Maranatha Devotionals
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Hymns - Day 16 - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Psalm 121:1-2, "[A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (2)"

This dear saint lived to be almost 100 years old!!! Could it be because she actually lived the words of this song? Helen Howarth Lemmel was born on November 14, 1863 in Wardle, England. She died shortly before her 98th birthday in Seattle, Washington.

Ms. Lemmel had a beautiful singing voice and gave many concerts in the United States. She later became the vocal music teacher at Moody Bible Institute. She retired in Seattle, Washington where she became a member of Ballard Baptist Church. One of the memorable things in her life for me was that Billy Sunday used one of her works, a hymnal, for over ten years in his ministry. In fact, her vocal group was part of Billy Sunday's group at the height of his career as an evangelist.

This hymn has been one of my favorites since I was saved in 1980! In my opinion, it should be the Christian anthem for struggling believers. I know it has been mine! I love how she turned weariness and burdens into focusing on her Lord, His Word and winning the lost! What a wonderful recipe for the Christian life despite the circumstances!

Most believers who have done anything for the Lord have been those who are burdened and carry a heavy cross. Many do not even realize that their burdens are heavy because they walk so closely with their Heavenly Father. They have learned to leave their burdens at His feet! Helen Lemmel seemed to have perfected this in her walk.

Meditate with me this morning on this very fact, dear saint! Do we leave our burdens at the Saviour's feet where they belong? Do we continuously take back our burdens onto our own shoulders? Why would we even want to? Isn't it easier to give them over to the Lord and leave them in His quite capable hands?

I have a dear friend who struggles with worry. In fact, while we were in South Carolina last week, our motor coach had some electrical problems and we had to sleep with the coach idling all night to charge the batteries. My friend, a born-again Christian for many years, stayed awake most of the night worrying that gases would asphyxiate us! She shared this with me the next day because she saw that I had a great night's sleep and felt convicted.

I remember being in her shoes. Fretting is just not fruitful to the believer. I was able to share: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. (Psa 4:8) What kind of testimony are we to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords when we fret and worry about circumstances beyond our control? Why would the world want anything to do with our God if they see defeat and worry in our lives?

It is this very thing that weighs heavy on many Christians' lives. They cannot control worrying when God's Word is filled with verses that encourage us to lean on Him. Sweet peace can be found in the arms of Christ, my friend.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Refrain

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Refrain


So where are you today in your walk with the Lord? Do you really trust Him to care for your burdens? Do you desire that same precious walk that Helen had with the Lord? You can have this walk but you will have to train yourself. How does one train himself? As you turn a burden over to the Lord and reap the benefit of peace, write it down - remember it. When your next hurdle or burden comes across your path, remember the previous blessing of peace. Train yourself to remember when God brought you through previous trials and trust that He will do it again this time. Count your blessings daily and that will convince you and prove to you that the Lord is always at work in your life. As a new trial or burden arrives, you will then be quick to remember how He came through for you and you will be ready to turn the burden over to Him.

Don't be a fretter, my friend. The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. (Pro 29:25) Her fear brought a snare into her life. She was trapped by this fear and did not sleep all night long. Notice that the Word says that had she trusted Him, she would have been safe? Nothing happens to us that the Lord does not authorize. Look at Job! In searching God's word for trust, I discovered many verses that just blew me away! God has so much to say in this area. Could it be that He really does not want us to worry?

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. (Psa 73:28)

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (Psa 115:11)

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psa 118:8)

[A Song of degrees.] They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. (Psa 125:1)

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5)

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:9)

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. (Pro 3:25)


Our Saviour does not want us to be afraid!

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (Mat 14:27)

And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. (Mat 17:7)

Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Mat 28:10)

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (Mar 5:36)

For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. (Mar 6:50)

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. (Luk 12:4)

But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. (Joh 6:20)

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: (Act 18:9)

But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (1 Pe 3:14)


What an awesome Father we have! He does not want us to be afraid or to fret about things which are out of our control. He just wants us to trust Him - just as we would want our own children to trust us!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hymns - Day 15 - She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment

Taken from the Scriptures, And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: (Mat 9:20), this song is a beautiful tribute to the healing power of our Saviour!

