I always thought this grace quote was in the Bible somewhere – I mean, without the grace of God where would go, or where would we be?
The origin of the quote, “There but for the grace of God go I,” is attributed to John Bradford, but it is recorded a Bradford saying, “But for the grace of God there goes John Bradford.”
Bradford’s quote was prompted when he saw a group of criminals being led to their executions. Little did he know how true his quote, and the context in which he said it, was. John Bradford was an English preacher born in 1510 who at the age of 45 was executed by Queen Mary (of Bloody Mary fame) by burning at the stake. His crime was preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and exposing England as a nation that had forsaken God. At that moment in his life, on July 15th 1555, the grace of God was sufficient for John Bradford as he gave up the ghost to enter an eternal paradise.
We, like him, can only go from day to day, moment to moment, by the grace of our God. Like the apostle James wrote: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ James 4:13-15 NKJV
Here is a good article about John Bradford (disclaimer: it is written with a clear reformation bias).