My Chains are Gone
I'm back! Feels like forever since I have written a Song Talks! Thanks to Ryan for taking over last week while I was in Alaska. Nope, I didn't go on a cruise, and I wasn't on vacation. This trip was for the good of the gospel to an unreached people group. As we begin the process of tackling this momentous vision, would you be in prayer for Second? And would you pray for God to raise up people from our church to have a big heart for Alaska and the states native peoples that don't know Jesus? We will be traveling 4 to 5 times a year to plant a church among an indigenous tribe in the Interior of our northernmost state. The process is long and we are now beginning training and networking to find a place where there is little or no evangelical presence. Thanks for praying!
We are in the heart of the "My Crazy Life" series. I don't know about you but I'm really enjoying the messages from our Pastor. The life of Joseph has always been one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. I'm always impressed with his devotion to the Lord in the midst of great temptation and struggle.
This week the title is "Breaking the Chains of the Past". I won't spoil the message but I promise you won't want to miss it. There is one song in particular that always come to mind when the word "chains" is mentioned. Nope. It's not "Chain breaker", although we will be singing that song this Sunday! No, the song is Amazing Grace, with the added chorus by Chris Tomlin, "my chains are gone, I've been set free, my God my Savior, has ransomed me, and like a flood, his mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace."
This hymn written in the late 1700's by African Slave trader John Newton, has come to be one of the most well-known songs ever written and is sung an estimated 10 million times a year and recorded on over 11,000 albums. Newton's tract "Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade" written some thirty years after his departure from the business described the harsh conditions of the slave trade and his renunciation of the practice. The pamphlet gained such popularity that it made its way into several members of Parliament's hands, thus beginning the end of legal slavery in Britain with The Slave Trade Act of 1807.
The added chorus of this song plays on the story of the hymn's origin amidst the chains of slavery. Like those imprisoned and used by this evil practice, we too have been imprisoned and enslaved by sin. But God, who called us here below, has sent us a redeemer. One that could purchase us by His blood and set us free from the law of sin and death. Praise be to God, that we can sing this hymn, this great chorus, and worship Jesus for the grace God has bestowed. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace. Sing it with full hearts and knowing that you are a slave to righteousness, because of what Christ has done!