George F. Root was born on August 30, 1820, in Sheffield Massachusetts and died on August 6, 1895 in Bailey Island, Maine. By the time George was 13 years old, he was able to play 13 instruments. I could not find any biographical information on George's spiritual background. But as I read another one of George's hymns entitled, Thou Art My Rock, it was evident that he was saved. No one could pen words as poignant as these and not know the Rock of Ages personally! Maybe I will use this hymn on another day. I felt that today's hymn was needed, not only for those who have a physical trial but for those who have another kind of trial or burden, whether it be emotional, spiritual, marital, etc.

She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment

She only touched the hem of His garment
As to His side she stole,
Amid the crowd that gathered around Him,
And straightway she was whole.

Refrain

Oh, touch the hem of His garment!
And thou, too, shalt be free!
His saving power this very hour
Shall give new life to thee!

She came in fear and trembling before Him,
She knew her Lord had come;
She felt that from Him virtue had healed her,
The mighty deed was done.

Refrain

He turned with “Daughter, be of good comfort,
Thy faith hath made thee whole!”
And peace that passeth all understanding
With gladness filled her soul.

Refrain


God is so good, isn't He? Although this dear soul in Matthew 9:20 was healed physically, there is much to glean about being healed spiritually and emotionally. Have you had a need to touch the hem of the Lord's garment today? Have you come to Him today? All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (Joh 6:37)

The unsaved cannot claim this and cannot share in the joy and peace that is found there. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28) I found it interesting that it was the hem of Christ's garment that was touched and not His arm or His shoulder. One must kneel to reach the hem of a robe. This takes humility and setting pride aside. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Mar 1:40) I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus put this particular gesture in the Scriptures for this very reason.

To the believer, much can be gleaned from touching the hem of the Saviour's garment as well. Just because we are saved, our own righteousness is still nothing in the eyes of God. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) Kneeling before the Lord in prayer acknowledging who He is draws us to His side. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (Heb 7:19) We are able to find solace at His feet and we recognize that the Creator of the Universe is there to heal us from our burdens - whatever those burdens may be. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psa 55:22)

Are we all guaranteed physical healing? The Scriptures say no! If that were the case, everyone would have been healed when the Apostles walked the earth and exercised the gift of healing that the Holy Spirit had given to them. Instead, Paul struggled with his own physical trial - the thorn in his side. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Co 12:7) Also, Paul could have healed Timothy's stomach problems. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Ti 5:23) Furthermore, Gaius would not have had physical issues because John would have healed him (3 John 1:2)

All physical healings are subject to the will of God in our lives. If anyone had a chance to be healed, it was Paul. However, God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Co 12:9) When God allows us to experience physical trials, it is because He can be glorified even more through the trials. Paul recognized this.

Our Heavenly Father would never give us more than we can handle. If He did, that would make Him cruel and we know that is not so! There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) The word temptation in this verse does not mean being tempted to sin. The Greek word here is peirazō - meaning:


G3985
πειράζω
peirazō
pi-rad'-zo
From G3984; to test (objectively), that is, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: - assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try.

In other words, God allows these tests in our lives to discipline us spiritually - to prove our metal, so to speak. Not only does this draw us closer to Him but when we are weak, we can use it to examine ourselves and learn and grow thereby.

How are you handling your physical trial today? Are you wallowing in self pity? Are you bitter? Are you angry with God? If you are any of these, forsake it and allow God's grace to be sufficient for you. Allow God to work through you for the benefit of others. Allow God to draw others to Himself as they witness His grace in your life.

Those with physical trials are not going through anything more difficult than those who are going through other types of trials. Each of us has a cross that we must bear in life. If you think your burden is heavier than someone else's, then your eyes are on others and not on the Lord. God allows the trial in our lives to draw us to Him and Him only. Who do you run to when you are suffering? Your friend? Your spouse? They are not the ones who can help you. [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:1)

Whatever it takes for us to see only Christ is exactly what God will allow. I could not bear the burden of fibromyalgia and God knows that I would not glorify His name. However, He has allowed me the opportunity to glorify Him through the trials assigned to me personally. The cross He has given to me to carry is made especially for me so that I can help others). There's nothing new under the sun, the Word says (Ecc 1:9. There are others out there who are going through the same exact trial as I am. It is up to me to help them through their trial as God helped me through mine. This is what brings glory to God. That is why we are here - we are to minister to the needs of others.

