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.

Hymn Devotions Day 21 – Footsteps of Jesus

DAY 21 – FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS

We never know what following Jesus will mean. Our lives are on this grand adventure that is never boring, always challenging, and seldom shown to us in advance.

Sometimes we are called to bring the gospel to those we never thought of earlier in life. Sometimes we are given a ministry of mercy, and we find ourselves helping people in ways we never dreamed of. I know that in my own life I have been able to minister in China and Malaysia, places that a boy born in Florida never thought of being able to go to.

Whether He calls us to a famous ministry speaking at the world’s largest churches or to meet the needs of the poor in third-world countries, the reward is the same. It was once said that

“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”[1]

My prayer is that I would serve in the same manner, simply being grateful for an opportunity to serve the God I love.

Lord, help me to follow where You lead. Help me keep my eyes on You. Thank you for using me, for giving me a purpose, for enabling me to share in Your grace work. Amen.

  

FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS – Mary B.C. Slade

 

Sweetly, Lord, we have heard Thee calling

“Come, follow Me”

And we see where Thy footprints falling

Lead us to Thee

 

Though they lead o’er the cold, dark mountains

Seeking His sheep

Or along by Siloam’s fountains

Helping the weak

 

If they lead through the Temple holy

Preaching the word

Or in homes of the poor and lowly

Serving the Lord

 

Then at last when on high He sees us

Our journey done

We will rest where the steps of Jesus

End at His throne

 

REFRAIN:

 

Footprints of Jesus

That make the pathway glow

We will follow the steps of Jesus

Wherever they go


[1] John Newton

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