Tuesday, August 27, 2013

About These Devotionals

Each of the devotionals on this blog contain a hymn, a bible verse, a photo, and a brief message of hope and comfort.  It is my hope that they will be of comfort to Christians when trials, troubles, sickness, and death come to loved ones and themselves.  They are all one click away from the list on the right.

I Know Whom I Have Believed

2 Timothy 1:12 I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.

The flag in the photo above was torn and tangled by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the lighthouse is still standing guard in Biloxi, Mississippi. An image of this old lighthouse is shown on the latest Mississippi car tags as a symbol of endurance and trustworthiness. In a like manner the verse above and the hymn below point to the trustworthiness of our triune God. Paul, in the verse above, expresses full confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ and Christ’s power to guard what has been entrusted to him by divine revelation.

In the beautiful hymn below the author, Daniel Whittle, lists many things that he does not know about the workings of God’s amazing grace. He is puzzled as to why God made his wondrous grace known and how his saving faith was sealed in his heart. He doesn’t understand how his faith produced peace in his heart, or how the Spirit moves convicting us of sin. He admits that he does not know what good or ill awaits him in this temporary life, and that he doesn’t know when Christ will return. BUT, he does know whom he believed and is persuaded that He is able to deliver the promises of the gospel good news. Brethren, praise God that we can rest in the promises of God for our eternal future.

I Know Whom I Have Believed
Words by: Daniel W. Whittle

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

How Great Thou Art

Job 38:25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt,

God in chapter 38 of Job outlines His incredible awesome acts of creation. In the hymn below, some of these acts are also outlined. When these awesome acts are considered, a human being can only stand in wonder and amazement. How great thou art is a natural reaction to all that God has created and sustains. When you then meditate on the fact that God sent his son to planet earth to die on the cross of Calvary as an atonement for the sins of all who place their faith and trust in him, then adoration, praise, and worship are the proper responses to such a great salvation. If our sin debt is so great that Jesus must die in order for us to be reconciled to God, then what an insult it is to Him for anyone to assert that human self-effort or allegiance to false gods of human imagination will also be acceptable to God for our salvation.

Brethren do not be fooled by the spirit of the age into thinking that there is any other way to eternal life other than through grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Be secure in peace and comfort if you are resting in Christ alone to take you home on that great day when he returns, and we who are found in Him will be able to sing, “How Great Thou Art."

              How Great Thou Art
Words by: Carl Gustav Boberg

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Saw The Light

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Hank Williams, the great Country and Western singer of the 1940’s and 1950’s, wrote the spiritual song shown below. It has a beautiful melody and sound theological insight. The first stanza relates how human beings resist and reject Jesus with their own sinful rebellious will. Then just as Jesus tells us in John 3:3-8, the Spirit moves like a stranger in the night and sinners are changed in an instant and enabled to see the light. The sinners response of being born again by the Holy Spirit is to shout, “Praise the Lord, I saw the light”. The song goes on to show how the sinner is literally blind until Jesus gives him sight and the power to see spiritual light. Once a sinner sees this light he is enabled to walk in a new way with a new heart. He is indeed a new creation in Christ with new affections and desires.

The Barnyard Opry, shown in the above photo, entertains patrons free of charge twice a month and always bears witness to the spiritual light that is found in Jesus Christ. In this photo the moon has been enlarged about ten fold. While most may not have even noticed the moon on this night, they would certainly have noticed had it appeared as shown above. The same thing happens when the Holy Spirit shines spiritual light into the hearts of sinners. Brethren, Praise the Lord if you see this light.

              I Saw The Light
Words by: Hank Williams

I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin;
I wouldn't ask my dear Saviour in.
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night;
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!

I saw the light, I saw the light.
No more darkness; no more night.
Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight.
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!

Just like a blind man I wandered alone,
Worries and fears I claimed for my own.
Then like the blind man that Jesus gave back his sight;
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!

I was a fool to wander astray,
For straight is the gate and narrow is the way.
Now I have traded the wrong for the right;
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Love To Tell The Story

Psalms 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Do you love to tell the story?  The bottom line of this story is given in Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  God is holy, loving, and just and, while He loves human beings, He is also just and must punish their sin.  All men are sinners and cannot save themselves by their works or good deeds.  They are helpless in and of themselves.  However, God solved this problem by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and suffer the penalty for the sins of those who place their faith in Him.  Through trusting in faith in His death and resurrection, sinners not only have their sins paid for by Christ, but they also have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.  Salvation and eternal life is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  This is the story of Biblical salvation and there is no other way by which men can be saved.

Praise God for this gospel story.  Brethren, rejoice if you trust in this story by faith because you are rich and healthy spiritually even if you are on your deathbed without a penny to your name.  What a wonderful story we have to tell!

I Love To Tell The Story
Words by: A. katherine Hankey

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.

I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Need Thee Every Hour

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

As the photo above shows, clocks are everywhere including being built into buildings.  Time creeps or flies by, depending on our circumstances.  Human beings by nature are in a constant state of need.  Oxygen, food, water, proper body temperature, and complicated bodily functions are needed constantly for human beings to survive physically.  Since God provides all of these needs for our physical well-being, all human beings are in constant physical need of God’s provisions.  In a like manner, Christians need God constantly for their spiritual well-being.  The power that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit is a constant source of nourishment for the spiritual needs of Christians.  For blessings, peace, instruction, inspiration, and for avoiding temptations the Lord is needed every hour.  This hymn points out that the Lord is needed in all circumstances of joy or pain. 

Praise God that He responds to these needs no matter our location or the time of day.  He is there in our joy and He is there in our pain.  He is even there when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  Brethren, we need the Lord every hour and He will always be there for us.  What comfort and peace is ours for the asking.

I Need Thee Every Hour

Words by: Annie S. Hawks

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;

 Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

In the photo above we see an example of the abundance that we take for granted each and every day.  However, we should always be aware that God is in control of all of the complicated factors that are involved in producing such a wide variety of food that we enjoy.  The hymn below states a truth that we should be thankful for every minute of every day when it says, “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”  God has provided everything that is needed for human and animal life in this world.  He has not only provided for our needs, but he maintains the intricate workings of the natural order.  The Bible says it well in James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Brethren, life is temporary and fragile on earth and death will come to everyone in due time.  However, God’s faithfulness does not end at our death as God has provided all that we need for our spiritual salvation.  Even though we all have sinned and offended his holiness and are subject to his justice, he has also provided for us to have eternal life through faith in his son, Jesus Christ, who has paid the penalty for our sins on the cross of Calvary.  Praise God for such a great salvation!  Great is thy faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness
Words by: Thomas O. Chisholm

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.

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.

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!