Since my sermon on grace last week [Haggai 2:10-19], I have been reflecting a bit more on grace. I remember a phrase I first heard in college: "Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is getting what you don't deserve, and grace is getting what you don't deserve." In spite of His people's disobedience, God said, "From this day on, I will bless you" [v. 19]. That's grace...amazing grace that relieves my fear of God's anger.
The song "Amazing Grace" highlights the flip side of grace. Grace has "taught my heart to fear" and that same grace "my fears relieved." In other words, by grace, I am free from condemnation [read Romans 5:1 and 8:1 together]. But, grace doesn't free me to do anything I want. The grace that liberates from wrath at the same time liberates me to worship. By God's grace, I come to see God as He is and live in awesome, fearful humility before Him.