Challenging Words of Wisdom

newton

I have been reading in the fascinating book (that my wife gifted me with) and it has been a tremendously challenging read. There are hymns of Newtons that I never knew existed, full of deep and meaningful lyrics. There are excerpts from many of his pastoral letters that resonate with compassion and grace. Above all, there is the ringing theme that we must look to Christ and Christ alone for all that we need.

This is a practical book. It is full of statements and insights that require deep thinking on and much pondering to grasp all that Newton says, but it is practical in application. I would recommend this book to anyone who desires to know more of Christ and His grace. This is a book that I will come back to time and time again to mine more of its depths.

As you read Newton’s letters, hymns and sermons, you will come to a greater appreciation of how sufficient Jesus is for every need and how truly amazing His grace is.

Great Quotes From Ages Past #5

This, from John Newton (of Amazing Grace fame) is great:

“If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, a post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angel lies only in obedience to God’s will.”

What a fantastic attitude towards service to God! May each of us rejoice in the fact of God deigning to use us at all to bring glory to His name.

Hymn Devotions Day 13 – Amazing Grace

DAY 13 –  AMAZING GRACE

               I find it ironic that almost everyone sings a version of Amazing Grace. Just perusing music sites, it seems every star has released a version of this song at one time or another, even though most of those people have never experienced God’s saving grace.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.

To fear God is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of His just punishment for sin. When I reflected on John 3:17-18, it made John 3:16 come alive. I was already condemned and facing eternal punishment.

And grace my fears relieved.

God’s grace, given to me when I turned my life over to His Son’s Lordship, granted to me eternal life. There is now no condemnation for I am safely in the family of God. So precious, that grace given the hour, the very second I first believed.

Upon hearing the call of God, our Shepherd, here in this world, we will experience His reality face to face in the next. His word, His promises, secures our hope for an eternity with Him in heaven.

Unless a person has experienced God’s saving grace, they really have no idea what this song is about. Far from just being a good hymn, it hammers home to us that our only hope is to be found in Christ alone.

            Lord, Your grace is totally amazing. That You could extend grace and mercy to us just completely overwhelms me. You, the perfect, holy Creator of the Universe, extending grace to one such as myself, selfish, arrogant, sinful is simply … amazing.

            Thank you for saving me by Your grace and extending to me the faith necessary to believe. 

AMAZING GRACE by John Newton

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved 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 relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

 

Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me home

 

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures

 

Yea 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 world shall soon dissolve like snow

The sun refuse to shine

But God who called me here below

Shall be forever mine

 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we’ve first begun

Highlights Around the Word – #7 China

We have been working in China since 2005. During that time we have seen villages, who never before had a witness for Christ, not only receive the message but establish churches. From out of their own peoples, they have raised up leaders, sending them to study theology in places far away and seeing them come home and raise up still more leaders. The gospel is spreading rapidly but the need is still great. Simply put, the sheer number of people in China make it a daunting task to give everyone a witness.

We have been privileged to work with some amazing national workers who are both fearless and faithful. One of our highlights has been holding ordination services for 2 church pastors who have started churches in rural villages. Another highlight was an unplanned meeting with a group of believers who were meeting together. We literally stumbled upon them and realized that the song they were singing was Amazing Grace. We joined in, surprising them as they didn’t realize we were in the building. What a joyous time we had praising God together, English and Chinese voices lifted together. Contacts were made and friendships formed.

We have done more work in China than any other country but cannot reveal where or what for their safety. Suffice it to say that we are so grateful for the awesome privilege of working with the amazing believers in this great country.

On the Road to Share the Gospel

Crossing Barriers to Share the Gospel

Helping to build schools and garner goodwill