1.  Hymns And Spiritual Songs
When our son, Daniel, was just a little boy, even before he started kindergarten, he had high comprehension of numbers.  He would begin at page 1 in our church hymnal, and practice printing numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, and on and on, turning page after page to see which number came next.  When the choir leader would say, "Please stand and turn to page ??? in your hymnal" our little Daniel would tell us which song it was before the music started.  He associated the hymns with the page numbers and I think he still remembers them to this day.  Our children learned the words to many of the great old hymns as they sang along.  I still remember singing many of the same old hymns in church as a little girl.  These songs have great depth in spiritual meaning and give praise to our Almighty God.  The early church of the New Testament also sang spiritual songs and hymns and we see their beauty and purpose in Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."  Let's look at some of the hymns from our past and let the Lord speak to us as we sing with grace with our hearts to the Lord.


2.  "Remind Me Dear Lord"
I just finished reading Deuteronomy in my personal Bible study.  It is a book of remembrance.  Moses reminds the Israelites of all God had done for them and gave them the law so they would know what He expected from them.  At the end of the book God told Moses to write a song to teach to the people so they would remember the Word of the Lord.  The song would be passed down through the generations and their children would learn of the Lord through the words of the song.  I want to look at some of these great old hymns.

"19  Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.
20  For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.
21  And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.
22  Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel."  (Deuteronomy 31:19-22)

I want to begin with a song written by Dottie Rambo, published in 1966.  Although it is not one of the older hymns, it has the message I want us to think about today. 

"Remind Me Dear Lord"

The things that I love and hold dear to my heart
Are just borrowed they're not mine at all
Jesus only let me use them to brighten my light
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from
And where I could have been
Remember I'm human, and humans forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Nothing good have I done to deserve God's own Son
I'm not worthy of the scars in his hands
Yet he chose the road to Calvary to die in my stead
Why he loved me I can't understand


3.  "Amazing Grace"
John Newton was a wicked, slave-trading sailor in the 1700's who found God's grace and deliverance through a mighty storm at sea.  He wrote "Amazing Grace", which was first published in 1779.  This is a great old hymn that has been sung down through the ages.

"Amazing Grace"

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

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

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

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

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

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

"4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"  (Ephesians 2:4-8)


4.  "Come, Thou Fount"
Today we are going back to 1757 to find the words of one of my favorite hymns, written by Robert Robinson.  Our scripture is found in I Samuel 7:12, when the Philistine army went up against the Israelites and God "thundered with a great thunder" and gave a great victory.  "Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us."  Read the words to this song, line by line, and listen to the beauty and language of this wonderful message.  My testimony is found in the second verse, "Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood."  Amen.

"Come, Thou Fount"

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.


5.  "What A Friend"
Our verse for the day is found in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  Jesus Christ left His home in heaven to give His life to pay for my sins.  Our daily hymn is "What A Friend", written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven. 

"What A Friend"

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


6.  "Sweet Hour Of Prayer"
Pastor Jack Tripp spoke on prayer Wednesday, so I want us to look at one of my favorite hymns on prayer.  This hymn was written by a blind preacher, William W. Walford, in 1845.  The second verse is not found in our church hymnal, but knowing that Mr. Walford was blind makes the lines, "Which such I hasten to the place Where God my Savior shows His face" more meaningful as the face of Jesus would be the first face he saw.   Also in the last verse he says, "I view my home and take my flight."  His time of passing must have surely been a great rejoicing as he shouted, "Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!"

"Sweet Hour Of Prayer"

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”


7.  "Pass Me Not"
Today we are looking at another song writer who was also blinded in the physical sense, but had her eyes on the Lord.  God used Frances J. Crosby to write over 8,000 songs and hymns.  One of my favorites is "Pass Me Not".  I remember when the Holy Spirit first showed me that I was lost and I felt the urgency to be saved, before it was too late.  I didn't want God to pass over me.  I cried for the Lord to save me, and I have felt His presence ever since that day, so many years ago.  If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I pray that you will see the importance of calling on Him today.  We're looking back to 1898, as Francis J. Crosby wrote, "Pass Me Not."

"Pass Me Not"

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee,
Whom in Heav’n but Thee.


8.  "Jesus Loves Me"
I felt God leading me to talk about some of the old hymns as I finished the book of Deuteronomy.  Time and time again Moses told the people to teach their children about God.  One example is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-7.