Today's hymn is so beautiful! The Lord shows us that through faith we can overcome our circumstances by touching the hem of His garment. He promises to heal us one way or another - if not physically, He will lift our spirits so we can sore with the eagles!

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa 40:28)

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isa 40:29)

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (Isa 40:30)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hymns - Day 14 - Great is Thy Faithfulness

I think it is safe to say that Thomas Chisholm personally knew about the faithfulness of God. No one can pen words such as these and not have enjoyed God's compassions.

Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in Franklin, Kentucky on July 29, 1866. At the age of 57, he wrote Great is Thy Faithfulness (in 1923). He did not attribute this song to anything in particular going on in his life at the time. It is evident then that his life's experiences had drawn him near to God's side. Mr. Chisholm became a teacher at the age of 16 at the same small school he attended. It was in 1893 that he became a Christian. In his life time, he wrote over 1200 poems - he published 800 and set many to music. At the precious age of 93, this dear saint went home to be with the Lord.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain


The faithfulness of God is something this believer has never quite fully comprehended. It amazes me that God would love a wretched sinner like me! It is not because of anything I have done that He loves me because He loved me before I ever loved Him. We love him, because he first loved us. (1 Jo 4:19)

I was blessed when I searched out the phrase thy faithfulness. As you read these verses, stop to meditate on God's faithfulness to all of us. Today's photograph was taken by a dear sister and it depicts God's faithfulness to Noah and to all generations after! This same God is the One who watches over you and I and His faithfulness is never ending!

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
(Psa 36:5)

I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
(Psa 40:10)

Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
(Psa 88:11)

[Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.] I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
(Psa 89:1)

For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
(Psa 89:2)

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
(Psa 89:5)

O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
(Psa 89:8)

To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
(Psa 92:2)

Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
(Psa 119:90)

[A Psalm of David.] Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
(Psa 143:1)

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
(Lam 3:23)


After doing today's devotional, my heart was so full and I was so moved that the Lord laid a poem on my heart.

My Heart is Full

There is no other who can fill my heart
The way You can, dear Lord.
There is nothing else that can satisfy
Like a drink from Your precious Word.

Each page has just what I need to read
To guide and to light my way.
When my heart is heavy or overwhelmed
Your words fresh like winter air.

There is none other like you my Lord
You know exactly what I need
On each page Your Spirit whispers truth
And the waters of doubt recede

You raise me up when I am down
My spirit you cause to sore
As I look unto the hills for You
I find Your love and so much more!

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour is.
So deserving to be adored.
The Alpha, Omega, first and last,
And King of Kings forever more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hymns - Day 13 - To God be the Glory

Once again, I will touch upon the work of Fanny Crosby. This dear saint is such an inspiration to me. It is said that at ten she could recite correctly the first four books of both Testaments! This proves to me that a child of ten years old is able to set aside the circumstances of life and allow the Lord to work in her heart!

As I was reading about her, I discovered that while she was at the school for the blind, she would often read her poetry to visitors and would also meet with presidents, generals and dignitaries. Later, she was known for her mission work - giving most of the money she earned for writing hymns to this work. Her devotion to serve others was also a wonderful inspiration to me.

I will share more about Fanny Crosby as we go along this series. There are so many of her 9,000 hymns that I want to share with you. I guess I could have done a devotional just on her songs alone! Each time I meditate on one of her hymns, I can more clearly see her walk with the Lord.

This particular hymn is a blessing to me. The whole song is a praise directed to Jesus Christ, the Saviour. The beautiful words depict an author who was truly grateful for her salvation. So should we be, amen?


To God be the Glory
Written in 1875

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Refrain

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Refrain


Despite her blindness since the age of six weeks old, Fanny Crosby learned to sing praises to the Lord. Her circumstances were not controlling her life - instead she was controlling her circumstances.

There are fifteen verses in Scriptures which use the phrase "sing praises"! In fact 14 out of the 15 were recorded in Psalms. I truly believe that Fanny rested in this Book many a time to have the heart she did for the Lord. One cannot have a heart full of praise when one is having a pity party.

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. (2 Sa 22:50) Sing praises because you are thankful!

Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. (Psa 9:11) Sing praises to let others know what He has done for you.

