CHANGED


By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Written in the inside cover of my Bible are a few notable and inspirational quotes and Scriptures. Here is one of them:
“I am not what I ought to be,
I am not what I want to be,
I am not what I hope to be;
But still, I am not what I used to be.
By the grace of God I am what I am.”
-John Newton

This powerful quote was penned by a former slave trader who participated in more atrocious acts as a slave captain aboard notorious slave ships than could be recorded. John Newton lived a life of a thousand regrets and yet lived to write the most beloved hymn ever written:
"Amazing Grace."
One of the interesting realities of John Newton’s life, that few people recognize, is that his conversion did not mark the turning-point in his slavery mentality; rather it was a near-death experience related to physical issues that prompted the timing and change of his heart, long after his conversion.
This reality is significant to me.
It’s easy to assume and suppose that when an individual comes to a knowledge of Jesus Christ there is an instant and dramatic conversion in every area of one’s life.
Sometimes this happens.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes God works in very mysterious, slow ways in an individual’s heart and the process looks unbecoming and even questionable at times.
No matter.
God keeps applying the compress of grace on the swollen results of sin and in the sin stained lives of those who have need of it and He loves us through the ugly and unbecoming stages and somewhere in it all …
the caterpillar becomes a butterfly 
and we are markedly changed in that remarkable conversion process called grace.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost but now am found,
Twas blind but now I see.
-John Newton
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"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven;
whose sin is covered."
Psalm 32:1