Amazing Grace – February 9, 2015

Today’s Scripture… “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

Thoughts for Today… Twenty-one year old John had quickly become a prominent person in the seafaring industry.  He was captain of a ship that transported slaves from Africa.  The manner in which he and the members of his crew treated these slaves was unspeakable.  Over 25% of the slaves from each voyage died enroute because of poor conditions. The slaves were kept down below in the galley.  There was little light and it was very damp, causing much illness.  John and his crew would often beat the slaves, some even to death!  John and his crew would also go down below and rape the women and even children!

One night a terrible storm struck and John’s shipped was tossed and turned.  He and his crew thought the end was near.  Death was imminent and John realized his situation.  That night he prayed, “God, if you will get me through this storm I will change my ways and give my life to you.”  God extended His grace and mercy that evening and the ship was spared. When John returned to his homeland he resigned his position and never again was involved in the slave industry.  That night had changed his life.

Later, John went on to write these words, “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!”  The hymn favorite “Amazing Grace” was penned by the former slave driver, John Newton.  I believe the reason why this hymn has touched so many
lives and remained such a favorite through the years is because John Newton wrote about experiencing God’s grace from a first hand point of view.  He knew the extent, just how amazing, God’s grace really is, because of what it had done to him.

God’s grace is still amazing today.  It saved me.  Once I was in a position like John.  I was a wretch, seemingly without hope.  But God poured His grace out on me and changed my life.

And grace isn’t just about salvation.  God gives His grace to us each and every day.  How do you think we make it home safely each day after being on the often dangerous roads?  What about the food, clothing and shelter that we have?  What about peace, joy and assurance?  How about good friends, supportive family, and even our jobs?   What about strength to overcome an obstacle, patience to endure a crisis, love that gets us through the tough times? God gives His grace to us in many marvelous and wonderful ways.  Just look around you and you’ll see His grace poured out all over your life. What about you, Friend?  What are you facing today?  Is there an obstacle in your path?  Are you carrying a burden or weight?  God’s not out of grace!

“Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.  “T’was grace that brought me safe this far and grace t’will lead me home.”

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”
Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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