Amazing Grace

Stand On It | Devotion #3: Amazing Grace
Wes McCullough | Production Director

Do you know anyone unfamiliar with the song “Amazing Grace” by John Newton? It seems even among the unchurched this song is known and sung. It is arguably one of the most famous songs ever written. While most have the lyrics committed to heart, they are unaware of the story of the writer or the circumstances that brought him to these words.

Before he was a theologian and preacher, John Newton was in the Royal Navy and then a sailor in the slave trade. His language was beyond profane, and he lived without respect for others. He rejected the faith of his parents and mocked those who lived out their faith. His biography describes him to be quite a wretched individual.

In 1748, Newton’s ship was caught in a violent storm that led him to call out to God for mercy. That moment was the turning point for him, and he eventually left the slave trade and pursued God’s calling on his life.

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Each of us has lived in sin. We have made mistakes and have our own personal testimony of how God has forgiven and redeemed us. Some testimonies are stories of incredible transformation from God-hater to God-lover while some are that of a lifelong Christian. Each testimony will be used by God. 

John Newton put his “skeletons” into a song, and it has been ministering to souls for nearly 250 years.

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!

The skeletons in your closet provide a perspective of God’s gift of amazing grace. In 1 Peter 4:10 it says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Do not hide your skeletons. Stand on them and use them to show others that no sin is beyond God’s redemptive love.

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