(John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Today’s song ends our series on hymns with another beautiful hymn by my favorite composer Fanny Crosby. I’ve only heard this particular song sung a couple of times a long time ago. Please go to Cyberhymnal and listen along while you read the words. The words bring joy to a weary heart and encourage one to press on until His return. This is what God honoring music should do, my friend. Today’s music may have great words or even a nice melody, but does the song move you toward righteousness? Does it draw you to the Word? Does it cause you to run to the Saviour’s side and to His Word so you can fellowship with Him? If it does not, you should contemplate changing your listening habits.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord
Fanny Crosby

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!
Sing, O ye people, gladly adore Him;
Let the mountains tremble at His word;
Let the hills be joyful before Him;
Mighty in wisdom, boundless in mercy,
Great is Jehovah, King over all.Refrain

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!
Let the hills be joyful before Him.

Praise Him, praise Him! shout aloud for joy,
Watchman of Zion, herald the story;
Sin and death His kingdom shall destroy;
All the earth shall sing of His glory;
Praise Him, ye angels, ye who behold Him,
Robed in His splendor, matchless, divine.

Refrain

King eternal, blessèd be His Name!
So may His children gladly adore Him;
When in Heav’n we join the happy strain,
When we cast our bright crowns before Him;
There in His likeness joyful awaking,
There we shall see Him, there we shall sing:

Refrain

(Rev 4:8 ) And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.(Psa 98:8 ) Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together(Psa 98:9) Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

(Job 36:5) Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.

(Psa 132:16) I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

(Isa 52:8 ) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

(Rom 8:2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

(Psa 66:4) All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

(Isa 6:3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

(Job 1:21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

(Psa 113:2) Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

(Dan 2:20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

(Rev 4:10) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

(Rev 4:11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

(Rev 1:7) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Do you think Fanny knew her Bible? Here was a lady without sight yet when you read her hymns, you can tell that she had much of the Bible in her mind’s eye. She penned the word of God throughout each of the verses. When you sing this hymn or merely read its words, you are drawn to the word of God.

So this concludes our series on hymns – hymns we’ve loved throughout the years and hymns we have never heard, although they were hymns of old. I pray that this series was as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!

(Psa 106:48 ) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

(Psa 123:1) [A Song of degrees.] Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. This photo was taken by Carol Meyer at Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. Isn’t it beautiful? Carol has given me permission to use her beautiful photographs and so many of them (actually most of them) are of nature – God’s beauty! Thank you, Carol for allowing me to use your beautiful work!

This photograph reminds me of the condition of my heart when I come to meet with the Lord. I look to the heavens to see my God and I prepare my heart to meet Him there. (Psa 113:5) Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

Today’s hymn is one that I have never heard before. But I love Charles Spurgeon and knew that anything that he wrote had to be beautiful! Sure enough, I was not disapponted in the least. Brother Spurgeon was born June 19, 1834, in Kelvedon, Essex, England and passed away on January 31, 1892, in Montone, France. Although he was a well known preacher, he wrote several hymns which were collected into a work called “A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Public, Social, and Private Worship, 1866.” By the time Spurgeon reached the age of 21, he was the most popular preacher in London! He had no formal education yet he preached to thousands in his life time. God used him mightily.

He not only preached but he pastored, he founded churches, Sunday schools, and an orphanage, he also founded the Pastor’s College, and he also edited a monthly church magazine! He was definitely busy for the Lord. Today, many of us read the daily devotionals by Spurgeon. He continues to touch the lives of people and will continue to do so even after we’re gone.

There were two things I read in his biography that impressed me about this man: (1) He was not timid about calling out error in the Church of England or amongst his own Baptist circles and (2) he absolutely grieved over the trend of the day toward biblical criticism.

Today’s hymn shares with us a desire to meet with the Lord in prayer and song. Spurgeon spoke of his walk each day as a battle and the need to prepare for this battle by meeting with His God!

Sweetly the Holy Hymn
Charles H. Spurgeon
Sweetly the holy hymn
Breaks on the morning air;
Before the world with smoke is dim
We meet to offer prayer.

While flowers are wet with dews,
Dew of our souls, descend:
Ere yet the sun the day renews,
O Lord, Thy Spirit send.

Upon the battlefield,
Before the fight begins,
We seek, O Lord, Thy sheltering shield,
To guard us from our sins.

Ere yet our vessel sails
Upon the stream of day
We plead, O Lord, for heavenly gales
To speed us on our way!

On the lone mountain side,
Before the morning’s light,
The Man of sorrows wept and cried,
And rose refreshed with might.

Oh, hear us then, for we
Are very weak and frail,
We make the Savior’s Name our plea,
And surely must prevail.

Our Saviour’s name will surely prevail! It was interesting to find three verses in the Word that described how every knee would bow at the name of Jesus! The number three symbolizes the Trinity in the Word.

(Isa 45:23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

(Rom 14:11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

(Phil 2:10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Praise the Lord!

This beautiful picture was taken by my son, Adam, when we were touring Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home). A storm was coming through and we could see the lightning in the distance. Adam caught this picture just before the storm reached us. When I look at it, I am reminded that our Saviour will one day return for His sheep! (Act 1:9-11) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (9) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (10) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (11) Aren’t you excited?

As we celebrate the time of His birth, let us not forget that His was not an ordinary birth. Jesus Christ’s life was no ordinary life! His death was no ordinary death! (Mat 28:6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Christ conquered death and took on our punishment so that we may one day live with Him for all eternity. (1 Cor 15:55-57) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (55) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (56) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (57)

Because of this wonderful act of love from our Saviour, we are able to sing today’s hymn and rejoice! We covered this author yesterday so I won’t repeat myself and will just continue on with this blessed hymn!

