HOLY SPIRIT

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  When He comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me, in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.  I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what He hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take what is mine and make it known to you – John 16:7-15 NIV

 

INTRODUCTION

How can we think of the Holy Spirit as a Person rather than an impersonal force?  What does it mean to be baptized by the Spirit, to be filled by the Spirit?  Are the gifts of the Spirit for today?

 

On Sunday 31st May, 2020 we celebrate Pentecost but for many of us the true meaning is lost on us. Let us therefore spend a little time meditating on the essence of Pentecost the fulfillment of God’s prophesies in both the Old and New Testament.

 

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles like “flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there” – Acts 2:3.  The church age began as the apostles were “filled with the Holy Spirit” and “began to speak different languages by the power of the Holy Spirit was giving them” – Acts 2:4.  Then, and now, people are dramatically changed as the Spirit enters their lives.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON

But who is the Holy Spirit, and is the same power that came upon the apostles at Pentecost available to us today?  To begin with, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity: He is God-coequal, co-existent, co-eternal with the Father and the Son.  He possesses all the attributes of deity.  He regenerates the believing sinner.  He baptizes us into the universal body of Christ.  He indwells all who have been converted.  He seals us, keeping every believer securely in the family of God.  He fills us, taking control of our lives as we remove any impediments and yield to Him.

 

OUR HELPER

For us as believers, the Holy Spirit is more than a theological construct.  He is the One sent to us by the Father and the Son to be our Helper – John 14:15. The Greek root from which the English word “Helper” comes is a combination of two Greek terms, para (alongside) and kaleo (to call).  He is the One whom our Lord “calls alongside” for the purpose of giving us assistance in our Christian lives.  He is the flame whose presence within gives us eternal life.

 

HE BAPTIZES US INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST

In 1 Corinthians 12:13, we are told that we have been “baptized” by the Spirit into the universal body Christ, the church – For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greek, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Every child of God has been identified with and made a part of the body.  Romans 8:9 says the same thing in different words.  If you are a Christian, you have the Spirit living within you at all times; if you are not a Christian, you do not have the spirit.

 

WE ARE TO BE FILLED

God wants the flame of the Holy Spirit to ignite our lives.  But we must fly closer to the flame to have that experience.  Ephesians 5:18 contains a command that we are to be filled, and keep being filled, with the Spirit.  Interestingly, in the Scriptures we are never commanded to “be baptized” or “be indwelt by the Sprit! or “be gifted!” or “be sealed” But here in a context of various commands, we are clearly commanded to “be filled with the Spirit!”   To obey this command certain conditions must be fulfilled:

 

  1. We cannot be filled with the Spirit while we have known and unconfessed sin present within us.
  2. We cannot be filled with the Spirit while we are walking against God’s will and depending upon ourselves.  So the filling of the Spirit not only means our lives are totally available to God, but it also includes such things as keeping short accounts, being sensitive to whatever may have come between us and Him, and depending on him for our daily living.

 

WE ARE TO BE CONTROLLED

When we are “following the Spirit” when “the Spirit is leading” us – Gal. 5:16, 18, we are filled with the Spirit.  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature, vs 18 – But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  He is then able to work through us, speak through us, use us, direct us without restraint, and empower our gifts and our efforts in ways we could never accomplish on our own.  It isn’t that we need more of the Spirit (an impossibility); it is that we need His power, His working, His cleansing, His freeing.  And as He fills us, all that and so much more takes place:

 

HOLY SPIRIT’S MINISTRY

A Christian who is baptized and filled with the Spirit is also gifted and taught by the Spirit – But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  When He comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me, in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.  I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what He hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take what is mine and make it known to you – John 16:7-15 NIV

 

Some of the results of the Holy Spirit’s ministry include:

  • Biblical insights we would otherwise have missed.
  • A sudden awareness of God’s will or the presence of a danger or a sense of peace in the midst of chaos.
  • A surge of bold confidence in a setting where there would otherwise have been fear and hesitation.
  • A quiet, calm awareness that we are not alone, even though no one else is actually with me.
  • The undeniable, surrounding awareness of evil, even the dark sinister presence of demonic forces.
  • An awareness our own sinfulness and need of repentance.
  • An understanding of the gifts the Holy Spirit has imparted to us, and of the power He provides to exercise those gifts as we read in – Romans 12:6-8.

