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History Behind The Hymms

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History Behind The Hymns

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
- Victor Frankl
An infectious attitude
What some people call faking I call faithing.
Amazing Grace, John Newton (1779)
Most of us have heard the familiar words, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” The author of the hymn was, by his own admission, a “wretch.”  He was a slave trader, a blasphemer, a rebel, an immoral man, a torturer, and as far from grace as anyone could ever be. As a boy, John was captivated by the adventure and risk of life on the high seas. When he was eleven, young John Newton launched into that exciting life of voyaging, sailing, and living his dream. But the dream turned out to be a nightmare. Later in life he wrote, “I sinned with a high hand, and I made it my study to tempt and seduce others.” Newton lived a hard life with hard consequences. God got his attention though.
In 1748, Newton’s slave ship was nearly wrecked by an intense storm. In the tempest, surrounded by crashing waves, cutting winds, creaking timbers, and the cries of onboard slaves, John fell to his knees and pled for MERCY, and for GRACE. God’s grace, which reaches anyone, anywhere, saved a wretch like John Newton. Newton wrote the song years later while serving as a pastor in Olney, England. Today, its lyrics still inspire, encourage, and instruct people about the radical reality of God’s amazing grace.
On his deathbed a person came to see him and one of his last statements was that
“He was a great sinner and God was a great Savior.”
-John Newton, Author of Amazing Grace
God’s Goodness (His mercy and grace) leads to true change. A slaver, blasphemer, and drunkard turned into a pastor.
MERCY is (1) not getting what you deserve.
GRACE is (2)getting what you don’t deserve
Romans 2:4 NIV
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
God’s goodness leads people to repentance
Ephesians 2:5 KJV 1900
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(3) Nobody is so far gone God can’t reach them. Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save or His ear too dull to hear.
Romans 5:6–7 NLT
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
We must be careful to see ourselves and others as God sees them. ..through the blood.
it’s just too easy to see others in the natural.
AS THEY CAN BE.
We are redeemed by His sacrifice and forgiveness, not ours.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV 1900
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Christ in Our Place
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV 1900
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Illustration of woman who changed her life, got involved with her church, but when the pastors son showed interest in many in the church were against it.
Ephesians 1:7 KJV 1900
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
How Is Love
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Romans 5:6–7 NKJV
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
It is Well With My Soul
Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.
On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.
About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.
A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.
Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.
(4) There is a purpose for our pain. The comfort we receive will equip us to share with others the comfort we’ve received.
John 14:6 KJV 1900
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The comfort we receive will equip us to share with others the comfort we’ve received.
Pain and sacrifice are linked to love…true love.
2 Corinthians 1:3–5 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
Go
(5) When struggles come we must remember God is good.
It’s not what happens to me but in me
People who say they are angry at God really don’t know or have forgotten who God is.
Your call is often attached to your pain.
Romans 8:28 KJV 1900
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It may not be good but God will use it for good.
Newton’s experience helped him to experience God’s amazing grace, mercy and forgiveness.
Through Spoffords experience thousands in three centuries have experienced God’s comfort.
What both of these hymns do is take attention off the struggle and put it on our Savior. He may have been a great sinner but HE is a great savior.
Choose to have a good attitude, to see others with eyes of grace, as we all receive comfort from God to share with others.
Robert Robinson was what you would call an “unruly child.” At only eight years old his father died, and he was raised by his loving mother. In spite of Robert’s intellectual giftedness, he had a penchant for mischief. Robert’s mother sent him off for an apprenticeship when he was only 14, but once he got out of the home his life got worse. Instead of working and learning, Robert chose drinking, gambling, and carousing with the wrong crowd. Caught up in his reckless life, Robert and his friends decided to go to an evangelist meeting one night just to heckle the preacher, George Whitfield. Sitting in that meeting, however, Robert felt as if the preacher’s words were meant for him alone. He couldn’t shake the feeling that God wanted him to surrender his life and serve him. When he was twenty, Robinson gave his life to God and entered the Christian ministry. At the age of 22, he wrote the song “Come Thou Fount,” for his church’s Pentecost celebration. It was written as his own spiritual story — a story of pursuing pleasure and joy, and only experiencing it when “Jesus sought me.” Millions of believers can relate to Robinson’s testimony — “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,” and the glorious testimony, “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!”
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