A New Name in Glory
Charles Austin Miles

I was once a sinner, but I came
Pardon to receive from my Lord:
This was freely given, and I found
That He always kept His word.

Refrain

There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
And the white robed angels sing the story,
“A sinner has come home.”
For there’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound for Heaven,
Never more to roam.

I was humbly kneeling at the cross,
Fearing naught but God’s angry frown;
When the heavens opened and I saw
That my name was written down.

Refrain

In the Book ’tis written, “Saved by Grace,”
O the joy that came to my soul!
Now I am forgiven, and I know
By the blood I am made whole.

Refrain
Is your name written down in glory? For every born-again believer, singing this song is an encouragement to a weary spirit! Christ gave Himself for you and for me! Does that not touch you to the core?

(Gal 1:4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

(Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

(Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(1 Jn 5:10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Why did Jesus do this for us? Why would He give Himself for us? Oh the blessed love of God! When I read these two verses, I am drawn to tears that my Lord would love us so much that He would do this for us! (Heb 2:17-18 ) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (17) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (18 )

Jesus Christ, the Perfect Lamb of God and our Saviour, voluntarily came to earth for the sole purpose of being tempted, living a sinless life and then dying so that He could take on our penalty of sin so we would not burn for all eternity! He stands before the Father as our High Priest always making intercession for us! (Heb 7:25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. We are saved to the uttermost! Noah Webster defines this word as:

UT’TERMOST, a. [utter and most.] Extreme; being in the furthest, greatest or highest degree; as the uttermost extent or end; the uttermost distress.

Strong’s Concordance says:

G3838
παντελής
pantelēs
pan-tel-ace’
From G3956 and G5056; full ended, that is, entire (neuter as noun, completion): – + in [no] wise, uttermost.

Can one be partially saved? If you are drowning and a rescuer comes to save you, does he save you then allow you to start drowning again and then save you again – so on and so forth? If you are burning in a fire, does the fire fighter save you, throw you back in only to save you again? If you are lost in your sin, does the Saviour die on the cross for your sins only to have to go die again because your salvation was lost? It sounds absurd when put it in this light, doesn’t it? But the definitions are awesome – they are clear to me! The Lord wants you to know that you have been saved to the uttermost – to completion entirely. That means your sins from the past, present and future have been paid for, entirely, by Christ Himself! Glory! This does not give you the right to continue living your old sinful life and not change. For the Word says (2 Cor 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Anyone who is grateful for being saved from eternal punishment burning in a lake of fire will not remain the same. They will allow the Holy Spirit of God to change them out of appreciation to Christ for what He has done!

What a lovely thought for today! (Phil 4:3) And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. My name is written in the book of life – Jesus knows my name and my name is written down in glory! (Joh 10:3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

(Psa 100:4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

~Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I absolutely love this verse! The Lord could have picked a different word than sup here. He could have said, “I will talk with him,” or “I will sit with him.” Instead, Christ picked the word sup. There’s nothing more intimate than a meal together. Family meal time is a precious time for me. I look forward to sitting down with my family after a long day and reconnecting with one another. I love to hear the chatter and laughter – it’s music to my ears.

One of Jesus’ names is “the Word of God.” I truly believe that Christ picked every word written in the Bible and chose each word very carefully. I believe He had every intention to use the word sup here. The Lord desires to make entrance into our lives and meet with us. Not just to talk, but to actually have an intimate time – a meal, if you will. He desires to sit with us for more than just a few minutes but for the time it takes to have a meal. He desires to have that chatter and laughter, and sometimes even tears, in our time with Him.

Today’s hymn is also one of my favorites. It really should be accompanied with Revelation 3:20 whenever it is sung, don’t you think? The songs we sing should stir our hearts and bring the Scriptures to life, stirring our hearts. This beautiful hymn was written by Charles Austin Miles. Mr. Miles was born on January 7, 1868, and passed away on March 10, 1946. He started out his career as a pharmacist but left it to write Gospel music. His first song was “List ‘Tis Jesus’ Voice.” I loved this quote by him,

It is as a writer of gospel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire.

His desires were fulfilled, I would say! We sing a few of his songs in our own church.

In the Garden
Charles Austin Miles

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Refrain

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Refrain

(Psa 5:3) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

(Joh 10:27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

(Psa 128:1) [A Song of degrees.] Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

(Joh 10:29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

(Mar 4:39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

(Php 4:6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

(Php 4:7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When I sing this song, my heart is stirred to the Word. I think of my Saviour’s voice calling to me to get saved – Praise the Lord! I think of how I was placed into the Saviour’s care by the Father and no one can remove me from that care. I can meet with Him any time I want – any where I want and He is there. The One who created me and all that is around me can still any storm in my life and provide the peace which passes all understanding.

It is a joy being saved, amen?! It is a joy to meet with the Saviour in our “garden”!

(Psa 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) These two verses have been my encouragement and my prayer so many times. In fact, I have probably used Psalm 121 more than any other Scripture in my writings.

The unbeliever cannot claim such a verse because he does not have a relationship with the God who provides such promise. In order for a person to be heard of God, he must be saved. (Psa 66:18 ) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: We all regard iniquity in our hearts. (Rom 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Therefore, God does not hear the sinner’s prayers until he has accepted Christ as his Saviour and is now clothed in the righteousness of His own Son.

