by Rick White

How to Become a Grace Giver
Rick White
2 Corinthians 9:6-15

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.

His godly mother died when he was only seven. He was turned over to relatives and soon forgot the Scriptures she had taught him.

He went on to become an apprentice seaman and later joined the British navy. However, he could not stand the navy's discipline so he deserted. He had earned the reputation of being able to curse for two hours straight without repeating a word. He eventually fled to Africa so that in his own words, "I might sin my fill."

He fell into the hands of a Portuguese slave trader. For months the chief woman of the trader's harem treated him like an animal. He was forced to eat his food from the dirt, never using his hands. If he touched the food he was beaten severely.

He eventually escaped and found his way to the shores of Africa, where a passing ship picked him up. Due to his navigation skills he earned the position of first mate. One day while the Captain was ashore, he broke out the ship's rum and got the crew drunk. When the Captain returned he was so enraged that he hit him and knocked him overboard.

He certainly would have drowned if it were not for a sailor who pulled him back on board by spearing his thigh with a bait hook. The wound was so immense that it left a scar big enough to put his fist in. Several weeks later as the ship sailed near the coast of Scotland, it sailed into a storm and almost sank. He manned the pumps in order to save the ship. Then and there he cried out to God. God answered the cry of a helpless, wretched man, and John Newton would emerge from the ship to become chaplain to the English Parliament. It was this vile blasphemer whom many would refer to as the second founder of the Church of England, and the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace.

Grace. What a word! Lean over to someone ...

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