"4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

One of the first songs we teach our children today is "Jesus Loves Me."  The first verse was written by Anna B. Warner in 1860, with the additional verses and refrain written by David R. McGuire and William Bradbury.  The words are so simple, we often forget how deep their truth runs.

"Jesus Loves Me"

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.


9.  "There Is A Name I Love To Hear"
Yesterday we sang, "Jesus Loves Me" and today we shall sing, "Oh, how I love Jesus."  Our scripture is found in I John 4:19, "We love him, because he first loved us."  "There Is A Name I Love To Hear" was written by Frederick Whitfield in 1855.  We did nothing to deserve His great love, yet we love Him, because He first loved us!

"There Is A Name I Love To Hear"

There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest name on earth.

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

It tells me what my Father hath,
In store for every day,
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.

It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe,
Who in each sorrow bears a part
That none can bear below.


10.  "It Is Better Farther On"

Michael and I took a little road trip over the weekend to go to Christopher's birthday party.  We were going down I-85 when traffic stalled to 10 mph, 4 mph, and sometimes we were sitting still.  Our grandchildren called and asked us when we would get there, and we told them the GPS stated that there was a 97 minute delay.  I have seen 15 minute delays, and even more, but I have never seen it with a 97 minute delay.  We pulled off the highway at the next exit and took a detour through the next city and was happy to cut off some time from the road construction delays.  I remember thinking as we talked about getting off the highway, "Will it get better farther on?"  We can't always tell on life's journeys when things will get better, or if they may get worse before they get better.  But, praise the Lord, I know that when it is over, it will be better farther on!  We have often sung the old song, "Better Farther On."  (I think it was written by Doyle Lawson.)  When I looked it up online I found the original lyrics, "It Is Better Farther On", written by James L. Nicholson in 1875.  I like the words to the version we sing and have included them, but I also wanted to show the original words for those who may have never heard them.  Our verses are found in Philippians 3:13 & 14.  "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  Keep on keeping on, because it is better farther on.

"Better Farther On"

As we travel through the desert
Storms beset us by the way
But beyond the river Jordan
Lies a land of endless day

Farther on, still go farther
Count the milestones one by one
Jesus will forsake you never
It is better farther on

Oh, my Brother, are you weary
Of the roughness of the way
Does your strength begin to fail you
And your vigor to decay

At my grave, oh still be singing
Though you weep for one that's gone
Sing it as we once did sing it
It is better farther on

"It Is Better Farther On"

Hark! I hear Hope sweetly singing
Softly in an undertone,
Singing as if God had taught her,
“It is better farther on.”
Night and day I hear her singing—
Singing while I sit alone,
Singing so my heart may hear it,
“It is better farther on.”

When my faith took hold on Jesus,
Light divine within me shone,
And I know since that glad moment,
“It is better farther on.”
I have plunged into the fountain,
Flowing free for everyone;
I am saved and Hope is singing,
“It is better farther on.”

Farther on, but how much farther?
Count the milestones one by one;
No, no counting, only trusting—
“It is better farther on.”
Rest, my soul, in hope forever,
all my doubts and fears are gone;
Jesus is my Savior, Keeper—
“It is better farther on.”


11.  "Cleanse Me"

David was described as a man after the Lord's own heart in I Samuel 13:14.  If such a great man could fall into temptation, we must not feel that we have arrived to a place where we are above temptation and sin.  Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"  When we do fail it is good to know that we can come to God, just as King David did and pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  (Psalm 139:23-24)  "Cleanse Me" is a beautiful old song written by J. Edwin Orr in 1936 which implores us to seek forgiveness from the Lord.

"Cleanse Me"

Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me;
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.


12.  "Revive Us Again"

Our song yesterday ended with a plea for revival, so today I thought we would look at this old song of revival, "Revive Us Again."  It was written in 1863 by William P. Mackay, and if they needed revival way back then, we surely need it now.  We can actually look even farther back to hear a cry for revival in this Psalm for the sons of Korah.  "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"  (Psalm 85:6)  Another Psalm and cry from King David is also good for our message today.  "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."  (Psalm 51:12)

"Revive Us Again"

We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.

We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.

All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.

All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.


