Hymn Challenge #1: 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 our year than to look at the grace that God lavishes on those He saves through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. John Newton said it best when he said at the end of his life, "My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior"
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.
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—-not by works, so that no one can boast."
Ephesians 1:6-7 "To the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."
As Christians, God, through His grace, accepts us because we belong to His precious Son. We don't deserve His acceptance or His love that He lavishes on us but He graciously offers it to us.
1 John 3:1 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him."
So, do you know God's amazing grace for yourself? If not, why not? Will you not only accept the gift of His Son but unwrap it and live fully for Him? If you do know His amazing grace, how about your family members and friends? How might God have you share the gift with them this year? And how are you extending grace to others through kind gestures, forgiveness, a pleasant surprise, a smile and loving words when least expected, etc.? How can you bless someone this week by extending God's grace to them? God meets us where we are, and He wants us to meet others where they are with compassion. Pray about ways you can do that.
Below you will find the sheet music to "Amazing Grace." I encourage you to click the link to enlarge and truly read through the words of the hymn. So many truths in this beautiful hymn!
Click here to listen to Wintley Phipps talk about Amazing Grace and sing--be blessed and grab the tissues!!
So just as John Newton told of God's grace through his hymns and from the pulpit, we too are called to tell others of His good news. His grace also allows us to apply the truths from His Word so that we might live lives transformed and for His glory. How are you doing that?
For my page today, I created a 5x7 page to fit on the 7Gypsies Photo Display. I do not use the page protectors that come with the display. I find them flimsy so instead I use the WRMK 5x7 Raw Goods Page Protectors. The only downside is that by hanging them vertically, they are open on the entire right-hand side. So, what I am going to do is sew down the side. Our Daily Bread Designs has many perfect stamp sets for "grace." There is even an "Amazing Grace Bundle" set which includes 3 different stamps sets perfect for our study today. I chose to use the "Amazing Grace Hymn" stamp along with "Grow in Grace" and "Scripture Collection 2" since it contained the Ephesians 2:8 verse listed above.
Papers: October Afternoon Farmhouse, Creative Imaginations, Paper Trey Ink cs
Our Daily Bread Designs Stamps: Scripture Collection 2, Amazing Grace Hymn, Grow in Grace
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink walnut stain, VersaFine vintage sepia
Embellishments: Dew Drops cowboy, Doodlebug baker's twine, Sizzix Flower Layers #8 die, leaves from Wild Orchid Crafts, Paper Trey Ink button and twine, sewing machine
Remember to use Keyword HSCRC12 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this new challenge, please visit this post here. And to bookmark the study links for easy reference throughout this year, please look here. I hope you will join me and spread the word. I am excited to begin this new study and year with you! Happy New Year and may your year be blessed as you study His word!