Amazing Grace to Music

amazing grace blog

Yesterday I shared a little bit about the story behind the man who wrote the well-know hymn, Amazing Grace. If you missed it you can read it here. Today I thought I would share this short music video so you can hear the hymn put to music. There are also some words and pictures that depict the story behind the hymn. This hymn has touched so many lives around the world, and I don’t think it is by accident. God’s grace truly is amazing and I think it is a message he wants the world to hear loud and clear. I hope this video blesses you…

________

hannah

 

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

John Newton was a British sailor and slave trader in the eighteenth century. His mother was a devout Christian and she died when he was only six years old, leaving him to be raised by his father who was a ship captain. Newton was rebellious and denied God for many years of his life, but eventually accepted Jesus as his Savior during his time at sea. He later went on to leave the slave trade, become a preacher and write hymns. He also helped put an end to the slave trade.

He came to put his trust in the Lord after a stormy night at sea when he wasn’t sure if he was going to live to see the next day. After that shaky night his life began to gradually change, but he continued to sail ships involved in the slave trade and even took the position of ship captain for a while.

Just before he was about to embark on his fourth voyage as captain, he suddenly came down with an illness and was advised not to set sail—so he did not. And the captain who replaced him, was later murdered during an uproar that occurred on the ship.

After Newton said good-bye to his life at sea, he started to pursue his faith even more. He eventually became an ordained minister and wrote hymns such as the well known hymn, Amazing Grace—a highly inspirational song to many.  He also partnered with William Wilberforce and they became key players in abolishing the slave trade. In 1807 the slave trade was outlawed in Britain, and just months later Newton left this earth to go home.

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Amazing Grace is my favorite song of all time—and it took on a whole new meaning for me several years ago when I learned about the history behind the song. It was written by someone who rejected God and promoted the ugliness of slavery for many years, but then came to realize that he had a Savior who came to set him free and forgive him for each and every sin. He became a new man and made it his mission to share the Gospel with the world. He also fought hard to put an end to the very thing that kept him in bondage to shame and guilt for many years of his life—the slave trade. God created good from his mess.

Newton was a man who was touched by grace, and it changed his life. And while our stories probably look much different than his, we too have the opportunity to experience the life changing power of God’s grace. We are full of sin, yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The story of the Cross is grace. Jesus, the perfect spotless Lamb, took our place on that cross. He died to know us. He wants an eternal relationship with us. He loves us with every thread in His being. We don’t deserve Him and we don’t deserve what He did for us—but He willingly endured the pain so that we can have the gift of Amazing Grace.

No matter who you are, or what your past involves…God’s grace is an invitation to all. He loves you, He wants you and He’s waiting for you to come running into His arms.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

~Ephesians 2:4-9 [NLT]

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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.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath 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.
Yea, 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 called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
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.
-Original lyrics, John Newton, 1772

________

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood

*Above photo adapted from here

* Historical information for this post was gathered from Wikipedia and several Christian online sources.

 

The Truth About The Grace-Giver

amazing grace blog

The other evening I was out for a run, listening to music and admiring the beautiful sky that looked just like a magnificent painting. Then the song Amazing Grace came on.

This song always reminds me of my wedding day. While it is not a traditional song to use for a first-dance, that is exactly what my Husband and I chose to do at our wedding reception. Grace is the very thing that brought us together so we couldn’t think of more appropriate song.

Grace has been a meaningful word in my life for many years. It seems to be the theme of the story God is writing for my life. Perhaps there is a reason why my name means “Grace.”

Well, back to my run…I was enjoying my time away outside and taking in the lyrics of the song. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the mighty hand of God in my life. There are so many things that I have in my life today that just don’t make sense…things I shouldn’t have, but I do because of God’s Grace.

Some might say that I shouldn’t be where I am today because some of my past childhood experiences.

Some might say that two broken souls {meaning my Husband and I} couldn’t possibly experience joy in marriage.

Some did say that the reality of children was a slim possibility for my Husband and I.

Sound a little discouraging?

It is, and there is a father of lies who wants to do just that—discourage us. He comes to steal, destroy, deceive and manipulate. Remember the serpent’s conversation with Eve in the Garden of Eden? He sugar-coats the lies so that we will believe them and his main motive is to harm us. While there was a time in my life when I bought into the lies, I eventually chose to listen to someone different.

Someone who transformed the ashes from my childhood, into beauty.

Someone who brought two broken lives together, and created a sacred marriage.

Someone who made what seemed like the impossible, possible when a little life was created—A living and breathing precious little boy today.

My accomplishments, my successes, my marriage to an amazing man, my miracle son—these are the reflections of Grace in my life. They are a gift given to me by the Grace-Giver: God.

The truth about Him…

He is full of unending compassion. His tender mercies are new everyday. He is for us, not against us. He is strong, yet gentle. He is the source of all wisdom. He is the one true King. He is our Redeemer and Friend. He is our Protector and Defender. He is faithful to every promise. He is above all things, before all things, and He moves in mighty ways. His unfailing Love for you and I is so great that He allowed His one and only Son to die on a Cross for the sins of this world. He offers us what we don’t deserve—Amazing Grace.

The enemy wants to distract us away from this Truth, but he only has as much power as we give him. Truth is, he is weak. The enemy wants to harm us, God wants to bring good to our lives. The enemy intends to destroy us, God desires to rebuild our lives. The enemy comes to steal, God powerfully reclaims the victory. The enemy tries to keep us in bondage, God wants to set us free. The enemy brings death, God offers eternal life which is His gift of Grace to us.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ~2 Timothy 2:1

The truth about the Grace-Giver is that His love for us never fails and He desires good for our lives. Believe me, there was a time when I wrestled to believe that God wanted good things for me. Eventually, the truth became clear as day to me and God trampled on the enemy’s lies. He can do infinitely more in our lives than we may ever dream possible. He is the source of hope and the reason for every good thing in my life.

~~~

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.

Through many dangers, toils and snares 
I have already come; 
‘Tis grace hath 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.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, 
and mortal life shall cease, 
I shall possess within the veil, 
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years 
Bright shining as the sun, 
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise 
Than when we’ve first begun.

-Lyrics by John Newton, 1725-1807

~~~

hannah

(C) 2013 Pocketful of Motherhood