Encouragement Wednesday

Have you found God's amazing grace?

Have you found God's amazing grace?

Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God.

"They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; no one does good!

Psalm 14:1-7 NLT

Rescued from rebellion

Young John Newton called himself an atheist, and his life demonstrated his lack of belief in God. Even the coarsest sailors aboard his slave-trading ship could not stand his filthy speech. He brutalized the male slaves and sexually abused the women, and he prodded other sailors to do the same. The ship's captain finally put him ashore on the coast of Africa, and there he became a servant of slavers.

Finally rescued by another merchant ship, Newton once again fouled the ship with his presence. In a drunken stupor he almost plunged overboard, and the captain wished that he had. Then, amazingly in the midst of a vicious ocean storm in 1748, God touched his heart. Years after his remarkable conversion, Newton commented, "I see no reason why the Lord singled me out for mercy…unless it was to show that with him nothing is impossible."

The fool who had said in his heart that there was no God was now transformed. He became famous throughout England, both as a preacher and a writer of hymns. Without a doubt, the best-known hymn of this former atheist is the following:

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.

JOHN NEWTON

from The One Year® Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen,
Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for January 23

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

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