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...I once was lost

But now I'm found

Was blind

But now I see...

Such beautiful words, a hymn written by John Newton, describing his conversion. He was the captain of slave trade ships. After he left the slave trade, he studied Christian theology, and later was involved in abolishing the slave trade.

His conversion reminds me a bit of the Apostle Paul's conversion. He used to persecute the church and then fought for the church.

That said, not everyone has these extreme conversions. I grew up in an Afrikaans Charismatic Christian home. I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 6 and was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the age of 10. If you understand the majority of Afrikaans culture, church is part of what you do, it's religion and not about a personal relationship with God. Don't get me started on the different views of water baptism for children and adults. I wasn't aware of these differences until I grew older. I thought everyone read and understood the same Bible. This meant I wasn't shy to share my views and what I believed was the right way.

By high school, I was less vocal about my beliefs. I obviously didn't want to be ousted, especially when what I believed was so different, and the worst thing back then for a teenager was to be different. I generally held onto my moral values, but there definitely was not a personal relationship with Jesus.

Home life got really tough, there were affairs, a divorce, new marriages which brought step-parents and step-siblings. All this chaos because of other people’s decisions. This made what I believed even tougher, because out of all my friends, it was me, "the happy-clappy" that went through these things. It made no sense, surely my parents should know better and do better because they knew Jesus and had the Holy Spirit.

By the age of 21, nothing made sense anymore, the effects of other’s decisions were too ridiculous to deal with.

I could relate to what Ecclesiastes 1:2 says: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” NIV

Shortly after my 21st birthday, I finally realised what was missing, Jesus.

Jesus was calling me back.

It wasn't an extreme conversion; I didn't turn away from a massively sinful life like John Newton or the Apostle Paul. I didn't endorse slavery or persecute the church or sleep around or do drugs. I got to turn back to what I once knew and counted myself righteous for it. I counted myself righteous for making better decisions despite my circumstances. I thought of myself as better than others, especially because I made it through these circumstances.

Jesus said in Luke 7:47 "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” NIV

I believed grace was for those who sinned much, not for my little sin. This belief caused me to live very black and white, there was no space for grey areas, no space for people who made bad decisions, no space for their sin. Come right, live righteously, or don't bother.


Was I wrong!!!

I need God's grace as much as the next person and I am so glad God didn't treat me the way I thought sinners should be treated.

What's so amazing about Grace?

Only Jesus can save us, He already paid the penalty for all our sin. We can stand righteous before God, only because Jesus paid the price. Grace is not ours because we're good. Grace is a free gift because God loves us so much.

What's so amazing about Grace?

Grace compels us to love others as much as Jesus loves me. My little sin is the exact same as someone else's big sin. Sin is sin.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 3:22-24: "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." NIV

We are all in the same boat.

We all need Jesus.

We need grace.

What's so amazing about Grace?

Jesus meets us where we're at.

...I once was lost

But now I'm found

Was blind

But now I see...

1 Corinthians 15:9-10 "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." NIV

My story has an empty grave and so can yours.

Thank You Jesus for Your grace! I definitely need it every day.



Women Of Reverence welcomes Yolande Vincent as a guest blogger.

Yolandé Vincent is married to Michael for 8 years and part of the Eldership team at Venture Church. Work as a hairdresser and make-up artist, a Christian counsellor and loves to help people transform into all Jesus has for them. I like chocolate and exercise because balance is key ;)

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