(Eze 33:13) When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. It’s not by our own righteousness that we are able to gain entrance into the Holy of Holies to commune with our God. God regards our righteousness as a filthy rag! (Isa 64:6) 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. Because Christ’s blood covers the born-again believer, our sins are no longer seen by the Father. (Psa 103:12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Since our own righteousness is not acceptable in God’s eyes, then neither are our own works. We have to come to God knowing that there is nothing in our lives that can be allowed in Heaven. We deserve eternal punishment because of our sinful nature. We must come to him broken and humble knowing that there is nothing that we can do for salvation. God is the one who is in charge of salvation – salvation through Christ Jesus! (Jon 2:9) But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

With that in mind, I was drawn to the “invitational” song, Just As I Am, this morning, written by Charlotte Elliott. Miss Elliott was born March 18, 1789, and died September 22, 1871.

Just as I am, without one plea,
Charlotte Elliott

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

This beautiful song shows the humbleness of heart of its author. Miss Elliott became an invalid when she was around 30. I loved reading what she wrote about her severe physical condition (very similar to that of chronic fatigue):

“My Heavenly Father knows, and He alone, what it is, day af­ter day, and hour af­ter hour, to fight against bodily feelings of almost over­pow­er­ing weak­ness and lang­uor and ex­haust­ion, to re­solve, as He en­a­bles me to do, not to yield to the sloth­ful­ness, the de­press­ion, the ir­ri­ta­bil­i­ty, such as a bo­dy caus­es me to long to in­dulge, but to rise ev­ery morn­ing de­term­ined on tak­ing this for my mot­to, ‘If any man will come af­ter me, let him de­ny him­self, take up his cross dai­ly, and fol­low me.’”

In my readings, I discovered that when Dr. Cesar Malan (of Geneva) came to her father’s house to visit, he caused her to think about her salvation. Because of her illness, she was irritable toward Dr. Malan and told him she did not wish to discuss religion. Dr. Malan’s humble response to her was that he would not continue the discussion but would pray that she accept Christ as her Saviour. The Holy Spirit used this to convict her and she apologized to Dr. Malan a few weeks later. She asked him how she could be saved and his response was to come to Jesus “just as you are.” She was saved and later was moved to write this beautiful hymn.

She is a testimony to those who suffer from chronic illness. Her life since her salvation was devoted to writing. This hymn was published in the “Invalid’s Hymn Book.” Despite her ailment, she made herself useful – she edited the Religious Remembrancer magazine and wrote 31 hymns, according to Cyberhymnal. What a blessing it is to read about how God used her despite her illness. She replaced her bitterness with a servant’s humble heart. This heart was reflected in today’s hymn, wasn’t it?

I hope Charlotte’s testimony was a blessing to you today. If you are suffering from a chronic illness or you are dying from an illness, please take heart today. Your service for Christ does not need to end. In fact, you need His comfort in your life even more now than ever! There is joy and peace that comes with serving Him – a peace which goes past any understanding you will ever have. (Php 4:7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. When our hearts and minds are fixed on Christ and His will for our lives, we receive blessed peace. The world looks a Christian who is going through such a trial and witnesses a person who is not eaten up with bitterness but one that is glorifying the Lord in his work for Him!

I thought it fitting to include a Christmas hymn in our series. According to Cyberhymnal’s list, Isaac Watts has 518 hymns attributed to him. In all of my devotionals, I have quoted Isaac Watts at least five or six times. One of my favorites of his is “Alas and Did My Saviour Bleed?”!

 

Behold, the Grace Appears!
Isaac Watts

Behold, the grace appears!
The promise is fulfilled;
Mary, the wondrous virgin, bears,
And Jesus is the Child.The Lord, the highest God,
Calls Him His only Son;
He bids Him rule the lands abroad,
And gives Him David’s throne.

O’er Jacob shall He reign
With a peculiar sway;
The nations shall His grace obtain,
His kingdom ne’er decay.

To bring the glorious news
A heav’nly form appears;
He tells the shepherds of their joys,
And banishes their fears.

“Go, humble swains,” said he,
“To David’s city fly;
The promised Infant born today
Doth in a manger lie.”

“With looks and hearts serene,
Go visit Christ your King;
And straight a flaming troop was seen:
The shepherds heard them sing:

“Glory to God on high!
And heav’nly peace on earth;
Goodwill to men, to angels joy,
At the Redeemer’s birth!”

In worship so divine,
Let saints employ their tongues;
With the celestial hosts we join,
And loud repeat their songs:

“Glory to God on high!
And heav’nly peace on earth;
Goodwill to men, to angels joy,
At our Redeemer’s birth!”

As a writer, I love to see the motivation behind a person’s writing. To me, it is easy to see what motivated Isaac Watts. His love for the Lord is evident in every piece I’ve ever read. I also enjoy his style of writing. Each verse is tied into Scripture. I can easily read his writings and a verse comes to mind to go along with that particular verse.

Verse 1:

(Tit 2:11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

(Heb 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

(Mat 1:18 ) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Verse 2:

(Luk 1:32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Verse 3:

(Luk 1:33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Verse 4:

(Luk 2:10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Verse 5:

(Luk 2:15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Verse 6:

(Luk 2:13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Verse 7:

(Luk 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Verse 8:

(Psa 30:4) Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Verse 9:

(Luk 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

My favorite hymn is one that draws me to the Bible. Today’s Christian music may have good words – the melody may be beautiful – but do the words draw me to the Scriptures? At times, the music stirs me but the words do not cause me to think of a particular Bible verse. The hymns of old do, however. Especially those of Mr. Watts. I believe that music that glorifies the Lord is music that brings His word to mind and moves you to serve Him better.