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. (Psa 18:49) Sing praises as a testimony to the unsaved.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. (Psa 27:6) Sing praises despite the enemies all around you.

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. (Psa 47:6) Sing praises to God, your King. He loves to hear from His children.

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. (Psa 68:4) Sing praises to God and be specific for what you are praising. Let others hear just how much He has done for you!

Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: (Psa 68:32) When we praise God individually, it spreads to those around us - let the Church sing praises to God!

But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. (Psa 75:9) Sing praises until your last breath here on earth and then continue into eternity.

[A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.] It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: (Psa 92:1) Sing praises because it is good for us to give thanks!

I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. (Psa 108:3) Sing praises to God to everyone around us. It is a testimony to His goodness!

Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. (Psa 135:3) Sing praises because it is pleasant to do so. Anything that is pleasant motivates us to look up!

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. (Psa 144:9) Sing praises in song - poetry - hymns ... Fanny surely took this one to heart!

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. (Psa 146:2) Sing praises while you have a chance here on earth to be a testimony to the lost. Singing praises amongst the brethren is also a wonderful encouragement in time of need.

Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. (Psa 147:1) Sing praises because it is comely - it is suitable for a Christian - it should be what defines a Christian - it should be part of our nature. The opposite of praise is complaining - this is what the world does. The world is not satisfied, therefore, they are always searching to fill a void in their lives. The satisfied Christian sings praises in all circumstances.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. (Psa 149:3)
Sing praises and let it "show" in your life - don't hide your light under a bushel but let it shine brightly for all the world to see.

A believer who spends most of his time praising God has very little time to be unhappy. His eyes are focused above instead of on his problems. Where do you rest your eyes? Where are your thoughts focused? Do you look at life's circumstances and let them overwhelm you? Are you like Peter when he saw the storm about him? But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Mat 14:30) (emphasis mine) As soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Before you start to judge Peter, remember that he was the only one who was brave enough to step out of the boat to walk on the water! His faith took him part of the way and then fear set in when the circumstances about him were too much. Are you like this in your Christian walk? Do you have enough faith to press forward but then you fall apart when the going gets tough? The world needs to see faith in action - to some, it may be the only Bible they ever see!

The Lord gave us the remedy in His Word and Fanny Crosby was able to tap into the Source and apply it to her own life. She could have been bitter. She could even have allowed the world to take care of her because of her disability (as it was common in those days). But instead, not only did Fanny get out of the boat to walk on the water, but she allowed the Lord to keep her afloat by singing praises to His Name.

Won't you do the same Christian? When you are overwhelmed, sing praises! When you are sad, sing praises! When you are angry, sing praises! When you are joyful, sing praises! Is it not the same Lord who helped Peter who will help you? No matter how difficult the circumstances or heavy the burden, there is always something for which to praise the Lord! We just need to keep our eyes fixed on Him and have a song in our heart.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Welcome One of the U.S. Marine Corps' Newest Marines


PFC Adam E. Plourde
Graduated MCPD Parris Island, SC
19 October 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Off for two weeks

I won't be posting for a couple of weeks due to jury duty and our upcoming trip to Parris Island,SC to see our son gradaute as a United States Marine! Ooh-Rah!

I'll be back 10/22 - God bless ya'll until then!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hymns - Day 12 - Lead Me to Calvary

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psa 61:2) What a beautiful verse this is! Sometimes the trials of life require us to look up unto the hills from whence cometh our help (Psalm 121). Each time we look to that rock that is higher than we are, we are assured that the Lord will be there, ready to meet our needs.

At the hour I was saved, I did not know the meaning of Calvary and all that it involved. I merely knew I was a sinner in need of a Saviour and Jesus Christ was that Saviour. It did not take much time in the Word to discover exactly what my Saviour went through to pay the price for my sin debt! Today's hymn leads us to Calvary and shows the heart of its author, Jennie Hussey.

Jennie Evelyn Hussey was born on February 8, 1874, in Henniker, New Hampshire. She lived most of her life in New Hampshire where she died on September 5, 1958. She was born and raised a Quaker and began to write poetry when she was young. In my readings about Jennie, I found very little about her life. There is no indication that she ever married. She died while living in a home for the aged. Today's hymn was written in 1921 and first appeared in "New Songs of Praise and Power." Although some of my beliefs are different from those of the Quakers, I enjoy this beautiful hymn because it revolves around the Cross of Calvary and what my Blessed Saviour went through for me! If it were not for His shed blood on Calvary, where would we be? If it were not for His resurrection, where would we be? Praise the Lord - He has risen!!!

