It’s quite remarkable to think that God, in His wisdom, chose to use a man like the apostle Paul (writer of today’s Scripture), who zealously hated and persecuted Christians, to build His Church and to write much of the New Testament. Of Paul we could truly say that he was once blind but then could see. The blindness God struck him with on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3) was a physical reality of the spiritual blindness that made Paul, up to that point, an enemy of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’
For the first forty-three years of my life I lived under the deception of the god of this age, blind and lost, spiritually and physically. I was an enemy of the God I now love and live my life for, and completely unaware of my great need of His generous grace and undeserved mercy.
Before I became a Christian, I heard the song Amazing Grace many times, but it had absolutely no meaning to me outside of being a familiar tune. One afternoon, as a new believer, I was sitting in a church at a funeral to support a friend, when a woman got up and began to sing ‘Amazing Grace’. This was the first time that I heard the words of the song as a born-again believer with spiritual understanding. In that moment, the weight of the beautiful gift of God’s amazing grace seemed to press me into the pew and all I could do was weep in gratitude.
Much like the apostle Paul, John Newton, who wrote the words of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’, had a radical encounter with the Living God, which opened his eyes to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the song he wrote over two hundred years ago is his on-going testimony.
Maybe you have a song or poem or word to write as a testimony to the radical encounter you have had with the Living God. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you, just as He did the apostle Paul and John Newton for His glory!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing grace, which is truly a sweet sound in my ears, helping me to look back and see who I have been without You. I shudder at the thought of a life without You, Lord, and ask today for You to open my spiritual eyes even wider, so that I can see what I have been so freely given, in order that I can freely give. I need Your grace every day to help me to forgive, be truthful, respond well, and live a transparent set-apart life. Let me live my life for You alone, so that the world will see Christ and come to know You, the Living God and find the hope of eternal life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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