I love to sing songs about Christ’s reign, His coming, His grace and His mercy. There are so many good hymns which can lift my spirit in time of need. This is one of them, written by Baylus Benjamin McKinney. Mr. McKinney was born July 22, 1886, and died September 7, 1952. He attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary and taught there between 1919 and 1932. He pastored in Fort Worth, TX from 1931 to 1935 and afterwards became the music editor for the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nash?ville, Tennessee.

He Lives on High
Baylus Benjamin McKinney

Christ the Savior came from Heaven’s glory,
To redeem the lost from sin and shame;
On His brow He wore the thorn-crown glory,
And upon Calvary He took my blame.

Refrain

He lives on high, He lives on high,
Triumphant over sin and all its stain;
He lives on high, He lives on high,
Some day He’s coming again.

He arose from death and all its sorrow,
To dwell in that land of joy and love;
He is coming back some glad tomorrow,
And He’ll take all His children home above.

Refrain

Weary soul, to Jesus come confessing,
Redemption from sin He offers thee;
Look to Jesus and receive a blessing,
There is life, there is joy and victory!

Refrain

When I read the words to this hymn, I cannot get past the first verse without tearing up. “And upon Calvary He took my blame”! Jesus Christ, took my blame – my sin upon His shoulders and He paid the price for my much deserved punishment! (1 Cor 6:20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. and (1 Cor 7:23) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

This time of the year should cause the believer to meditate more thoroughly on Christ’s mission. Our blessed Saviour left His Throne on high to take on the form of man. He suffered as we suffered and was tempted as we are tempted. Yet in all of his trials and tests, not once did He sin. He fulfilled Jewish law that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed. He was the perfect sacrifice, the perfect lamb. He opened the gates of redemption by dying for all of us, not just the Jews! The Gentile now has the opportunity for salvation. Praise the Lord!

Because of Christ’s payment for our penalty, we will be able to participate in this beautiful choir after the Rapture, my friend:

(Rev 5:9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

(Rev 5:10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

(Rev 5:11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

(Rev 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

What a gift we have been given! Oh praise the Lord with me today!


This is probably the third or fourth Fanny Crosby hymn that I have chosen for this devotional series. She has so many songs that bless the heart. One thing I found interesting about Fanny is that she used many pseudonyms. A pseudonym is a pen name taken by a writer so the writer can remain anonymous for whatever reason. I have read that this was done by women in the early years when it was thought that only men should be writers and composers. Taken from Cyberhymnal, here are the pseudonyms Fanny Crosby wrote under:

Adrienne, Cora
Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Andrews, A. E.
Apple, James
Armstrong, Alice
Atherton, Rose
Bell, Carrie
Bethune, Catherine
Black, James
Black, James L.
Black, James M.
Blair, H. E.
Blair, Henrietta E.
Booth, Florence
Bruce, Charles
Bruce, Robert
Burns, Charles
Carlston, Mary
Carlton, Leah
Church, Fannie
Craddock, Eleanor
Culyer, Lyman G.
Dale, Ella
Dayton, Flora
D. D.
D. D. R.
Eliot, James
Edmonds, Lizzie
Edwards, Lizzie
F. A. N.
F. J. C.
F. J. V. A.
Fannie
Fanny
Forrest, Mrs. Edna
Frances, Carrie
Frances, Grace J.
Frances, Lillian G.
Frances, S. Trevor
Frances, Victoria
Garnet, Jenny
Glen, Jenie
Gould, Frank
Grinley, Mrs. Kate
G. W. W.
Harmon, Ruth
Hawthorn, Carrie
Hope, Frances
Hops, Frances
James, Annie
James, Mary
James, Sarah
J. F. O.
J. W. W.
Judson, Myra
Lankton, Martha J.
Lincoln, H. N.
Lindsay, W. Robert
L. L. A.
Lowry, Minnie B.
Marion, Maude
Martin, S
Martin, Sallie
Martin, Sam
Miller, Laura
Montieth, A
Montieth, Alice
Park, Edna L.
Prentice, Mrs. L.C.
Smiling, Mrs. Kate
Smith, Sallie A.
Smith, Sallie E.
Smith, Sally
Smith, Sam
Sterling, J. L.
Sterling, Julia
Sterling, Rian J.
Sterling, Ryan
Sterling, Victoria
Stewart, Victoria
Taylor, Ida Scott
The Children’s Friend
Tilden, Louise W.
Tilden, Mary
V., Jenny
Van A., Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Fannie
Van Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Van Alstyne, Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Mrs. Alexander
Viola
Wallace, Zemira
Wilson, Carrie
Wilson, Mrs. C. M.
## [yes, she sometimes used these marks instead of a name!]
###
‘*’
***

Isn’t that interesting? I have not been able to find out why she chose to write under so many but nonetheless, she surely did a lot of writing!

Today’s hymn is a very special one to me. Since the day I was born-again, I have thought of Christ’s return every single day. I was born again at noon on April 1st, 1980. I use to laugh and say that I fooled ole slew foot because I was saved on April Fool’s Day. But each day since, I have looked forward to Christ’s appearing at the Rapture of the Saints!

It is the topic of the end times that drew me to the Saviour and it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have studied the Rapture of the Church thoroughly and am convinced that Christ will be here at any moment! In the twinkling of an eye, we are told! (1 Cor. 15:52-58 ) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (52) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (53) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (54 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (55) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (56) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (57) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (58 ) Oh Glory!