Lead Me to Calvary
Jennie E. Hussey

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Refrain

Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Refrain


I cannot lose my salvation because it revolves around Calvary. Christ died once for all. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb 10:10) I am born of the flesh once. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (Joh 3:4) I am born again once. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Joh 3:6) The Word says in Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (8) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (9)" If I could lose my salvation and get saved over and over again, then my salvation would be based on my works, not the blood of Christ. Because we are a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we no longer are born of corruptible seed. We are born again of the incorruptible seed. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Pe 1:23) If we could lose our salvation, then this seed would be incorruptible and that is not what the Word says. Praise be to God!

So with the confidence of always being a child of the King, I can boldly go to that rock which is higher than I and look unto those hills from whence cometh my help. My trip to Calvary was made once but I continually go there in my heart to meditate on what He went through for me! With a deeper understanding of His suffering, I can carry my own cross of trials. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luk 9:23) These trials and burdens I am called to bear will draw me closer to Him and will allow me opportunities to minister to others who are going through the same thing. We are to be "Jesus with skin on" to a world that is blind to spiritual matters. We may be the only Bible that some people will ever see. Let our words and our actions take the unbeliever to Calvary!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hymns - Day 11 - The Love of God

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39) Nothing - absolutely nothing - can separate us from the love of God! Amen and amen! I look at pictures of the Grand Canyon and see its depth and height and width - this is how I can bury this verse deep in the soil of my heart! Looking at this picture gives a whole new meaning to the vastness of God's love and the emphasis His Word has on this love and how He never leaves us! Praise the Lord! If this does not bless you today, your blesser is broken!

Today's hymn is about the love of God and its intensity. What a wonderful topic to cover, isn't it? How can one be depressed or discouraged when there is a God that loves us like this and to this extreme? This type of hymn helps us to encourage ourselves - it encourages us to dig into the Word and be blessed beyond measure! Frederick M. Lehman is the author of these beautiful words! He was born on August 7, 1868 in Mecklenburg, Germany and died February 20, 1953 in Pasadena, California.

His family came to the U.S. when he was four. He grew up in Iowa and was saved at the young age of 11. It was the beauty of nature that brought him to Christ while he was out walking one morning. When I read this, it reminded me of Paul's words in Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: God can reveal Himself even to a child through His beautiful creation! Their tender hearts are so open to receive Christ.

Although Lehman pastored at Audubon, Iowa; New London, Indiana; and Kansas City, Missouri, he spent most of his life writing hymns. His first one was written in 1898 when he was a pastor in Kingsley, Iowa. He moved to Kansas City and assisted in founding the Nazarene Publishing House.

Today's hymn was written in 1917 and published in 1919 in Volume 2 of "Songs That Are Different." I'll say his song is different! Cyberhymnal had this tidbit that simply amazed me:
The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages. One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song… Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity. Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948
The music to this beautiful hymn was arranged by Lehman's daughter, Claudia L. Mays.


The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Refrain



My friend, if you are feeling alone in the midst of chaos today, please know that there is nothing that can separate you from your Heavenly Father! He is right there - going through your trials along with you. Rom. 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (38) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (39) This got me to thinking about the preciseness of this verse - Paul left nothing to chance - he included everything that a human being could think up in his quest to limit God's love. There is nothing!

  • Death - The saved child of God will die but he cannot go to hell. It only serves to emphasize that We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Co 5:8)

  • Life - The saved child of God cannot be separated from God no matter how he lives his life - it is not a license to sin but it proves to us that our sin is not what separates us from Him!

  • Angels - the devil is a fallen angel - he cannot separate us from God!

  • Principalities - No supreme power on earth can separate us from God!

  • Powers - No power whatsoever can separate us, including ole slew foot himself!

  • Things Present - No circumstances in the present can separate us.

  • Things to Come - No circumstances in the future can separate us!

  • Height - It just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of height can separate us! Visualize it in your mind's eye.

  • Depth - Again, it just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of depth can separate us!

