Hymn day: ‘Amazing Grace’

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HYMN DAY! “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. Such beautiful words of promise!

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 earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will 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’d first begun.

Wisdom of the ages

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The Message version of this scripture is very blunt: “Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.” Common sense seems to be in short supply these days. Have you seen some of the ridiculous directions on household appliances? For instance, “Do not allow children to play in dishwasher” was found in a dishwasher manual. Now, you have to know that someone must have allowed their children to do this and then, when the children were hurt, blamed the manufacturer, or the ridiculous instruction wouldn’t have been necessary. Common sense would tell us to stay out of a dishwasher! Having common sense is essentially using discernment. If we need wisdom and discernment, the best place to find it is in God’s Word. The instructions He gives are to give us the best, most prosperous (from a spiritual viewpoint) and joyful (regret-free) life possible. Think how different this world would be if everyone diligently sought to obey the ten commandments. He knows what He’s doing. When in doubt, check it out in the pages of the Bible. All the wisdom of the ages is found within that text.

To the end of time

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Have you ever felt betrayed by someone? Chances are, every person reading this answered “yes” to the opening question. We would rather our friends and family members never did anything to hurt us or make us distrust them, but humans are imperfect and sometimes they let us down. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t put our faith in people, but in the Holy One of God. Jesus is ever faithful. The amplified version of 2 Timothy 2:13 tells us, “If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.” It is against His nature to be unfaithful. His Word assures us that He will always be with us, even to the end of time. We need never fear His abandonment or worry He will treat us unfairly. We are safe with Him.

Future generations

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A few weeks ago I had the privilege of a weekend with my oldest grandboy. He’s thirteen, what I remember as an awkward age caught somewhere between childhood and adulthood and feeling as if I didn’t fit anywhere. He and I had a lengthy conversation that included his sorrow that his best friends were moving away. He asked me to pray for him to find Christian friends at school. He said, “I don’t want to hang out with boys who talk dirty or are disrespectful, because when you are with people who act bad, you start acting like that, too, and I don’t want to be that way.” He is wise beyond his years to recognize he needs to choose his friends carefully. Yes, we are marching around in this world and we will encounter people who have no use for God. We should reach out to them in Christian love, as Jesus instructed us, but at the same time we must be wary of becoming so close their behaviors that do not honor God don’t accidentally become our behaviors. For reasons beyond my comprehension, it’s easier to pick up bad habits than it is to maintain good ones. We all need likeminded, Christian friends to come alongside us and encourage us to glorify God in the way we live. Please pray for our young believers to stay strong. They will be the leaders of tomorrow, and we want faith to carry into the future generations.

Stay true to Him

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It’s pretty easy to live a Godly life when you’re surrounded by Godly people. Most of the time, however, we aren’t only around Christians. We find unGodly people in our workplaces, the stores we frequent, on the streets, and….well, everywhere we go! When we are in the midst of the world is when we most need to remember His instruction. Those we encounter need to witness a better way of behaving. We need to exercise strength to remain true to Him regardless of what those around us are choosing to do. Here in America, we don’t suffer the kind of persecution our Christian brothers and sisters in communist nations face, but our freedom to practice Christianity isn’t a guarantee even in this country. If true persecution comes, will we be so grounded in Him that we cannot be shaken from our foundation of faith? Let us be able to say, like the psalmist, “Though the ropes of the wicked were wrapped around me, I did not forget Your instruction.” Let us stay true to Him!

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