13.  "Rock Of Ages"

While Moses was up on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments from God, the Children of Israel were making a golden calf and falling down to worship their false god.  When Moses saw their wickedness he threw down the tablets and broke them.  Three thousand men were killed and Moses went back up the mountain to plead for the people.  "And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written."  (Exodus 32:31-32)  I can imagine that this was the lowest point Moses had faced.  He finally said to God, "Shew me thy glory."  (Exodus 33:18) 

"19  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22  And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:"  (Exodus 33:19-22)

My hymn today is "Rock of Ages."  I am so glad that when I sink to my lowest despair, I can hide in the cleft of the Rock.  I can stand firm on the solid Rock and firm foundation while the world falls on the sinking sands.  I can quench my thirst from the living water that flows from the Rock in this wilderness.  This great old song was written by Augustus M. Toplady in 1776.  (These are the verses in our hymnal and differ in spots from the original song.)

"Rock Of Ages"

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone:
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.


14.  "Tell It To Jesus"

My Son-In-Law's brother fell 21 feet off a roof at work yesterday.  I would like to ask you to pray for Daniel's healing and recovery.  He has several broken bones and lost some of his memory.  When things like this happen that touch our lives we feel helpless and sorry for those in need.  We talk about it with one another, but there is something more we can do.  We can tell it to Jesus.  He is the One that can answer our prayers.  This old song was written in 1876 in German by Edmund S. Lorenz and later translated into English by Jeremiah Eames Rankin.  If life is getting you a little down today, I want to encourage you to "Tell It To Jesus".  It doesn't matter what language you speak, or what nationality you are, He can hear and understand.  "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."  (Psalm 55:17)

"Tell It To Jesus"

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that's well known.
You have no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men's eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ's coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.


15.  "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"

Today we are going back in time and visit Louisa M. R. Stead.  While her family was enjoying a picnic, they heard a scream and her husband jumped in the sea to save a young boy, but the boy pulled him under and they both drowned.  Louisa and her daughter Lily grew poor.  Answering a call to mission service from the Lord they moved to South Africa and became missionaries.  As she learned to trust in Jesus, Louisa wrote this song in 1882.  It is such a beautiful old hymn and brings such a sweet peace to my heart everytime I sing it.  "Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:"  (Isaiah 26:4)  (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-tis-so-sweet-to-trust-in-jesus)

"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.


16.  "Brethren, We Have Met To Worship"

Being the Lord's day, I wanted us to look at one of my favorite old worship songs.  It was first published in 1819 and written by George Atkins.  I cherish the time I have with my Christian brothers and sisters in fellowship at our church.  I can say with David, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."  (Psalm 122:1)  One of my goals in this devotional of Spiritual songs and hymns is to help us appreciate our Chrisitan heritage and enjoy the great songs of old.

"Brethren, We Have Met To Worship"

Brethren, we have met to worship,
And adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power,
While we try to preach the word?
All is vain, unless the Spirit
Of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you,
Trembling on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving;
Can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers, see our mothers,
And our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around.

Sisters, will you join and help us?
Moses' sisters aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners,
Who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior,
Tell him that he will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around.


17.  "Almost Persuaded"
Today I open with the scripture, found in Acts 26:21-29, for our very important message.

"21  For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
22  Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
23  That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
24  And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25  But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26  For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27  King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29  And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." 

I wonder how many people in our churches today are at the same state as King Agrippa.  How many are almost persuaded to be a Christian?  Look at Paul's remarks to King Agrippa, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest."  Maybe King Agrippa did believe the prophets' messages that the Messiah would come.  Maybe you believe the Bible that Jesus came.  But, have you ever put your trust in Him to save you from your sins?  We don't read anywhere in our scriptures that King Agrippa was ever saved.  If not, do you think these words roll over and over in his mind in torment?  "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." 
"Almost Persuaded" is a heart searching song written by Philip P. Bliss and published in 1871.

"Almost Persuaded"

“Almost persuaded” now to believe;
“Almost persuaded” Christ to receive;
Seems now some soul to say,
“Go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day
On Thee I’ll call.”

“Almost persuaded,” come, come today;
“Almost persuaded,” turn not away;
Jesus invites you here,
Angels are ling’ring near,
Prayers rise from hearts so dear;
O wand’rer, come!

“Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
“Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last!
“Almost” cannot avail;
“Almost” is but to fail!
Sad, sad, that bitter wail—
“Almost,” but lost!


18.  "Blessed Assurance"
We go today from "Almost Persuaded" to the other end of the spectrum with "Blessed Assurance."  Hebrews 10:22 tells us that we can have that blessed assurance.  "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."   "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."  (John 3:16)  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  (Romans 10:9-10)   "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  (I John 1:9)  When we confess our sin, in faith, believing that Jesus died to save us, we can have that "Blessed Assurance."  This great old song is another that was written by Frances J. Crosby, in 1873. 

