For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift.  Ephesians 2:8 HCSB

In 1736, eleven-year-old John Newton went to sea on a merchant ship, which sailed the Mediterranean.  Eight years later, he joined the crew of a warship, the H.M.S. Harwich.  Horrified by the conditions of the ship, Newton deserted his post.  He was soon recaptured, demoted in rank, and publicly flogged for his indiscretion.  In time, he was traded to the owner of a slave ship, which frequented the coast of Sierra Leone.  In time, he was rescued and later became the captain of his own slave ship.

While steering his ship through a violent storm, Newton cried out, “Lord, have mercy upon us!”  He later declared that his cry was more than just for his safety, but that it was his “great deliverance,” when the grace of God became real to him.

Newton eventually became a pastor in Olney, Buckinghamshire.  While in service at Olney, Newton collaborated to produce Olney Hymns, a new hymnal for that day.  Included in the collection was the newly written song Amazing Grace, penned by Newton himself, as a tribute to the grace of God.

Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing grace.  It has the power to transform lives.

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