Fanny Crosby must have taken verse 58 very seriously, in my opinion. She was steadfast – she was unmoveable in the work of the Lord. Despite her blindness, she held no resentment in her heart and she moved forward in her work for the Lord. I wonder how many of her songs are sung throughout the world on any given Sunday during church services? Her songs have even been translated into different languages! Today’s hymn is a blessing because it exhorts the believer to be steadfast as well.

Will Jesus Find Us Watching?
Fanny Crosby

When Jesus comes to reward His servants,
Whether it be noon or night,
Faithful to Him will He find us watching,
With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

Refrain

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

If, at the dawn of the early morning,
He shall call us one by one,
When to the Lord we restore our talents,
Will He answer thee—“Well done”?

Refrain

Have we been true to the trust He left us?
Do we seek to do our best?
If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,
We shall have a glorious rest.

Refrain

Blessèd are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there?

Refrain

Whenever I sing this song, I fall under conviction. It actually should be my song every morning when I sit to do my devotions. If I were to adopt this as my daily song, I dare say I would not be so quick to look away but would keep my eyes fixed on the Lord’s return. When I read through the words this morning, my thoughts were fixed on my work for the Lord. What I have done for Jesus that would answer me – Well done! (Mat 25:23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

We cannot earn our way to Heaven by the work that we do here on earth. That is clear 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) The Lord made sure to put these two verses in the Scriptures so that man would not able to boast of his accomplishments. He would not be able to say, “Look at me! Look at all I have done or money I have given so that I can enter those pearly gates!”

However, after we are saved, the born-again believer’s actions and works should be such that an unbeliever sees Christ through our works. Our good works and our actions should draw the unbeliever and should attract him. These works should speak volumes without a word uttered! (Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Before I was saved, my works were impeccable. I taught catechism – I helped the poor – I volunteered for good causes. However, none of these brought me assurance that I would go to Heaven when I died. You can purchase a gift to give to someone. However, you cannot purchase a gift that is given to you. The Word is clear about the Father’s gift to us. It cannot be purchased – it cannot be earned. If it could be, it would not be a gift at all. Along with Eph. 2:8-9, the Lord has given to us three more verses which teach us this fact:

(Joh 4:10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

(Act 8:20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

(Rom 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Where are your works today? Are you working for God because you believe that you will be rewarded by entering Heaven? Or are you working for God because you are a born-again child of the King and you want to please Him? The believer has peace knowing that he is a child of God and does not have to question his place in God’s family. However, the unbeliever does not have such peace. They do good works so that they can obtain this peace but this peace evades them. In the end, they are not convinced that they are going to enter Heaven. They wonder and hope that they will go to Heaven. (Oba 1:15) For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Don’t be counted among the saved who will be ashamed at the Lord’s return. Do something about your laziness today. Work for the Lord for the day is fast approaching. (1 John 2:28 ) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Take delight in boldly approaching the Lord knowing that you have done a good work today for the Master! I believe Fannie can be counted among these brethren. I have never read one negative comment about her service for the Lord. What a great day it must have been for her to enter Heaven!

When I think of Christ’s love, I think of how vast the love of God is as well as how much we are forgiven! I thought this beautiful photograph was appropriate for today’s hymn. It was taken by Carol Meyer and was used with her permission. Her photograph of the Grand Canyon is absolutely beautiful, isn’t it? She captures the depth and width of this beautiful work of God! (Rom 8:38 ) 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) When we see a picture which helps us to understand a Scripture verse, the teaching implants itself in our heart and we are able to fully comprehend what our Heavenly Father is trying to teach us. I looked at this photograph this morning and the first verses that came to mind were these in Romans.

I had never heard today’s hymn. The words are simple, yet beautiful. They were penned by J. Wilbur Chapman who was born in Indiana on June 17, 1859. He passed away on December 25, 1918. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister and he pastored several churches. When reading the words to this hymn, it is evident that Mr. Chapman knew about Christ’s love and the depth of His love for mankind.

‘Tis Jesus
J. Wilbur Chapman

I know of a world that is sunk in shame,
Where hearts oft faint and tire;
But I know of a Name, a precious Name,
That can set that world on fire;
Its sound is sweet, its letters flame.

Refrain

I know of a Name, a precious Name,
’Tis Jesus.

I know of a Book a marvelous Book,
With a message for all who hear;
And the same dear Name, His wonderful Name,
Illumines its pages clear;
The Book is His Word, its message I’ve heard.

Refrain

I know of a home in Immanuel’s land,
Where hearts ne’er faint nor tire;
And His marvelous Name, His own dear Name,
Inspires the heav’nly choir;
Hear the melody ringing, my own heart singing.

Refrain

You cannot get to Heaven but through Jesus Christ, my friend. There is no other, according to the word of God. God did not leave us defenseless in today’s world. He left us His Bible so that we could find salvation. Look at the Ethiopian in Acts 8 – he was in the desert and searching for salvation. There was no one around – yet God sent Philip to witness to him and give him the wonderful Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. God will reveal Himself to anyone if they are searching for Him. (Act 4:10-12) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (10) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (11) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (12) Do you see that? There is NO other name under heaven whereby we can be saved! That means Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, or Buddha. NONE other name under heaven – only Jesus Christ. As well, no “church” will save you either. Being a member of a certain church does not get one to heaven any more than being in a garage makes you a car.

When you meditate on God’s love in light of this photo and these verses, your heart becomes tender to what Christ had to go through so that we could be united with the Father. Our born-again experience did not come cheaply, my friend. Jesus Christ had to pay a price for us – a huge price – His own shed blood on a cruel cross! (Mat 26:28 ) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

He did this freely! It was His free gift to mankind. There’s nothing we can do to earn a free gift – otherwise it would not longer be free! Just read Galatians 5 and you will see what the Scriptures have to say about Christ’s free gift.