"Blessed Assurance"

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.


19.  "It Is Well With My Soul"
When I feel overwhelmed by the troubles and trials of this life, I often find peace in singing one of the great old songs that are embedded in my heart and mind.  "It Is Well With My Soul" has a comforting message and calms with a peace that can only come from above.  This song was written in 1873 by Horatio G. Spafford after tragedy struck his family.  Songs such as this one can help us say with the Psalmist, "Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul."  (Psalm 146:1)  Here is a portion of the story from the website of Discipleship Ministries.

"Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck tells the story: “Desiring a rest for his wife and four daughters as well as wishing to join and assist Moody and [his musician Ira] Sankey in one of their campaigns in Great Britain, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. In November of that year, due to unexpected last-minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre. He expected to follow in a few days.

“On November 22 the ship was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors were finally landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, ‘Saved alone.’”

Spafford left immediately to join his wife. This hymn is said to have been penned as he approached the area of the ocean thought to be where the ship carrying his daughters had sunk."

"It Is Well With My Soul"

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


20.  "How Firm A Foundation"
With the storms that rolled across our nation on Wednesday, it is a joy to know I am on a firm foundation.  Even during the darkest storms we can put our faith in the One who holds the universe in His hands.  It is a comfort to know that Jesus Christ is our firm foundation and He has promised, "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  (Hebrews 13:5)  "How Firm A Foundation" was first published in 1787 and attributed to K.  The sources I found had differences in opinion of who K was, so I will leave the author as K.  Our scripture is found in part in the second verse of the song, and comes from Isaiah 41:10.  "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

"How First A Foundation"

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”


21.  "The Old Rugged Cross"
Flowers are blooming and we had a few days with temperatures in the high 70's, above normal around here.  These seasonal changes let me know that spring is just over 2 weeks away.  And I am ready!  Ready to finalize my garden plans and start working in the soil.  Spring also gets me ready for Easter.    All the signs of new life in the spring remind me of the death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  (Hebrews 12:2)  Today we are looking at one of the most well-known Easter songs, "The Old Rugged Cross."  It was written by George Bennard in 1913.

"The Old Rugged Cross"

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.


22.  "Just As I Am"
We have looked at so many wonderful hymns and spiritual songs in the last three weeks.  Today we have one of my favorite hymns for an altar call.  Just hearing the music played can bring tears to my eyes as I think back to all the Lord has done for me since that day that I came to Him.  Charlotte Elliott wrote this hymn in 1835 after a soul searching night, finding grace in the Lord of her salvation.  "Just As I Am" is special to me because it tells us that we can come to Christ, without riches, without excuses, without hindrances from the world, just as we are.  Jesus has given us the invitation in Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Only Jesus can give us  the perfect rest that so many are seeking, when we come unto Him, just as we are.

"Just As I Am"

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st 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 within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, 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!


23.  "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"
I really am partial to these old songs and hymns.  When I hear one of the newer gospel songs, it doesn't seem to have the humbleness and meekness that are evident in the old hymns.  And this one is really old.  It was written by Isaac Watts and published in 1707.  The humble attitude of the writer shows through in lines like, "And pour contempt on all my pride" and "Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast".   Though this is not a very popular trait to have today, we can find it in Paul as he wrote to the early church in Galatians 6:14.  "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."  If we take time to "survey the wondrous cross" as Isaac Watts did, we can say with him, "Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all."

"When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.


24.  "Jesus Paid It All"
I think the best hymns focus on our Lord and Savior.  "Jesus Paid It All" affirms the Biblical truth that Jesus died to pay our sin debt, and reminds us that there is no good in our lives by which we can be saved.  Many of these old hymns have such strong scripture truths in them, people could hear enough from them to be saved.  This makes them such good closing hymns for our worship services.  Just before Jesus went to the cross of Calvary, we are told that He and the disciples sang an hymn.  "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."  (Matthew 26:30)  As you sing the closing songs in your church services, listen to the words and give your heart to prayer that God will use the words to speak to hearts and call lost sinners to Him.  This song was written by Elvina M. Hall in 1865.

"Jesus Paid It All"

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.


25.  "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"
Today I am looking back to borrow a devotional I wrote a few years ago.  I read the story behind this great song and have never forgotten it.

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;" Luke 12:35

I have always liked the song, "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning."  When I researched the story behind the song, my fondness of it grew.  Evangelist Dwight L. Moody was preaching in 1871 and he told about a ship trying to get into the Cleveland Harbor during a dark storm on Lake Erie.  He could see the light from the lighthouse, but the lower lights had gone out on the rocky shore.  Phillip Paul Bliss was so touched by the story he wrote this great old song.  Here is an excerpt from his book.

