Sunday, February 25, 2007

"Amazing Grace" Found William Wilberforce

The recently released film, “Amazing Grace” is definitely worth seeing. The movie tells of William Wilberforce’s efforts in 19th century England to abolish slavery. You’ll be inspired by the pursuit of justice and a life of passion and perseverance.

Remarkably, Wilberforce became a member of the British Parliament at age 21. At age 26 he became a Christ follower and began to be mentored by John Newton, an Anglican priest who is best known for writing the hymn “Amazing Grace” and thus the movie’s title. In prior years Newton had been a slave trader. He had a conversion to Christianity and after some time became convicted of the sinfulness of slavery. His influence and that of a few others propelled Wilberforce into the political battle to end slavery that took 18 years before the Slave Trade Act received the royal assent in 1807.

The movie has many memorable scenes worth reflection. Soon after Wilberforce became a Christ follower he is sitting upon the wet grass in his yard admiring the intricacies of creation and worshiping God. His butler discovers him sitting on the wet grass with an otherworldly countenance about him. The butler comments, “You’ve found God, sir?” Wilberforce replies, “No, rather God has found me.”

That’s the message of the hymn "Amazing Grace" when it declares, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

The Bible makes it clear that none of us really seeks after God. Instead, God seeks after us. If we come to love Him, it is because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Do you have any desire to discover God and to get to know God? If so, that stirring within you is God pursuing you. We don’t deserve God’s interest, pursuit or love. God just simply and profoundly loves us/you more than anything. That’s why millions of Christ followers through the centuries have joined with Newton and Wilberforce in affirming, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My friend Mary had a very unusual conversion experience to faith in Christ. The only thing I can compare it too is Saul on his way to Damascus in the Bible. She always refers to it as "the day the Lord found me" even though from her story I know she was seeking much of her life. I never really understood that, but your blog helped.