John Newton - former merchant captain, pastor in the Church of England, composer of over 300 hymns - the most famous of which is Amazing Grace
William Wilberforce - wealthy member of Parliament who upon his conversion experience, led a 40+ year fight against slavery in Britain.
My introduction to the wonderful story of these two men may have been a video, but the more I research and study, the more "amazing" I find the grace of God.
The book Finding God in the Story of Amazing Grace by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware is a powerful but simple introduction to some vignettes in the lives of these two men and the circle of influence that surrounded them. In a quick succession of brief biographical chapters describing a different kind of grace, the authors give us a wonderfully rich illustration of the grace that only God can give.
Look for signs of God's grace in these brief glimpses of the lives of John Newton and William Wilberforce - and you will find them in your own life.
Maternal Grace - John Newton's mother Elizabeth was a solid Christian lady who made sure her son was brought up in the faith. As a boy, John loved his mother deeply and followed her teachings - until her tragic death when he was only 7 years old. As a young adult, anger at God for his mother's death took him far from God. But God was never far from him; later as an adult he wrote often of the memory of his mother and how her faith guided him even when he wasn't aware of it. That's the power of a mother's love.
In the beginning, there is grace.