If someone were to save you from drowning, you would shower this person with thanks and even reward him for his part in saving you, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t ignore your rescuer but you would shout from the roof tops what he had done for you. (Hos 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. When a person rejects Jesus Christ, he rejects the fact that He came to save him. This person will realize his ungratefulness when he stands before Christ on the day of judgment and finds that his name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev 21:27) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. At that point, it will be too late to admit that Christ came to save him. Christ died for all man – not just a few. To deny Him brings eternal damnation in the lake of fire. What a price to pay for rejecting such a wonderful gift!

(Joh 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The fact of the matter is that Christ came to earth in human form because mankind could not be “good enough” to save himself. Being a member of a church does not gain you entrance to heaven either. That would mean that you could “earn” it yourself and the Word contradicts that thought. (Eph 2:8 ) 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) For the lost, Christ brings salvation and eternal life.

For those who are already born-again, today’s devotional encourages you to meditate on Christ’s vast love for you. It should motivate you to do all you can while you still have time to draw others to Him. What a wonderful gift to give the Lord as we remember His birthday – the gift of leading someone to a saving knowledge and the depth of His love!! (Psa 126:6) He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

I have never heard the hymn that we are covering today. I was searching through Cyberhymnal for something that would deal with the storms of life, and this came up. After reading the words and listening to the melody, I’ve discovered a treasure!

This beautiful hymn was written by Eliza Hewitt. This dear lady was born on June 28, 1851 and died on April 24, 1920. It appears that she was born, raised and lived in Philadelphia all of her life. Eliza’s teaching career ended when she became disabled due to a spinal problem. Here is a dear saint who did not allow the physical trials in her life to stop her from serving the Lord through writing hymns. She also served the Lord as a Sunday School superintendent at the Northern Home for Friendless Children and later on at the Calvin Presbyterian Church. It is also noted that she was a contributor to Sunday-school Helps.

Saved from the Wreck
Eliza E. Hewitt

Adrift on the waters, so dark and so cold,
Afar from the beautiful city of gold,
A vessel is sinking, for heavy the gale,
The cable is broken, and tattered each sail.

Refrain

Poor child of the wreck, see the lifeboat is near,
A sweet voice is heard, for the Master is here;
He walks every billow, controls every wave,
’Tis Jesus, King Jesus, “the mighty to save.”

Oh, I was the sinner alone on the sea,
But love’s blessèd signal were floating for me;
Though thunders were rolling, and billows at strife,
Lo, Jesus was calling, “escape for thy life.”

Refrain

I stepped in the life boat, provided for me,
And Jesus my Pilot, my Captain to be;
His bosom my refuge, my “haven of rest.”
I’m rescued from shipwreck, so happy and blest.

Refrain

Life’s turbulent surges are kissed into peace,
The beacons are shining, and songs never cease;
Fair moonbeams, bright sunshine, illumine the tide,
While onward to glory we’ll joyfully glide.

Refrain

Eliza must have gone through many a turbulent trial as an invalid. I know so many dear saints who have debilating diseases and chronic illnesses and yet they serve the Lord in whatever capacity they can.

The Christian is not promised that he will never go through hard times. But we are promised that in the midst of the storm, our Shepherd will lead us to still waters. (Psa 23:2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. I think of those dear saints the Lord has allowed me to meet in my life who have been stricken with physical problems. Each of these saints has blessed me more than I could possibly say. Although they struggle to stay afloat in their physical storms, they minister to others showing how Christ has brought them to those still waters spiritually.

Where are you today, dear friend? Are you wallowing in self pity because of your ailments? You can serve the Lord despite all of your circumstances. Everyone wants to feel needed. The Lord wants to use you to help others – yes, even with your physical impairments the way they are. There are others in this world who are suffering just like you – with the same ailments as you. You can be a blessing to someone else and help them through their physical trials by sharing what the Lord has done for you and how He has helped you. You can meet this person’s needs by sending cards, praying for them, or even calling them. I have a dear friend who has fibromyalgia and every year the illness progresses. She sends “care packages” out to those who have the same illness and gives them information they need to help them through this illness. She sends them devotionals, Bibles, and anything else the Lord lays on her heart to be a blessing.

What struggles are you going through? Has the Lord helped you through depression? Then help someone you know who is struggling. We all have our crosses to bear in life – but we never bear them alone.

Psalm 107:28-31, Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (28 ) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (29) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (30) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (31)

You may be the one that God wants to use to help someone out of his/her distress. People today are lonely and searching for peace and tranquility – yes, even Christians. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and He will direct you to someone to help. You will find that in helping others, you will be guided to the still waters and will find comfort from your trials.

I was drawn to the Saviour because of His blessed return to earth to Rapture the Saints. When I heard this song, written by Thoro Harris, I received such a blessing!

Thoro Harris was born on March 31, 1874, in Washington, D.C., only 30 miles from where I now live. He died on March 27, 1955. He produced his first hymnal in 1902. When I read the words to this beautiful hymn, I cannot remain in a discouraged state of mind. I cannot remain ungrateful. It is beautiful hymns like these that encourage the Saint to look up to the hills from when cometh our help!

He’s Coming Soon
Thoro Harris

In these, the closing days of time,
What joy the glorious hope affords,
That soon—O wondrous truth sublime!
He shall reign, King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Refrain

He’s coming soon, He’s coming soon;
With joy we welcome His returning;
It may be morn, it may be night or noon—
We know He’s coming soon.

