Trophies Of Grace             

Ephesians 2:7


     The glory of God's grace shines forth most splendrously when we behold the unworthiness of those whom God has saved. MANASSEH, KING OF JUDAH (II Chron. 33:1-13) was perhaps the most barbaric monster ever to sit upon the throne in Jerusalem. He sacrificed his own children to the fire of his pagan deities. He filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. His sacrilegious indecencies perverted the whole nation. He was not content to mock God alone. He led all of Judah into such moral and spiritual corruptions that even the heathen would be embarrassed to mention them. Yet, the grace of God touched his heart, renewed his soul, forgave his sin and made him an heir of heavenly glory!

     SAUL OF TARSUS (Acts 9:1-22) was the most blood thirsty persecutor of God's church the world could have produced. This monster of a man lived only to destroy God's lambs. His thirst for violence and murder was insatiable. His rancorous heart was filled with hatred for Christ, his gospel and his people. He was bent upon the annihilation of christianity. Never did a man live who, in the opinion of human judgment, was more certainly reprobate. Yet, this godless, implacable wretch of a man is now with Christ upon his throne in heaven, a trophy of grace!

     THE CORINTHIANS (I Cor. 6:9-11) were the most sensual, profligate people of the ancient Roman world. They were the most vile of the vilest age in the annals of human history. Yet, through the infinitely tender mercies of an ever gracious God, a multitude of them today are robed in white and crowned with glory.

     I KNEW A MAN more than twenty years ago whose wickedness was synonymous with his name. Neighbors avoided him. He was a constant embarrassment to his family. He lived for nothing but his own sensual pleasure and the ruin of others. There was no law he did not break and no evil he did not pursue. With eagerness he led all who would follow him in rebellion. But God put his hand of grace in that man's heart, revealed Christ in him, forgave his sin, and adopted him into the family of God. Grace made that wretched creature a preacher of God's gospel. And grace enables him now to say, I am not what I ought to be, want to be, or hope to be; but, blessed be God, I am not what I once was! And by the grace of God I am what I am!"


Don Fortner