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Monday, May 17, 2021

AMAZING!

By David Sargent

     “The GREYHOUND had been thrashing about in the north Atlantic storm for over a week. Its canvas sails were ripped, and the wood on one side of the ship had been torn away and splintered. The sailors had little hope of survival, but they manually worked the pumps, trying to keep the vessel afloat. On the eleventh day of the storm, sailor John Newton was too exhausted to pump, so he was tied to the helm and tried to hold the ship to its course. From one o'clock until midnight he was at the helm.
     With the storm raging fiercely, Newton had time to think. His life seemed as ruined and wrecked as the battered ship he was trying to steer through the storm. Since the age of eleven he had lived a life at sea. Sailors were not noted for the refinement of their manners, but Newton had a reputation for profanity, coarseness, and debauchery which even shocked many a sailor.” – The Reformed Reader
     John Newton survived that day at the helm.  That day, March 21, 1748, was a turning point in his life.  It was a day that he would never forget, for he believed that “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.”  On that day he began to turn to the Christ that he had ignored since childhood when his mother had tried to teach him the Scriptures.
     Newton went on to preach about the GRACE  that had lifted him out of despair, and he wrote the words of the beloved hymn:

“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.”

     Newton lived to be eighty-two years old and continued to preach until his health would no longer allow it.  Even then, Newton never ceased to be amazed by God's grace and told his friends, “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”
     “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” – the Apostle Paul, 1 Timothy 1:15
     That’s WONDERFUL NEWS, for we are ALL sinners, doomed to destruction (Romans 3:23; 6:23).  But God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for our redemption from sin (Ephesians 1:7).
     We receive God’s amazing grace when we... place our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).  We continue to be cleansed from our sins as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
     Stan Mitchell has written: “Dying for the sins of the world is not an every day event. … It was stunning, unexpected and offered to those who were unworthy.  In a word, it was nothing less than AMAZING.”
     Won’t YOU receive the Amazing Grace of God through your trusting obedience?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
 
* Information gleaned from The Reformed Reader and “Why should I gain from his reward?” by Stan Mitchell in Forthright Magazine.


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