"On a dark, stormy, night, when the waves rolled like mountains, and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor. “Are you sure this is Cleveland?” asked the captain, seeing only one light from the lighthouse.
“Quite sure, sir,” replied the pilot.
“Where are the lower lights?”
“Gone out, sir.”
“Can you make the harbor?”
“We must, or perish, sir!”
And with a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel. But alas, in the darkness he missed the channel, and with a crash upon the rocks the boat was shivered, and many a life lost in a watery grave. Brethren, the Master will take care of the great lighthouse: let us keep the lower lights burning!"
D. L. Moody.

Philip P. Bliss, The Charm: A Collection of Sunday School Music (Chicago, Illinois: Root & Cady, 1871)

"Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Trying now to make the harbor, some poor sailor may be lost.


26.  "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms"
I think we need to hear a song of praise.   This song is a great harmony song written for different parts and I always enjoy singing it.  We all grow weary sometimes and it is wonderful to know we have a Savior that we can lean on.  He understands our heartache and hears our every prayer.  He gives peace in the time of storms and lifts us up when we are feeling low.  I know that I can always depend on my Lord to see me through whatever trial I am facing.  And when I feel that I can't stand, I know that I can lean on Jesus!  "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" was written by Elisha A. Hoffman and published in 1887.  "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:..."  (Deuteronomy 33:27)

"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms"

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


27.  "I Need Thee Every Hour"
One of the greatest blessings that comes with salvation is knowing that the Lord is always with me.  We have this promise, "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  (Hebrews 13:5)  That is what makes this song so special to me.  When I sing, "I Need Thee Every Hour", I know that God is with me every hour, and even every minute, of every day.  I have read remarks that people make about Christians being weak, in that they need a God to depend on, and I would like to reply, "They are right."  I am weak, but He is strong.  And I really do depend on Jesus, my Lord and Savior, to lead me through each day.  I feel His presence through Bible reading and prayer, and I have no doubts that He is watching over me every hour.  This great old song was written in 1872.  It was written by Annie S. Hawks and the chorus was written by Robert Lowry.  Our verses come from Hebrews 4:14-16.

"14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

"I Need Thee Every Hour"

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

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

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

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

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


28.  "Take Time To Be Holy"
Time.  Sometimes when I sit down in the evening to write these devotionals, I look at the time and I just don't know where my day went.  But, I have 12 hours in each day just like everyone else.  The rich can't buy more time and the lonely can't give their long hours to others.  We have so many time saving devices in our cooking, our travel, and our working, but most of us still push the clock to the limit and burn the candle at both ends, as the old folks used to put it.  I have a calendar over my computer and I have to write things down so I don't forget plans I made, or over extend and make promises I can't keep.  In the midst of our busy schedules we need to "Take Time To Be Holy".  Again and again in the book of Leviticus God tells the Children of Israel to, "Be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45) and we read it again in I Peter 1:16. "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." God wants us to take time to be holy.  This great old song that still speaks to us today was written by William Dunn Longstaff in 1882.

"Take Time To Be Holy"

Take time to be Holy, speak oft with thy Lord.
Abide with Him always and feed on His word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on.
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide
And run not before Him whatever betide;
In joy or in sorrow, still follow they Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, Still Trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul.
Each thought and each motive beneath His control;
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.


29.  "The Love Of God"
Our wedding anniversary is coming up this month.  When we were dating I felt that God had brought us together by His love and we had "The Love Of God" sung at our wedding.  We asked Chris Walker to sing the song during the ceremony even though he was just a young teen, (but, so was I).  Michael and I are celebrating 39 years together and God has been with us all these years.  Chris went on to become a preacher, and pastor and faithfully served the Lord through his preaching and singing.  His funeral is this weekend, as he died of cancer.  We can sing, "O, How I Love Jesus", but our love can never compare to the great love of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And through that great love we have the assurance that we will see our Christian loved ones again in heaven.  "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."  (John 3:16)  "The Love Of God" was written by Frederick M. Lehman in 1917. 

"The Love Of God"

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.

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

When hoary 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.

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.


