Listen to the song on Spotify.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)
Billy Currington’s song recounts a chance encounter in a bar between the narrator and an older man. The conversation that day ranged widely, covering politics, women, personal brokenness and the difficulty of transformative change, along with the reality of God’s grace in the midst of life’s messiness. When the two finally separated at 2 a.m., the older man’s conclusion was, “God is great, beer is good and people are crazy”. The narrator thought no more about the meeting until he read in the paper that a rich man had donated his entire fortune to a virtual stranger: the picture in the paper was the old man and the stranger who inherited the fortune was himself, much to the chagrin of the rich man’s family.
The theme of God’s grace to broken people is central to the country music gospel, and the song epitomizes this emphasis. Neither man has lived an exemplary life—the rich man has been married and divorced, while the narrator has had his own problems with women. If salvation is by works, neither would be likely to qualify. Yet, like the unexpected inheritance received by the narrator, God’s favor is not something that is earned or deserved. The gospel invites broken people to come to the cross just as they are, with their messy lives and their own personal “craziness”. God’s grace is sufficient for them—and it is sufficient for you and me (2 Cor. 12:9).
Like the unexpected inheritance received by the narrator, God’s favor is not something that is earned or deserved.
Yet the good news of the Biblical gospel is even greater than the song suggests. God does not simply sit down with us over a beer, accepting us just as we are and leaving us entirely unchanged, except for giving us an undeserved inheritance. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God begins a good work within us that he will bring to completion on the last day (Phil. 1:6). That work is long and slow, and we will continue to wrestle with the ongoing insanity of our sin throughout life, as Romans 7 makes clear. Yet we are as beloved by God now, in the midst of our brokenness, as we ever will be. What is more, on the last day, Christ will present us to the Father, without blemish or spot, changed into new creation (Eph. 5:27). God’s grace to us in Christ is indeed great!
Make a list of experiences you have had that demonstrate:
- God’s greatness;
- the goodness of God’s creation (not just beer!);
- the craziness of people (including yourself). How should these three undeniable realities shape your life today?