"Believe it or not"
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
— John, 3:16
John Newton (1725-1807) was an English hymn writer and a minister of a church in England. As we listen or sing the hymn Amazing Grace by John Newton, we reach out to God and realize that His love is transforming. There are times when we sing this hymn that we experience the closeness of God and our heart’s desire is to stay forever in God’s presence. However, we must leave His presence when we open our eyes, seeing things with greater clarity than before.
Newton was saved by God’s Grace from a mighty storm upon the sea. He had been involved with the African slave trade for ten years. Newton later penned these hymns after becoming a preacher: “Amazing Grace,” “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds,” ”Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” and many other great hymns. He truly realized the he was saved by the Grace of God. He collaborated with William Cowper in producing these “Olney Hymns.” Newton drew large crowds because he told his life story of being a wretch and now, saved by Grace.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Newton was transformed and came to know Jesus as his Lord and personal savior before writing these songs. To tell your salvation story, you must believe that you have been saved by the Grace of God. You must be transformed and not conformed to the world. Think about God being our greatest lover, giving us a personal invitation to become one with Him. When we say yes to God, we receive the greatest gift that God has given. We receive His only begotten Son. John Newton received Christ in his heart and was forever changed. If you desire to be transformed and made new, letting go of all the things that so easily hinder you, please accept Jesus into your heart and into your life.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
God wants you no matter where you have been, what you have done. I ask you to invite Him into your heart to know that you are forgiven for all of your sins.
This column is the opinion of Rev. Gracie Jackson of Grace Community AME Mission. Services are at 11 a.m. at Frontier Properties 11127 Old Eagle River Road.