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 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
T’was 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.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
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
Many of you may know the story of John Newton. His famous hymn, Amazing Grace, is a treasured one that is likely one of the most well-known hymns among believers and non-believers alike! Its slow, simple, and steady melody rings out often as a go-to spiritual song.
And his story is dramatic and captivating! Newton quickly became entangled in a lifestyle of slave-trade on the sea back in the 1700s. So, when he writes of amazing grace, he’s certainly experienced radical grace from God. It was clear to him the new life Jesus gave and the transformation of his heart. (And the life transformation came while a storm arose when he was on the very ship that would transport slaves. He became afraid for his life and read a book called The Imitation of Christ. God used that book to lead him to salvation.)
These kinds of stories are impactful! They are the kind of stories movies are made of—literally! There is a movie about John Newton! And God uses Newton’s testimony, even after hundreds of years, to inspire, encourage, and point to the good news of Jesus.
I used to get caught up in the fact that I don’t have a “John Newton” story. There’s not some dramatic and captivating twist or turning point that I’m ready to sell to a screenwriter anytime soon. (Maybe you can relate?) I want to encourage each of you reading—whether you can relate to Newton or you can’t—that God’s grace is still amazing for you. Whether you’ve been in the depths of the pit and seen the light of Christ in the most dramatic way, or you’ve been steadily on a walk with Jesus since you were five, God’s grace is still amazing for you. Don’t ever undervalue or discount the saving grace God has for you, because it’s equally priceless and equally necessary for your life as it was for John Newton’s.
As I was thinking about this today, I kept re-reading verse three of this hymn which says, “Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come…”
What kind of dangers, toils, and snares do you experience? It might not be blatant and on display for everyone to see, but the Enemy will attempt to use snares on each of us nonetheless. His desire is to see us fall prey to these dangers. And when we assume we don’t have some dramatic fault, we can tend to think we’re off the hook—nothing ensnaring us. Watch out! That’s where we might begin drifting away from God’s amazing grace.
Today, you need God’s grace.
I need God’s grace.
And He offers it freely to all.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness
and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age…”