by John Newton
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.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
This has long been a favorite hymn of mine. You see, I did not come to know the Lord as my Savior until I was 21 years old. Before that day, I attempted several times to end my life, and God never allowed me to succeed. If He had, I would be in hell today. So I am especially thankful for God’s great grace that kept me alive and opened my eyes to the need of my soul. He also delivered me from manic-depression and gave me a reason to live. By God’s grace, I will never again attempt to take my own life. I’ll tell you more about that in weeks to come.
About the time I was starting my cleaning business, I came across a coffee mug bearing the name of this beloved hymn, as well as a clock that plays the tune every hour. To make it even better, they were both on sale! I bought them and carried them home, and they became my inspiration for the name of my new business: AG Cleaning Services, where “AG” stood for Amazing Grace. So in my business I was surrounded by reminders of God’s amazing grace: with my morning coffee, with the musical reminder of the passing of time, with each business card I gave out and the polo shirts I wore to work. But more than that, God’s amazing grace was manifested by the steady stream of work that kept me busy.
And I am certainly not alone in my affection for John Newton’s famous song. Known and loved around the world, I dare say “Amazing Grace” is perhaps the single most popular hymn ever written. Why? Because we all have experienced God’s amazing grace in our lives, many for salvation, but all for preservation. Most of us recognize what wretches we are when left to ourselves. And we all long for a day when we will no more live under the curse of sin. In short, this hymn is universally loved because it addresses the universal needs of the heart.
In what ways have you seen God’s amazing grace demonstrated in your life?
Amazing Grace is in the public domain.