Challenge #1 is Amazing Grace
Written by: John Newton
b. July 24, 1725; d. December 21, 1807
John Newton was a British sailor who became involved in the slave trade and later became a clergyman. On March 9, 1748, John Newton was caught in a terrible storm on the high seas. The next day he cried out to the Lord asking Him to deliver him from the deep waters though his true conversion did not happen until some time later. He eventually became a powerful evangelical preacher and wrote over 280 hymns. For a more indepth study of John Newton, please see: (click each title)
*John Newton, a Legacy of Faithfulness
*John Newton on Wikipedia
I can't think of a better way to start the new year and a new challenge than this Hymn! It has so many simple truths in it and I can't think of another song that describes the grace of God better.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I'm 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!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.
From the Challenge at Triple the Scraps
So what is grace? Why did John Newton feel so compelled to write about God's amazing grace? Grace is God's love to the utterly undeserving. God's grace is a gift to us. It's not anything we can earn or work towards. That means we don't love people just because we are trying to get something from them or get something from God. That means we don't serve in the church because we think it will help us earn our way into heaven. Only God can save us, and the only way to receive His gracious gift of salvation is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ paid the price for our sins through His substitutionary death on the Cross. Christ paid the price we deserve. In grace, God sees us where we are and gives us what we don't deserve.
Romans 5: 15 tells us: But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
My goal, always, is to live according to His will and by that sharing His grace with those around me - friends, family, even strangers. It's such a small thing to say an encouraging word or even just smile at someone, it might be the only positive thing that person hears today. If it opens up an opportunity for that person to experience His grace & love then who am I to withhold that gift by ignoring such an opportunity?
Decorative Paper: Webster’s Pages – Ladies & Gents (Tea Time)
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs – Scripture Collection 2
Inks, Stains and Paints: Versifine – Onyx Black; Ranger Distress Inks – Peeled Paint, Iced Spruce, Victorian Velvet, Spun Sugar, Stormy Sky, Weathered Wood, Walnut Stain; Copic Fine Liner .03