His Grace Will Lead Us Home

By the time John Henry Newton died on December 21, 1807, many considered him a hero. As an Anglican clergyman, he employed his powerful oratory and writing skills toward abolishing the slave trade. Many looked to him for direction and leadership.

But he didn't start out that way.

For many years on the high seas, he ironically made his living as a captain of slave-trading ships. His identity was: human trafficker.

However, while sailing back to toward England in 1748, his ship encountered a severe storm and almost sank. As the ship filled with water, Newton called out to God and experienced a pivotal turning point in his life.

He began to read the Bible and other religious literature and, in 1764, Newton became an ordained priest in the Church of England.

So, why is this story significant?

After his near-death experience at sea, Newton penned arguably one of the most recognized and beloved hymns of all time: Amazing Grace. 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home. 

Newton realized that because of God's grace he had a new identity in Christ: Redeemed.

His new identity began to influence his daily activities. He retired from the slave trade and eventually became an anti-slavery activist, instrumental in passing the Slave Trade Act of 1807 that ended Britain's slave trade.

What spiritual nugget can you and I take away from John Newton? Simply this: sometimes it takes a while for us to understand our identity in Christ before it affects our life's activities.

Today is Shine a Light on Slavery Day. Many of you know that I'm actively involved in Love146, which works to abolish child trafficking. It's astounding that slavery still exists today. But more disturbing are the number of children trapped in that nightmare.

Thousands across the world today are marking a red "X" on our hands to raise awareness to the 27+ million who are caught in slavery today.

Most importantly, we desperately need God's amazing grace to move our hands and feet to make a difference.  In honor of Shine a Light on Slavery Day, here's a link to support this vital work. And we need your prayers to stay strong and fight the fight.

Like John Henry Newton, I didn't set out to be an abolitionist. But now that I'm aware, I cannot sit idly by. 

My identity is in Christ. I've been redeemed. I'm responsible.

So, this fight? I'm in it. TO END IT. Trusting His Grace to lead them home.

What are your thoughts about modern-day slavery?


  1. Donna, thanks for writing about this important issue and working to end modern-day slavery! I'm putting a red X on my hand right now!

    1. YAY, Sharla! I've already had 7 people ask me why my "X" is there. It opens the door to tell them about trafficking and what can be done to end it. EXCELLENT. Hugs!