May 19, 2009

Grace Abounding: "T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear"

Perhaps my favorite line in the song Amazing Grace is this one:
"T'was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved."
I feel what is being said in that line, because I actually experienced it.

I went again with Matt to the streets of York today, taking this topic of fear, and beginning to ask people, "What is your biggest fear?" My verse was taken from Matthew 10:28, and I read it to as many people as I could.

There was even a small group of homeless men that listened to me speak for about 10 minutes or less at the park benches near the market. One of them argued that we are not supposed to fear God if we are Christians. Another said it means respect.

Later, a limping man said that this is what York needs to hear right now, after I explained the resurrection of Christ and God's great power to save. (Pray for Will, he accepted a New Testament from Matt).

One reason this verse was so relevant in York is because of the recent shootout between young men that killed a 9 year old girl.

The girl was the daughter of an extremely murderous and vile million-dollar Philly drug dealer, who is currently locked up in Philadelphia. The man ordered the deaths of at least one family of witnesses, even having their little children and baby murdered without regret.

York also recently had a rally of locals marching in protest against all the killings related to drugs and violence.

That is why this verse was so relevant for tonight... and may it be for us all.

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

Truly there is only One to Whom we owe all fear.

Download here this excellent sermon preached Sunday by Pastor Mark Leoffert: The Fear of God


Laurie Lynn said...

"and grace my fears relieved." Amen.
May God bless you as you tell of His grace... and always!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Amen! And thank you Laurie!
May His grace be with you too.

Sharon said...

I also really like that line in Amazing Grace. Thanks for sharing. It's given me stuff to pray about.

Keep strong in the Lord!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Thanks Sharon. The Lord is strong :D

gentle John said...

Hi Penn!
Thanks for the sermon brother! I was reading a great fear verse. Psalm 130:4
"But there is forgiveness with You, That you may be feared."
This verse has provoked me and called me to examine myself. We fear God because of the awesome forgiveness that He has provided through his Son Jesus Christ. We have a reverence for the God who provided a Savior who paid for the sin debt in full at the cost of His very life. His forgiveness produces fear. God not only provides this fear, but also gives us the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Alleluia! Thanks for the edification!

gentle John

Penn Tomassetti said...

Amen John!

Psalm 130:4 is a super important verse to consider when talking about this subject of godly fear. Thanks for the comment.

Grace be with you brother.

Penn Tomassetti said...

in addition, I really am amazed and in awe of the truth it expresses. That with God there is forgiveness, and this forgiveness comes at the expense of His Son. Oh that we would fear Him! The risen Christ, who says "Fear not" to a saint struck dead (Revelation 1:17). Yet He is the God who alone deserves our fear and worship (Revelation 14:7, 15:4, 19:5)... Amazing!