The following is a music devotional inspired by the hymn Amazing Grace. This song was picked by our last guest, author MaryLu Tyndall. Very fitting considering her latest novel, Veil of Pearls, deals with the topic of slavery.
Click the link or the imbed below to hear this hymn.
John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, didn’t take grace for granted. He gave the last portion of his life to the service of His Creator having finally fully accepted this awe-inspiring gift.
The following are the words engraved on his tombstone:
“John Newton, clerk, once infidel and libertine, servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had so long labored to destroy.”
You see, John was a slave trader. One who grew rich on the exchange of human flesh. Not only did he know the stench of sin, he knew the stench of live bodies transported in large numbers in small cells, without means of any form of hygiene or waste disposal, for the period of weeks. Then, these humans were shuffled up onto platforms in chains to be bought and sold like cattle, only to endure agonizing physical labor and brutal treatment.
Imagine, coming to your Savior with that on your resume.
For him, as He grew to know his sovereign and the fierce power of God, he also knew God’s Grace. The Grace that taught his heart to fear was the same that relieved the fear it taught. A burden lifted as none could be, but through Jesus Christ. A precious, precious gift, which should not be taken lightly.
Still, we do.
Whether slave trader or garden-variety sinner, we all fall short of the glory of God because we trust Him not--In the big things as well as the small. In fact, those who tout the “smaller” sins should not boast, because they cannot say they’d resist all those things that the “greater” sinners have done having not faced the same life, nor the same temptations. Only God knows. Only He can be the judge.
John Newton lived a long and fruitful life after his conversion, and grew completely blind. However, his words suggest the opposite, for it was not this world he longed to behold, but one before the Lord, singing praises to God. Though his physical body went from sighted to blind, in spirit, he claimed, “Was blind but now I see.” We should all be so blessed!
Posts you might like:
God Loves Broken People, by Sheila Walsh—A Review
Broken by War, Saved by Grace
For God So Loved the World
What does this Grace mean to you?
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.
‘Twas grace that taught me heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.