The signs around—in earth and air,
Or painted on the starlit sky,
God’s faithful witnesses—declare
That the coming of the Savior draweth nigh.

Refrain

The dead in Christ who ’neath us lie,
In countless numbers, all shall rise
When through the portals of the sky
He shall come to prepare our paradise.

Refrain

And we, who living, yet remain,
Caught up, shall meet our faithful Lord;
This hope we cherish not in vain,
But we comfort one another by this word.

Refrain

This dear brother in Christ sure knew his Bible. “He shall reign, King of kings and Lord of Lords.” Our Saviour shed His grace upon man and give His very blood so we could reign with Him. Isn’t that awesome?

(1 Cor. 15:52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

(Tit 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what a blessed hope we have indeed! Chances are I will hear from one of my readers who picks apart my writings and accuses me of heresy over and over. He thinks he will “convert” me back to the “religion” of my youth but he is mistaken for sure. There was no hope in that religion. All I could say was that I “hoped” I would go to heaven. But after reading Ephesians 2:8-9, I saw that my religion was one of works and I could not get to heaven based on anything good that I had done. (Eph 2:8 ) 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)

My friend, our own righteousness (that which we think we have in our own lives and our own works) is considered a filthy rag in God’s eyes. (Isa 64:6) 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. You know who you are, Sir, and I pray that you will allow God’s word to speak to your heart through His Holy Spirit so you can find true salvation – not man’s – not a church – but through Jesus Christ. Do so now for He is coming soon!

Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

What a beautiful song Daniel Whittle penned! The words bring hope and encourage the Christian to seek after God.

Daniel W. Whittle was born on November 22, 1840, and died on March 4, 1901. Whittle served as a Major in the Civil War, where he lost his right arm, and was known thereafter as Major Whittle. It was during the Civil War that he was saved. He was asked to pray with a dying young soldier because he had been seen reading a Bible. He obeyed the request and it was at this young man’s bedside that he asked God for forgiveness. Major Whittle then prayed with the young soldier and the soldier found Christ before passing away. The Lord used this situation to draw Major Whittle and the young dying soldier to Him. What a blessed story this was to read! After the War, Major Whittle became treasurer of a watch company. It was in this company’s quiet vault that he committed his life to the Gospel.

Major Whittle not only wrote this blessed hymn but also wrote two more which you will recognize: The Banner of the Cross and Christ Liveth in Me.

There Shall be Showers of Blessing
Daniel W. Whittle

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Refrain

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

Refrain

Today’s verse and song speak of showers of blessing but yet the photograph at the top is totally the opposite. Without the beautiful benefits of the season of Winter, earth cannot produce the precious seeds and harvest of Spring and Fall. God gave us the four seasons for a purpose and each affects the other three.

The Winter season has many benefits other than the obvious cold weather pass times. The frigid temperatures provide mankind with a natural pest eliminator. Viruses and germs cannot survive in continuously cold weather. Bugs, which damage crops, cannot survive the cold. Molds and mildews die off as well. Winter is God’s natural way to rid the earth of these things.

When I lived in Northern Maine, I not only felt healthier in the Winter time but I had more energy when I spent time outside. Haven’t you ever felt invigorated by the blast of cold air that hits your face the moment you step outside on a cold day? The Winter winds stir up the atmosphere on a greater scale than the Summer winds – they purify the atmosphere. While orbiting the earth on a Winter day, astronauts have said that the atmosphere is clear and clean. As the earth expands and contracts in the Winter time, the soil is pushing the seeds upwards and preparing them for Spring’s showers.

I liken earth’s Winter season to our own spiritual maturity. Are you in the Winter season of your spiritual walk? The Spring time brings salvation and newness of life. 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

During the summer years of our walk, we grow and mature as Christians. 1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. As we enter the Fall season of our spiritual growth, we shed old habits and sinful ways like the trees shed their leaves. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Then as we walk in the Winter season of our Christian life, we experience trials and tribulations. Each one drawing us closer to the Lord. We eliminate those pestilences that have hindered our walk. It is when we remove the barriers between us and the Lord that the showers of blessings from the Spring time can freely flow into our lives. 1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Our Heavenly Father sends blessings along the way but these blessings flow more freely as we become more like His Son.

What a beautiful comparison this is. There is something to be learned in all of God’s creation, including the Seasons. As I meditated on this today, the Lord blessed me and showed me that the trials and tribulations of the day will produce showers of blessings in the end as I draw nigh to Him. Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. As our hearts are softened, we get closer to God. Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Our Heavenly Father loves us no matter what we do. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. But our love for Him is shown when we allow ourselves to be molded into Christ’s image.

2 Timothy 2:19-21, Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (19) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (20) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (21)

It is at this point in our spiritual walk that we can fully receive the showers of blessings that God wants to shower upon us. When we fully lean on Him and trust Him with all areas of our lives, we receive that peace which passeth all understanding. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Not much is known about Johnson Oatman, Jr., the author of one of my favorite hymns! Mr. Oatman was born on April 21, 1856, and passed away on September 25, 1922. Did you know that he wrote lyrics for 5,000 gospel songs? Not only did he pastor local churches but he also worked full time in the retail and insurance industries!

Count Your Blessings
Johnson Oatman, Jr.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

The most important characteristic I found about Mr. Oatman was that he was a grateful man. He must have gone through many trials as a salesman. The life of a salesman is not an easy one. Most salesmen depend on commissions and, therefore, their income fluctuates. I’m certain Mr. Oatman had bounty and I am certain at times he had nothing. Can’t you just see this throughout his lyrics in this blessed hymn?