 

Stay Blessed!

 

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

 

I GAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  -Luke 6: 37-38

I gave My life for thee, My precious I shed, that thou might’st ransomed be, And quickened from the dead; I gave, I gave My life for thee, What hast thou given for Me? I gave My life for thee, What hast thou given for Me?

My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne, I left, for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone; I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me? I left, I left it all for thee, Hast thou left aught for Me?

I suffered much thee, more than the tongue can tell, of bitterest agony to rescue thee from hell; I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me? I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

A vivid painting of Christ, wearing His crown of thorns as He stands before Pilate and the mob, is displayed in the art museum of Dusseldorf, Germany. Under the painting by Sternberg are the words, “This have I done for thee; what hast thou done for Me?” When Frances Havergal viewed the painting during a visit to Germany, she was deeply moved. As she gazed at it in tears, she wrote down the lines of this hymn text on scrap of paper. After returning to her home in England, she felt the poetry was so poor that she tossed the lines into a stove. The scorched scrap of paper amazingly floated out of the flames and landed on the floor, where it was found by Frances’ father, Rev. William Havergal, an Anglican minister, a noted poet, and a church musician. He encouraged her to preserve the poem by composing the first melody for it. The tune was composed for this text by the noted American gospel  songwriter, Philip P. Bliss, and was first published in 1873.

After Jesus was hanging on the cross for 6 hours, He cried out “My God, My God, why have You left Me so alone?” During those hours on the cross Jesus became the go-between for people and God. Jesus is the way through which any man, woman or child can be touched by God.

That afternoon, the whole earth was covered with darkness. Like a blanket, the heavy blackness covered both city and countryside. Jesus was also in darkness. For the first and only time in Jesus’ life, God looked away from His Son. As Jesus took on the sin of the world, He felt the pain and hurt of it all.

Jesus said nothing for a long time, He was in great pain and very slowly dying. “Father, here is My Spirit!” Jesus had suffered enough. The price was paid. The way back to God was open now. Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, “It is finished!” It was a cry of a battle won. Jesus bowed His head and took His last breath.

Prayer point: Jesus gave His life for us; we must pray that we will have the spirit to give to others who are in need.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PENTECOST

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting – Acts 2:1-2 (NIV)

INTRODUCTION

Pentecost was the second great festival of the Jewish year and it was the celebration of harvest when the first fruits of the grain were presented as offerings to God.  In a similar way, Pentecost symbolizes for the church the beginning of God’s spiritual harvest of souls in the world – that is, people coming to know God personally through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The events during the celebration of Pentecost by the church marks the dividing line between the Holy Spirit’s occasional presence and temporary empowerment on certain individuals as seen in the Old Testament and His continual presence and sustained empowerment now available to all Christians.  On this particular day as we read in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit filled the believers with His presence and remained with them.

VIOLENT WIND AND TONGUES OF FIRE

The external signs preceding the baptism in the Holy Spirit on this occasion showed that God was present and active in a powerful way. There were times in the Old Testament when fire accompanied God’s presence – “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.  Moses saw that though the bush was on fire I did not burn up – Exodus 3:1-2.  Fire among the believers on this day, Pentecost may have brought all the more assurance that this was the presence of God.  The “fire” may also have symbolized how God’s people were set apart for the work and purpose of bringing honour to Jesus Christ and of witnessing for Him.  This first occasion of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the only time tongues of fire are mentioned.  However, speaking in tongues continued to accompany the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” – Acts 2:4

 

JESUS AND PENTECOST

In Acts 1:1-9, just before our resurrected Jesus Christ is taken up into heaven, He tells the disciples about the Father’s promised gift of the Holy Spirit, which will soon be given to them in the form of a powerful baptism. He tells them to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which will empower them to go out into the world and be His witnesses.