  • Any other creature - No creature can separate us! This puts to rest those who believe that you can choose to give up your salvation. God says that no other creature can separate us from His love. If your child divorced himself from you and your family, would that make you any less of a parent? Of course not.


  • Praise the Lord that our salvation is not dependent on anything that we do! Our salvation is totally dependent on God's love and what He did for us!

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    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Hymns - Day 10 - Amazing Grace

    What a beautiful picture of Fall foliage in Northern Maine! Having grown up there, I remember the most vivid colors and how magnificent was the Lord's handiwork! However, I had never seen leaves such as these. Did you notice the beautiful green centers of the leaves? It made me think that no matter how much turbulence there is around us, as long as we are attached to the Tree, we will have His likeness within us. The Holy Spirit resides inside us and glorifies Christ through our words and in our actions. I praise the Lord for my salvation, don't you? I cannot even begin to tell you how much He has changed my life!

    Before I was saved, I had heard the instrumental version of the hymn that we are covering today. I had never "heard" the words, however. This hymn was played during the first church service I attended after salvation. When I heard the words for the first time, I broke down into tears! The lady sitting next to me turned to me thinking that I wanted salvation and walked me to the front of the church! God knew I needed to make public profession so this was timely. But the words penned by John Newton spoke to my heart. Although I did not have the same testimony as Newton, I was a sinner on my way to hell just as he. I shudder to think what would have happened if my dear friend had not submitted to God's will to travel 1,000 miles to witness to me at the time that she did. Little did she know that had she not obeyed the Lord, I would have been dead a few short days later! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thank You, Lord!

    John Newton's words reveal a very personal relationship with his Lord and Saviour. The softest of born-again hearts can utter the words of this song today and become teary eyed with gratefulness! John Newton was born on July 24th, 1725, and died on December 21, 1807. He wrote Amazing Grace at the age of 54 years old. He lived to be the ripe old age of 82!

    John's mother passed away when he was just seven years old. Can you imagine losing your dear mother at such a tender age? He was left alone to be raised by his father, a sailor. His father took John and set sail when he was but 11. John grew into a godless man and, as a result of such years, became a slave in Africa. God used these experiences to draw Newton to Him. His grace shown upon John at the age of 23 when his ship was taking on water and death seemed imminent. He spent the next six years growing in the Lord. After six years of commanding a slave ship, Newton spent the next nine years studying Hebrew and Greek, learning from Wesley, Whitefield, and other Nonconformists. He was ordained and became curate at Olney in 1764, where he became a friend to William Cowper and with him produced the Olney Hymns.

    I look upon his testimony and how he looked back on his years as a slave ship commander and penned the most beautiful hymn known today. Amazing Grace is the most played hymn known to man. Why is this so, one might ask? Put yourself in Newton's shoes as a young man on a sinking ship. He had read a piece by Thom­as à Kemp­is and it had sown a seed in his heart. Had it not been for these circumstances, these beautiful words would not have been written!

    Amazing Grace
    John Newton (1779)

    Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

    ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed!

    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

    The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

    (Mr. Newton did not write this last verse)
    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.


    The first verse of this song summarizes salvation! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8) That saved a wretch like me! Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev 3:17) I once was lost, but now am found; For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Mat 18:11)
    Was blind, but now I see. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (Joh 9:39) John Newton began this hymn with the best news he could possibly write about!

    The remaining verses spoke of how God revealed Himself to him and how he has been the Lord's ever since, and forever more. Newton's gratefulness to God cuts to the core, doesn't it? I remember rejoicing and my heart leaping for joy when I heard this man's beautiful song. I remember being able to relate to John Newton and being able to sing these words with truth and joy!
    To have the veil removed my eyes where I could see the sinner I truly was and what great salvation was provided to me was more than I could bare! When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I felt as though a hundred pounds had been lifted from my shoulders! The lady who led me to the Lord gave me a Bible and when I opened God's Word for the first time and read the Book of John, I melted! I could not believe that I actually understood His Word! I could read and understand whereas before salvation, the words were as dry as dust! Praise the Lord that He found me, His lost sheep!

    I did not know John Newton's testimony at the time I first heard this song but I remember praising God that He had placed such a beautiful song in my path that day so that I could sing along with the author the words that so beautifully depicted the joy in my heart!

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