"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound"—so begins one of the world's best-loved hymns. The song-writer's story is also amazing.
In the mid-1700s, John Newton was an embittered man and captain of a slave ship. He had long rejected religion. But fearing death during a violent storm at sea, he called out to heaven for mercy. That moment of humility changed him forever.
Newton eventually became a popular preacher in England. His message influenced William Wilberforce—who led the fight to abolish the British slave trade.
This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Some people believe John Newton's hymn is set to a slave song. Whatever the case, his profound transformation still calls us to amazing grace—in the high calling of our daily work.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.