30.  "He Keeps Me Singing"
I have enjoyed looking at the words of these old hymns and spiritual songs.  I get to sing them often at church, but I hope that these short devotionals have brought back memories for those who used to sing and enjoy them.  I try to look up each song to find the author and date as I choose them and tonight I was surprised by the story behind this great song of praise, "He Keeps Me Singing".  (I found the story on several web sites.)  Luther Burgess Bridgers was a preacher who left his wife and three small sons in the care of her parents while he went away for two weeks to preach a revival meeting.  While away at the meeting he received the bad news over the phone that the house had burned down and his wife and their children all died.  It must have been very hard, but he continued to serve the Lord and wrote this song in 1910.  "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."  (Psalm 40:3)

"He Keeps Me Singing"

There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.

All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumb’ring chords again.

Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ’neath His shelt’ring wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.

Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.

Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.


31.  "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"
I sat down at my computer and thought about all the wonderful songs we sang at church Sunday thinking about which one to choose for our daily devotional.  My hymnal was still open to "He Keeps Me Singing" from yesterday, and on the facing page I saw another great hymn of praise, "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart."  I realized that this song describes how the Lord keeps me singing.  It was written in 1914 by Rufus H. McDaniel.  If you have never asked the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and save your soul, then you don't know the joy you are missing.  Please ask Him now and you can have everlasting life and eternal joy in your life today.  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  (II Corinthians 5:17)

"Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart;
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I shall go there to dwell in that City I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And I’m happy, so happy as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart.


32.  "Have Thine Own Way, Lord"
There are many times when I face decisions that I just don't know what to do.  I pray that the Lord will lead me, and try to trust in the Spirit to guide me.  There is one song that helps me through these difficult choices, and I find myself singing it at home, in the car, and even in stores, as I seek the Lord's direction.  "Have Thine Own Way, Lord" was written by Adelaide A. Pollard, in 1907.  It is a wonderful old hymn that has been a blessing to me for many years.  "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."  (Isaiah 64:8)

"Have Thine Own Way, Lord"

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.


33.  "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
I went out to add some bird seed to my bird feeder this morning and as soon as I opened the door I could hear the song birds singing in the trees.  The air seemed brisk and cold to me, but the sun was brightly shining and the sweet song flowed from several directions.  I have been watching the little chickadees, song sparrows, doves, cardinals, and more from my kitchen window all winter, but this was the first day I have heard their little voices greet me when I went out.  I imagined the song birds lifting up their voices to their Creator celebrating spring time and I thought about this song, written by Civilla D. Martin, in 1905.  "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" reminds me of the Words of Jesus in Luke 12:6-7.   " Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."  Also in Matthew 6:26, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"  I can say with the author, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!"

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


34.  "To God Be The Glory"
Preacher Jack Tripp's sermon Wednesday night was on "Reasons We Should Love God".  His closing verse is found in Luke 10:27, "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."  When I think of all the Lord has done for me, it makes me want to love Him with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind.  All that I am is because of the grace of God on my life.  All that I have is from the storehouse of His love.  All that I hope to be is because of His mercy and forgiveness.  Today I share this song of praise, "To God Be The Glory" written by Fanny Jane Crosby and published in 1875.

"To God Be The Glory"

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

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

Oh, 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.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath 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.


35.  "All The Way My Savior Leads Me"
Today I want to look at another song written by Fanny Crosby and published in 1875.  Frances Jane Crosby was born in 1820 and was given the wrong medication for her eyes at 6 months of age which caused her to go blind.  She was not blind to the love of God, for she wrote more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs.  She even wrote under several pseudonyms so that the songs in the hymnals would not seem to be written by one person.  I think about the many times she must have been led by the hand, not able to see where she was going, and still she expressed so much joy in the Lord, leading her "All the way..."  "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me."  (Psalm 31:3)  This is one of my favorite songs, and Michael and I sing it often.

"All The Way My Savior Leads Me"

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.


36.  "More Love To Thee"
As I close this small chapter on Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" I want to end with a prayerful song, "More Love To Thee."  It was written by Elizabeth P. Prentiss around 1856.  Through the loss of two children, and living in sickness and pain, she still sought to live for the Lord and love Him more and more.  There are so many hymns and songs I could end this section with, but "This is my earnest plea; More love, O Christ, to Thee, More love to Thee, More love to Thee!"  "Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified."  (Psalm 40:16)   I hope you have been encouraged by these old hymns and spiritual songs and I pray that you can sing with grace in your heart to the Lord!

"More Love To Thee"

More love to Thee, O Christ,
More love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make
On bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek,
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath
Whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry
My heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!



"Singing With Grace
In Your Hearts To The Lord" 
Colossians 3:16