You know the story. John Newton was an insubordinate sailor in the British Navy. He became involved in the horrific slave trade, but during a terrible storm one night, he surrendered his life to Christ. He became an Anglican priest, a campaigner against slavery and a hymn writer. His most famous hymn is, of course, “Amazing Grace.”
Certainly we—and many we love–need to receive this amazing grace. And at this season, so many need to comprehend the reality of this grace. Though our rebellion may not be so visible, so destructive, so “bad” as “sinners” we know, we are also prodigals. The words of this song bring tears, promote repentance, stimulate gratitude and provide hope.
May I ask you to go through the words of this song for yourself, asking God to speak to you through each phrase. Let His grace flow into your heart and mind. How does this grace impact your relationship with your gracious God? And how does this grace affect your relationship with others in your life?
Then please go through the words to the hymn again, praying through them for your loved ones. Ask God to work in them as He did in John Newton. And as He has worked in you. Plead with your Father, who invites you to the throne of grace, for these truths to bring tears, promote repentance, stimulate gratitude and provide hope for those who have strayed away.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
Then perhaps you would like to listen to it sung by Celtic Woman, with bagpipes.
What about you? How are you experiencing God’s grace? Are you extending grace to others in your life?
c2012 Judy Douglass