Treasure Making

by DanWolgemuth on June 1, 2012

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” John Newton 1779

Familiar words to most. Powerful and riveting truth.

In 1995 Stuart Townend penned the addendum to Newton’s breathtaking lyric. In the hymn, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” Townend’s words carry on:

How deep the Father’s love for us
   How vast beyond all measure
   That He would give His only Son
   To make a wretch His treasure

Newton confesses and celebrates that a wretch can be rescued – and Townend enters in by declaring that the rescued become God’s treasure – His prize – His beloved.

On Wednesday evening in Torrey-Grey Auditorium on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago a group of college professionals sang both lyrics. The words were like stepping stones across the beautiful melody into the presence of the King. Our hero, our Lord, our rescuer, our redeemer, the commissioner of our calling, the anointer of our path.

I was moments away from stepping to the podium in this profoundly historic building. My heart raced. My soul stirred.

And there, as though the comforting arm of a friend, I heard the promise, the beauty, the richness and the power of the Gospel – of God’s good news – of the scandal that is grace – of the vastness of God’s mercy.

I found both conviction and liberty. I found both brokenness and strength. I found both humility and boldness.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (ESV)

The more we understand of the courageous rescue that is the cross of Jesus, the more we will live in full devotion and service. The more we will live as disciples who seek to be disciple makers.

From the shame of a wretch to the status of a son. From poverty to palace. From hopeless to hopeful.

A microphone wrapped around the right side of my cheek – video projectors propelled words and light and images – a clear sign of how times had changed at Torrey-Grey Auditorium – but the words of Deuteronomy 6, and Matthew 28, and Psalm 86 connected everyone to both calling and culture. A timeless Gospel. An ageless message.

A wretch saved by grace – now made into a treasure.

Not just rescued, but redeemed.
Forgiven and free.

From the classic setting to the streets. Jesus saves.

As His treasure I stood and proclaimed His matchless truth. “Vast beyond all measure.”

Amen and amen.

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