John Newton captured men and women in Africa and sold them as slaves in America. For years he considered slave trading a respectable way to make a living. But from a terrifying storm at sea and a serious illness, God got his attention and he changed his mind about slave trading. He gave it up and dedicated his life to abolish the slave system. He later wrote, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” In speaking about values of His Kingdom, Jesus stressed that we should not be hypocrites. We should first deal with our own faults before we condemn them in others. We read this in Luke CH. 6, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Jesus calls us to avoid being hypocrites, but to live out His Kingdom values of love and justice, respecting and treating others as we want others to treat us.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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