What do you do when trouble comes knocking on your door? Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (5) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (6) There are four verbs in these two verses. The first three verbs are commands to us from God: Trust in the Lord, lean not unto thine own understanding, in ALL thy ways acknowledge him. The fourth verb in verse 5 is a promise that He SHALL direct thy paths! When we pick apart verses and meditate on the meat, we see that the Lord has given us golden nuggets which will help us when we need that help the most! How can you trust someone you don’t know or barely know? You can’t!

Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As we build our faith by being in the Word, we learn to trust God more and more. You cannot trust if you are only in the Scriptures on occasion. Could you trust a stranger? Could you trust someone you had only spoken to a few times? Why is your walk with the Lord any different?

Do you think Mr. Oatman held those verses close to his heart? I know I do. I have made these my life’s verses. Many times in my Christian walk have I wondered why the Lord was allowing certain circumstances in my life. Each battle He has allowed me to go through has drawn me closer to Him. Each battle has taught me to trust Him more and more. Now when a battle comes, I immediately go to Him – knowing that He will carry me through.

My friend, He will do the same for you if you let Him. Remember 1 Sam. 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands. The battle is the Lord’s, my friend! It’s not ours. When God allows a trial into our lives, He does not leave us or abandon us. He provides exactly what we need, when we need it. It is through the battles that we learn that our Commander in Chief is not asleep on the job but is in the front lines winning the war!

My friend, won’t you count your blessings this morning? Write them down – share them with others – name them one by one! Even in the darkest of circumstances one can find a blessing in his life! When you feel as though the world is caving in on you, take your eyes off your circumstances and count your blessings! Start doing something for someone else. It is in doing for others that you will find many a blessing! Before you know it, you will be counting your blessings out of habit and you will no longer have to search for them – they will be all around you!

John Quincy Adam, our sixth President, was a wonderful poet. He was born on July 11, 1767, and died on February 23, 1848. I had never heard this hymn before – the words are absolutely beautiful! It was set to music by Lowell Mason Hamburg in 1824. If you click on the title’s hyperlink, it will take you to Cyberhymnal and you can listen to it. It is a beautiful hymn and the words are an absolute blessing.

President Adams was blessed with a true gift of poetry. His style just flows and the words magnify God! As I read his hymn, I felt the peace of God cover me like a blanket. Meditating on these words truly causes one to be overwhelmed with God’s power and might. At least it did for me.

O Lord my God! how great art Thou!

O Lord my God! how great art Thou!
With honor and with glory crowned;
Light’s dazzling splendors veil Thy brow,
And gird the universe around.

Spirits and angels Thou hast made;
Thy ministers a flaming fire;
By Thee were earth’s foundations laid;
At Thy rebuke the floods retire.

Thine are the fountains of the deep;
By Thee their waters swell or fail;
Up to the mountain’s summit creep,
Or shrink beneath the lowly vale.

Thy fingers mark their utmost found;
That bound the waters may not pass;
Their moisture swells the teeming ground,
And paints the valleys o’er with grass.

The waving harvest, Lord, is Thine;
The vineyard, and the olive’s juice;
Corn, wine, and oil, by Thee combine,
Life, gladness, beauty, produce.

The moon for seasons Thou hast made,
The sun for change of day and night;
Of darkness Thine the deepest shade,
And Thine the day’s meridian light.

O Lord, Thy works are all divine;
In wisdom hast Thou made them all;
Earth’s teeming multitudes are Thine;
Thine—peopled ocean’s great and small.

All these on Thee for life depend;
Thy Spirit speaks, and they are born;
They gather what Thy bounties send;
Thy hand of plenty fills the horn.

Thy face is hidden—they turn pale,
With terror quake, with anguish burn;
Their breath Thou givest to the gale;
They die, and to their dust return.

And Thou, my soul, with pure delight,
Thy voice to bless thy Maker raise;
His praise let morning sing to night,
And night to morn repeat His praise.

We should take the time to meditate on God’s goodness to us as well as His power and might. Like the Psalmist David, President Adams allowed his thoughts to dwell on the Almighty and in turn glorified Him through his writing.

So what does this song do for you, oh Christian? Do you read it like any other song or do you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart? The Spirit’s job is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you allowing Him the opportunity to do this for you in your life? Meditating on God’s Word is a must if we want to grow spiritually. Reading songs and poetry like this and listening to Godly music also works in a Christian’s heart. (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16) If it were not so, the Lord would not have dedicated an entire book (Psalms) to music. God knew that music is an important part of a person’s life and can be a blessing!

I know that today’s devotional is not typical of my others. There really is not much more to add to words so beautifully penned. May the Lord use these words to work in your heart and draw you to Him, His goodness, power and might!

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.

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

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.

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. The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. (Pro 29:25) My friend’s fear brought a snare into her life. She was trapped by this fear and did not sleep all night long. Notice that the Scriptures say 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)

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 or 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 allowed especially for me so that I can help others). There’s nothing new under the sun, the Scriptures say. (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)

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!

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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)

My Heart is Full

 

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

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

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

You raise me up each time that I am down
My heart 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 He is.
Deservingly adored.
The Alpha, Omega, first and last,
And King of Kings forever more!

Kate Plourde


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)  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.

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 Scriptures 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 and the free gift (see Galatians 5)! 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 of God 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. It is no longer a free gift. 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 the Lord Jesus Christ 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!

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 total 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 find the 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! Our sin hinders fellowship with God but does not remove our position in His family.
  • 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!