TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Ephesians 2:1-10
A horrific storm at sea was the “turning-point” in the life of John Newton (1725-1807). He was orphaned at the age of six and sent to sea when he turned eleven. His tragic childhood hardened young John’s heart to where his only interest was self-preservation. He became actively involved with the African slave trade. How- ever, in March of 1748, at the age of twenty-three, Newton was on board a cargo ship fighting for its survival in heavy seas and a violent storm. Worn to exhaustion, John cried out for God’s mercy, asking to be spared from certain death. He was.
John Newton eventually renounced all affiliation and involvement in slave trading and at the age of thirty-one, he became a minister. Later, he would pen these words:
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.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
’Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home. ¹
Who like John Newton hasn’t needed a second chance? With certainty, the apostle Peter needed a second chance. Whether it is his doubt (Matthew 14:13-33) or his lack of courage (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75), Peter repeatedly finds himself in need of mercy and the chance to “try again.” Today, how many times have we boasted of our “invincibility” saying, “I would never…” only to fall victim to our own arrogance? How many times have we jumped into a “storm of life” with confidence, only to “sink” because of our doubt and lack of trust in God? How many times have we cried out, “Lord save me,” pleading for mercy? Well, then, we understand the need for a second chance.
Today, I will…read the events in Peter’s life recorded in Matthew 14 and 26, reflecting on how I need a second chance because of my lack of faith and courage. Also, I will in humility turn to God in prayer, asking once again for mercy and for a second chance.
¹ John Newton, “Amazing Grace” (1779).