Let us examine another perspective about Grace. John Newton (1725-1807) experienced a “dark night of the soul”, converted to Christianity, and, in 1772, wrote a timeless masterpiece, in the form of a hymn, entitled Amazing Grace. Newton was a British slave trader who, after a tumultuous youth, had a near death experience at sea, and vowed, if God would save his life, to change his ways. Needless to say, Newton survived the storm, and committed, himself to the practices of Christianity, and to learning The Holy Bible. Many years later, John Newton spoke out against the horrific practice of slavery, and the shame associated with such a practice.
Amazing Grace, much like the chronology of The Holy Bible, depicts a human lifetime, from birth until death. For that reason, it has fittingly become a funeral hymn. There are several different versions of the song, but here is a very popular rendition of the lyrics:
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;
’Tis grace hath 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.
John Newton describes a life without grace, without God, as dangerous, and all we need do is believe. It sounds so simple, because it is. Could it be that God, in all of His graceful glory, is with us in every moment, but we are blind to it, until we believe? Must we wait until we are in peril? If so many of us call upon God, often for the first time, during our darkest hour, then does that action not indicate that we always knew, and always believed? Or do so many of us only cry out to God as a last resort because we have nothing to lose? Do we believe, or not? Only you can answer that.
Pray Without Ceasing is scheduled for release in July of 2018. The cost of the book will be $13.95 for a paperback. The approximate size will be 6″ x 9″ and will have approximately 110 pages.
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