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Dying to Live (12 of 47)
Do you know what a seed has to go through in order for it to produce something? I mean what does it take for a grain of wheat to produce a stalk of wheat? There are many things that it must do in order for it to become a stalk. It is getting time for planting season and people are going to be planting flowers and grass and many other things.
Take a seed and look at it. It is hard, dry, and worthless. But, when you take that seed and place it in the ground it produces something. It comes to life. That which looks dead to the normal human eye, comes alive.
Do you any of you know who John Newton is? Now if you do, wait a minute before you tell the person sitting next to you who does not know. In his early teens he ran away from home and joined the crew of a slave ship. Some years later he was given as a slave to the black wife of a white slave trader in Africa. He was mistreated and lived on leftovers and wild sweet potatoes that he had to dig for. After he had escaped that ordeal he went to live with some natives and managed to become a sea captain. During that time he lived a very sinful life. In 1748 he was saved and returned to England. He became a preacher of the gospel.
John Newton wrote many hymns that we sing today. One of which is probably the most popular of all time! I think John Newton knew what he was talking about when he wrote, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind but now I see."
He wrote the epitaph that sits in the church yard in England where he preached. This is what it says,
John Newton, Clerk,
Once an infidel and libertine,
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour,
Preserved, restored, pardoned,
And appointed to preach the faith
He had long labored to destroy
How could a enemy of the faith turn and be able to ...
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