Our theme this year at BVI is Stories of Grace. Each month we’ll be sharing with you some details about some of the people profiled in our BVI stories. Our January profile is John Newton, author of Amazing Grace.
John Newton was in the habit of keeping a journal. As the year 1772 ended so did the pages of his latest record. From the third floor of the vicarage study, John leafed back through the pages. Like the stones of the Jordan for Israel, the words testified to his own heart of the grace God had shown him over the past several years. God had taken him “a blasphemer and an infidel” and made him a preacher of the Gospel!
Just beyond the church steeple John could see the “Great House” a large home owned by Lord Dartmouth where John would gather with a small group of congregants for mid-week services. The 1773 New Years Day service would be held here. As his text for the service John had chosen I Chronicles 17:16-17. David’s incredulous statement “Who am I?” in response to God’s promises seemed to match John’s own frame of mind as he reflected on the journal.
Since moving to Olney in 1764 John had made a habit of using the Great House as a place for children’s meetings. He also added the habit of composing simple songs to help the children remember the scripture lessons. As years passed John had come to realize that these songs were as helpful for adults as the children.
To accompany his New Year’s Day scripture lesson, John devoted himself to composing an accompanying song. He entitled it “Faith’s Review and Expectation”
It began . . .
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”
This is just one of the many stories of grace that Bible Visuals International shares with children through supplying ministry partners around the globe.
Thank you for coming along side us and helping through your prayers and financial gifts. You are part of the story of grace God is writing even now in our hearts as we see His provision for our ministry needs.
May this new year give you opportunity to look back over your own faith and review how Christ has established and sustained it. And may it help set your hope and expectations in 2018 that our faithful God will provide.
Helping Children See Jesus!
Tom Luttmann–Executive Director