Cologne, Germany

Yep. In a world that can be anything but gracious, grace is a difficult concept for me to understand. Unmerited favor which I don’t deserve. I haven’t done a single thing to deserve the gift Jesus paid the price for me to receive.

Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Nothing.

An illustration which one of my preachers used to explain grace went something like this.

Precious saint, who has gone on to be with our LORD. Officer Metcalf.

You get pulled over for speeding. Instead of the punishment you rightly deserve for breaking the law, the officer decides not to give you a ticket. That’s mercy. You didn’t get what you deserved.

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But, the police officer goes one step further. She pulls out two tickets to the sold out, sought after, event you had your heart set on attending. She gives them to you. Free. That’s grace. Undeserved favor.

We can’t earn it. We can’t bargain for it. We can’t sneak in under the radar and snatch it. It is a free gift to us from Jesus.

I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

Philippians 3:12-14

 

Feeling a little undeserving? Join the club. But thanks be to our Heavenly Father who loves us anyway, for his amazing gift of grace.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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