It Was Amazing

by Stan Mitchell
jnewton.jpg“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind, and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…” (Philippians 3:13).
What do you suppose is the most despicable, most hurtful business in history? Selling illegal drugs to kids? Serving for a dictator’s secret police?
He dealt in the most inhuman trade of all, snatching bewildered tribesmen from West Africa, piling them into stinking cargo ships and transporting them to the Americas. He profited from human cargo, became wealthy by their misery. Families mourned the disappearance of fathers and sons from their village, villages mourned the loss of their daughters.
Then one day, he was confronted with the horror of his job. And he realized that he was accountable, not to the Better Business Bureau, but to God Almighty. And he did not come to God lightly, for he knew the staggering debt he owed.
And somehow, he put it behind him, allowing God’s grace to give him freedom from his crushing guilt. It was John Newton who penned the words to that greatest of hymns:
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.”

It is possible that he heard that tune sung by the very men and women he traded in, a song of mourning for freedom lost, and, by God’s grace, this haunting melody is now known to speak of the greatest freedom in history.
He put it behind him. Whatever it is that you have done, know this: You can, too.

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