Amazing Grace

Print

I Am Thine, O Lord

Category: Amazing Grace

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews  10:22

Each new day requires a fresh renewal of our dedication to the Lord. The strongest of Christians can be drawn away by the pressures of daily living. And we are vulnerable to the lusts of the flesh and the eyes as well as the subtle temptations that constitute the "pride of life" (1 John  2:16). The warning of Scripture is clear: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians  10:12). God must always have His rightful place on the throne of the heart. Nothing in life-not job, not recreation, not even family-should have the top priority of our daily concerns. Anything that replaces the Lordship of Christ can become idolatrous and cause us to be susceptible to a spiritual disaster. We must each day say, "I am Thine, O Lord."

Fanny Crosby wrote this consecration hymn while visiting in the home of the composer of the music, William H. Doane, in Cincinnati. The family's conversation that night centered around the blessedness of enjoying the nearness of God. Suddenly in a moment of inspiration, Fanny started giving the words of the hymn-line by line, verse by verse, and then the chorus. Soon after Doane supplied the music, and another of the more than 8,000 Fanny Crosby hymns was born Since that day in 1875, these moving lines have ministered to and challenged countless numbers of God's people to keep their lives dedicated to their Lord:
I am Thine, O Lord-I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the pow'r of grace divine; let my soul look up with a steafast home and my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in pray'r and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend.

There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea; there are heights of joy that I many not reach till I rest in peace with Thee.

Chorus: Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, the the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, the Thy precious, bleeding side.

For Today: Psalm  16:11; 73:28; Romans  12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians  7:22-24; Hebrews  12:28

Print

Even Me

Category: Amazing Grace

He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. Psalm  72:6

The spiritual blessings of a Spirit-filled life are intended for every believer, not just for a favored few.

The author of this hymn test was Elizabeth Codner, the wife of an Anglican clergyman. She was having her personal devotions one day when she became deeply impressed with a verse of Scripture, Ezekiel  34:26: "I will cause the shower to come down in the season, there shall be showers of blessing."

Mrs. Codner thought about the importance of water in the dry county of Palestine and related this to the necessity of the daily refreshment of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures in a believer's life. When she was still contemplating this truth, a group of young people from the parish called on her and told the news of their recent trip to Ireland. They related that certain cities and areas of the Emerald Isle had experienced a spiritual awakening during the time of their visit. The young people were thrilled to have been witnesses of this event. As they were describing their experience, Mrs. Codner began to pray that these young men would not be content merely to have been spectators the Holy Spirits' ministry but would also desire a genuine outpouring of His power in their individual lives. With the words of Ezekiel  34:26 in mind, she challenged them with the remark, "While the Lord is pouring out such showers of blessing upon others, pray that some drops will fall on you."

The following Sunday morning, Mrs. Codner stayed home from church because of illness, and with the impact of the young people's experience still fresh in her mind, she penned these challenging words.

Lord, I hear of show'rs of blessing Thou art scatt'ring full and fee; show'rs the thirsty land refreshing-let some drops now fall on me.

Love of God so pure and changeless, blood of Christ so rich and fee, grace of God so strong and boundless: magnify them all in me.

Pass me not! Thy lost one bringing, bind my heart, O Lord, to Thee; while the streams of life are springing, blessing others, O bless me.

Refrain: Even me, even me, let Thy blessing fall on me.

For Today: Psalm  72; Ezekiel  34:26-31; Luke  11:13; Romans  8:4

Print

O The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus

Category: Amazing Grace

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians  3:17, 18)

Who can fully grasp the dimensions of God's great love for us? Yet the Scriptures teach that we are to have a growing awareness of divine love. Love is the very heart and essence of God, not only for the lovely but for the vilest of sinners. Christ did not die merely to display God's love-He died because God is love (1 John  4:8). If the New Testament teaches us anything, it teaches us about God's love in searching for lost men. Becoming a Christian in a very real sense is simply putting ourselves in the way of being found by God-to stop running from His loving pursuit.

As we mature in the Christian faith, we begin to realize that every situation that comes our way is an opportunity for God's love to be made more evident in our lives. Once we realize this, our attitude changes dramatically toward suffering people as well as toward ourselves when we are called to suffer. Then even during those times when our spiritual fervor declines and our devotion to God subsides, despite these shortcomings, God's love remains unfailing-continually working for our eternal good.

The author of this text, S. Trevor Fancis, was a prominent lay leader with the Plymouth Brethren in England and was known as an effective devotional speaker throughout Great Britain and around the world.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus-vast, unmeasured, boundless free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me, underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love-leading onward, leading homeward, to my glorious rest above.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus-spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore. How He watches o'er His loved ones, died to call them all His own; how for them He intercedeth, watcheth o'er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of ev'ry love the best! 'Tis an ocean vast of blessing; 'tis a haven sweet of rest. O the deep, deep love of Jesus-'tis a heav'n of heav'ns to me; and it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee.

For Today: Romans  5:8; 8:35-39; Ephesians  3:14-20; 1 John  4:8; Revelation  1:5,6

Print

Under His Wings

Category: Amazing Grace

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge. Psalm  91:4

Daily living is often filled with unexpected dangers. We never know what lies ahead as we begin each new day. How does a person cope with uncertainty and have the stability to live victoriously? For the Christian, daily security is having an unwavering confidence that God is in absolute control and personally involved in every detail of life. The only condition is that we must be willing to accept His help and remain close to Him wherever He leads. Jesus taught this truth to the people of His day; He longed to gather them to Himself even as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings when there is an impending storm. The human tragedy then and still today is that people are generally unwilling to accept His gracious offer (Luke  13:34).

The author of this hymn text, William Cushing, wrote these words as an expression of Psalm  17:8"Hide me under the shadow of Thy wings." After pastoring several large churches, Cushing suddenly was told that he could no longer preach. He had lost the power of speech. Broken in spirit, he cried out to God with the words of the psalmist. God answered by giving him the gift of writing. In all, William Cushing wrote more than 300 gospel hymns, which have had an even wider spiritual influence than his years of successful pastoring. "Under His Wings" first appeared in Ira Sankey's Sacred Songs No. 1, published in 1896. It has continued to be a favorite hymn of comfort among God's people.

Under His wings I am safely abiding; tho the night deepens and tempests are wild, still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me; He has redeemed me, and I am His child.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow! How the heart yearningly turns to His rest! Often when earth has no balm for my healing, there I find comfort and I am blest.

Under His wings, O what precious enjoyment! There will I hide till life's trials are o'er; sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me; resting in Jesus I'm safe evermore.

Refrain: Under His wings, under His wings, who from His love can sever? Under His wings my soul shall abide, safely abide forever.

For Today: Deuteronomy  33:27; 2 Samuel  22:31; Psalm  17:8; 36:7; 57:1; Isaiah  12:2; Matthew  23:37