Hymn Devotions Day 37 – Almost Persuaded

 DAY 37 – ALMOST PERSUADED

            Based on the KJV’s translation of Acts 26:28 and a sermon by the Reverend Brundage, Philip Bliss gives us this hymn with a sobering theme. It seems that as he was listening to a sermon, a line was uttered that went, “He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, and to be almost saved is to be entirely lost.” As he reflected on this, he was moved to pen the words to this hymn.

What a sad situation it is, when a person receives a witness of the gospel truth, accepts it as the truth, and still refuses to submit to Christ’s Lordship. How sad to hear from people, “some more convenient day”, not right now, later, perhaps. It is so frustrating to hear people acknowledge the truth but refuse to let it change their lives.

Some are afraid they will have to give up a lifestyle they enjoy, some are afraid of the demands God may make of them. This fear keeps many from following, making the mistake that they can repent right before death and find peace. They forget that death can come unexpectedly and it is too late once they appear before the judgment seat.

It is for this reason the Bible tells us that today is the day of salvation. We are not to harden our hearts to the gospel, not to delay in repenting of our sins and asking God for mercy. Now the invitation is given, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Whether tomorrow brings death to us or the return of Christ, either way it spells doom for the unbeliever. To delay may be eternally fateful. Sad, sad, their bitter wails as they realize, too late, they missed the invitation. Let us bear down in prayers for those we love before it is too late for them.

 

Lord, there are those I love who are foolishly waiting. They know the truth but have yet to bend their knee to You. Let Your Spirit strive with them still, melt their hard heart and lead them to You I pray.

 

ALMOST PERSUADED by Philip Bliss

 

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 lingering near,

Prayers rise from hearts so dear;

O wanderer, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 36 – Just As I Am

 DAY 36 – JUST AS I AM

            What a wonderful joy to know that we can come to Jesus just as we are. Indeed, we have to come as we are because only He can cleanse us. We cannot clean ourselves up. We cannot make ourselves righteous. We don’t wait until we have “made things right.” We go to Him to be made right.

Not only do we come to Him just as we are, but we are assured that He doesn’t leave us as we are. We come to Him and leave changed. He does indeed rid our souls of the dark stain of sin. He makes us spiritually alive, opens our eyes to spiritual truth, puts us into the correct frame of mind as He heals us.

It is amazing that He is willing to pardon us. Even greater still is His willingness to cleanse us, transform us, call us one of His own. He has promised and His promises never fail. “Come to Me,” Jesus invites and we run to Him, knowing He alone has the answers we need.

I love the very first verse. We come to Christ with no excuses, only an admission of our guilt. We throw ourselves on the mercy of God’s court, and find His grace operative there. Our admission of guilt, our contrition and repentance, is all we need. He bids us to come to Him to find forgiveness and healing. Why should we linger, and heed not His mercies? He is tenderly calling to us, urging us to come to Him. “Let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet they will be white as snow.”[1] O Lamb of God, I come, seeking Your forgiveness and grace.

Thank You Lord for being willing to take me as I am. Thank You for not leaving me that way, but cleansing me and making me holy. You are a great and wonderful God.

 

JUST AS I AM  by 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 wily 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 Lam of God, I come, I come

 

 


[1] Isaiah 1:18

Hymn Devotions Day 35 – Praise To The Lord, The Almighty

DAY 35 – PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY

             This hymn is packed with doctrinal truth. One could use it to teach a class on the doctrine of God to new believers, taking a stanza at a time. God is King. He is the Creator. It is in Him that we find salvation and abundant life. He is worthy to be praised and adored.

I love the second verse. Can you not see, the writer asks, how God works in our life, gently changing our hearts and minds to desire, to want what is His desire for us? He doesn’t force us to His will, He changes our will to His own. We look and see and wonder, when did I change? When did I stop wanting that? When did I start desiring this? O how smoothly the Spirit of God works His transforming power!

God’s grace and mercy are given to us daily. He doesn’t leave us on our own to stumble about, He doesn’t leave us at the mercy of the storms of life, He shields and defends us, calming the storms and providing victory over them.

When it seems as if evil is winning. When it looks like the ungodly are prospering, God reminds us that He is in charge. Good will triumph, evil will be judged. We are assured of everlasting rewards, evil of everlasting punishment. The light always overcomes the darkness. It chases away shadows and reveals what is hidden. Nothing can withstand the light of His presence. What fantastic reasons to sing praise to the Lord, the Almighty, our Rock and Captain of our Salvation.

Praise be to You, O Lord. You are almighty. You are all-powerful. You and You alone are worthy to be praised. Thank You, for surrounding me with Your presence each day.

PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY by Joachim Neander

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of Creation

O my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation

All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near

Join me in glad adoration

 

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth

Shelters thee under His wings, yea so gently sustaineth

Hast thou not seen, how thy desires e’er have been

Granted in what He ordaineth?

 

Praise to the Lord who hath fearfully wondrously made thee

Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Hymn Devotions Day 34 – Must I Go, And Empty-Handed?

DAY 34 – MUST I GO, AND EMPTY-HANDED?

 

What a haunting thought, to meet Jesus in heaven and have nothing to show Him. To waste the talents He has given us, to squander the time allotted to us, to waste the opportunities to reach others for His kingdom, what a tragedy. We must work now, before He returns, to reach as many people as we can with the gospel, for when He comes again it will be in judgment and not mercy.

Jesus will not lie to us. He will not say, “Well done my good and faithful servant” if we have not done well nor been good. If we have hidden our talent, as the man in the parable did, if we have refused to live our life for His glory, it will be in shame that we stand before Him.

To live a life with no regrets, to make the most of every opportunity given, to use every minute of every day seeking His will, that should be our goal. Oh if we could have time back. Time to witness once more to friends that have passed away. Time to speak, once again, to family members that have died without Christ. But there is no turning back the clock, we must make the most of every opportunity, redeeming the time we have.

This is a good resolution to make: to seize the time, to earnestly seek after souls and ferret out opportunities to share the gospel. Will we have people in heaven come up to us, thanking us for sharing the gospel with them or will we have people in hell shrieking, asking us why we cared so little for us that we kept our gospel to ourselves? Will we meet Jesus empty-handed?

 

Lord Jesus, help me redeem the time You have allotted to me to work for the kingdom. Give me souls to witness to, give me opportunities to share. Let me lead others to You so You can save them by Your grace.

MUST I GO, AND EMPTY-HANDED by Charles Luther

 

Must I go and empty-handed

Thus my dear Redeemer meet

Not one day of service give Him

Lay no trophy at His feet?

 

Not at death I shrink nor falter

For my Savior saves me now

But to meet Him empty-handed

Thought of that now clouds my brow

 

O the years in sinning wasted

Could I but recall them now

I would give them to my Savior

To His will I’d gladly bow

 

O ye saints, arouse, be earnest

Up and work while yet ’tis day

Ere the night of death o’er-take thee

Strive for souls while you still may

 

REFRAIN:

 

Must I go and empty-handed?

Must I meet my Savior so?

Not one soul with which to greet Him:

Must I empty-handed go?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 33 – All Hail The Power of Jesus Name

DAY 33 – ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS’ NAME

                What a magnificent tribute to our great King Jesus! Everything should praise His incomparable majesty, from angelic beings to repentant sinners. I love how we are swept away to the throne of God to see Jesus receive the honor and glory due Him.

Edward Perronet leaves out no one in this great hymn. From the seraphim to human martyrs, to the chosen nation of Israel and the redeemed of every nationality, all have reason to praise and glorify Jesus Christ.

As I reflect on this song, I must ask myself – do I praise Him as He deserves to be praised? Do I truly follow Him as a servant should his Master, his Lord? Do I truly magnify His name with my life, my witness?

Oh, that we would always lift up high the name of Jesus. Our wonderful Savior, Redeemer and Friend. The Lord of all lords. The King of all kings. The One who left His throne in heaven to save a wretch like me. What a wonderful day it will be to stand before Him, and watch as He sits enthroned, ruling over the universe. May we never forget the suffering our Lord endured for us, the wormwood and the gall, as the hymn reads. Let us spread out before Him our lives, the good works we have done in His name so that others could see His saving and transforming power. Let us shout to all with ears that Jesus is Lord of all.

What a scene in heaven, as those from Earth join those in Heaven and together we lift up the name of Jesus in praise and adulation. Let us start now and keep the song rolling through eternity.

 

All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain. Thank You, Lord Jesus – may all who draw breath seek to praise Your name. Draw us to Yourself so that we may praise You forever.

ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS’ NAMEEdward Perronet

 

All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre and as they tune it, fall

Before His face who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all

Before His face who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light who fixed this floating ball

Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all

Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call

Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all

Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, Ye ransomed from the fall

Hail Him who saves you by His grace and crown Him Lord of all

Hail Him who saves you by His grace and crown Him Lord of all

 

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call

The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all

The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall

Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all

Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all

 

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall

And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all

And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all

 

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng, We at His feet may fall

We’ll join the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all

We’ll join the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all

 

(John Rippon added final verse in 1787)