The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Close up eye red - Jesus - Cross | adapted from onesimus ...

Have you ever sung or listened to the hymn Amazing Grace? “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that sav’d a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”

The hymn was written in 1779 by John Newton about his conversion to Christianity. When he wrote it, he was one of the most respected preachers in England at the time, but he hadn’t always been a believer. When Newton was a young man, he served aboard a sailing ship and became known for his wild behavior and for openly mocking the Christian faith. He seemed as far away from God as he could get.

But God had other ideas for John Newton

In 1748, Newton was on board a slaving ship called the Greyhound. The ship was in bad shape. During a violent storm, it began to fall apart and take on water. A crew member was swept overboard. All night long Newton tried to keep the ship from going under. And he thought about the state of his life. He knew he had run from God, hurt other people, and made a wreck out of his own situation. He had even mocked the Gospel. Newton realized he might die in the storm. Would God still be forgiving, even after Newton had rejected Him? Was there hope? At last, Newton recalled what his mother had taught him from the Bible: God loves to show mercy even to people who feel they are beyond redemption. Newton asked for God’s help for the first time in years and survived the storm. [1]

John Newton asked Jesus into his life and over time God transformed him. The hymn was a reflection of God opening his eyes and saving him. God can do the same for us. There is great hope when we turn away from our sin and turn toward God.

Being spiritually blind is nothing new and as Jesus hung on the cross many people were spiritually blind to who he really was. Luke 23:35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” [2]

God has plans for you, too.

Does God still open spiritually blind eyes today? Yes, He does! Never underestimate the power of God’s Word. On of my friends went to Easter worship service just to satisfy his wife. He was not a believer and had no intention of becoming one. But like John Newton, God had other ideas. By the end of the worship service God had opened his eyes and he asked Jesus into his heart.

The people who mocked Jesus had hardened hearts, but God did not give up on them. The Good News of Jesus sometimes takes time to sink in. The Roman officer in charge of the crucifixion came to an amazing conclusion. Why did that happen? He met Jesus and his eyes were opened.  Matthew 27:54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” [3]

There may be someone in your life that seems far from God and the Lord wants to use you to reach them. They may be living a life like John Newton or the Roman officer, but they are not beyond the reach of Jesus.

Romans 10:14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” [4].

To hear more about Hope in the Last Hour, listen here:

[1], accessed July 25, 2020.

[2-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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