A few days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together when the sound of a mighty wind came down from heaven, with tongues of fire resting on them. The Bible says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The crowds observed this event and heard them speaking in different languages. They were amazed and thought the disciples were drunk on wine.  Peter then got up and preached the Good News of the kingdom and 3000 people accepted the message of Christ! That same day they were baptized and added to the family of God.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the commencement of the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ marks the birth and spread of the Church.  Beginning in Jerusalem with disciples and the 3000 added to their number, the message travelled across the Roman empire.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the disciples preached, taught, healed, and demonstrated love in the synagogues, schools, homes, marketplaces, etc.  Wherever God sent them, lives and history were changed.

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift God wants every believer to have.  The Lord Jesus Christ says that this gift is a promise from God the Father to all who truly purpose to follow Him and fulfil their part in the mission to spread His message –  “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” – Joel 2:28-29 (NIV).  The baptism in the Spirit is for all who have accepted Jesus Christ’s forgiveness and given control of their lives to Him.  Such people have been “born again” spiritually “….I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”John 3:3 (NIV). This means God’s Spirit has come to live in us to transform our lives, redevelop our character and guide us into God’s purposes.

Jesus baptized His disciples in the Holy Spirit – “John answered them all, “I baptize you with water.  But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.  He will baptize you with the Holt Spirit and with fire” – Luke 3:16.  Jesus Christ tells us that one of the main reasons He had to go to the Father was that the Holy Spirit would come and be with us –   “But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you but if I go, I will send Him to you” – John 16:7

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not just a matter of speaking of speaking in tongues or having a deeper spiritual experience.  We are to use the Holy Spirit’s power to share Jesus with those who do not know Him.  On the day of Pentecost, the outward sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues – Acts 2:4   , but the end result was that many people who did not know God were introduced to Him that day – Acts 2:41.

 

We have all been called to spread the message of Jesus Christ as revealed in His own teaching and through the teaching of His disciples.

 

Let us be baptized in the Holy Spirit and receive the power to be the representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth.

 

COME, HOLY SPIRIT, HEAVENLY DOVE – MHB 292

1 COME, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,

With all thy quickening powers;

Kindle a flame of sacred love

In these cold hearts of ours.

 

2 In vain we tune our formal songs,

In vain we strive to rise;

Hosannas languish on our tongues,

And our devotion dies.

 

Isaac Watts – 1674 – 1748

Stay blessed!

 

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sunday 5:30 a.m.; Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 a.m.; Uniiq 95.7 FM – Saturday 7.30 p.m.; Good News FM – Takoradi on Thursdays at 8.30 pm. for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3.30 p.m. for Hymns and their Stories.   

HIGHER GROUND

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 3: 14

I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Refrain: Lord, lift me up and let me stand By faith on heaven’s table-land, A higher plane than I have found: Lord, plant my feet on higher ground

My heart has no desire to stay Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim is higher ground.

I want to live above the world, Though satan’s darts at me are hurled; For faith has caught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground.

This hymn ha been a favorite with many Christians since it was first published in 1898. It expresses so well this universal desire for a deeper spiritual life, continuing on a higher plane of fellowship with God than we have ever experienced. The author of this stirring text was Johnson Oatman, Jr., a businessman who wrote 3,000 gospel songs in his leisure time. Oatman was ordained by the Methodist Episcopal denomination but never pastored a church. His Hymns were always well received, even though he was paid no more than $1.00 for each of his texts.

I am pressing on the upward way is a hymn of encouragement for me. It is a hymn that tells me to put behind my past glory and failure and press on for the ultimate prize. To all those who are discouraged for doing good, this hymn is a wake up call to scale to the utmost height and ask God  to lead you to the higher ground. Fears, affliction, temptation and sometimes failure may come your way but keep on pressing higher.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver us out of them all. (Psalm 34:19) Yea, and all who shall live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3: 12) Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4: 12-13) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we are incorruptible. (1 Corinthians 9: 25) I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 14)

Prayer point: Pray and ask for strength to not relax until you reach the apex of every good things.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream: you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you and you will be comforted over Jerusalem”.”  -Isaiah 66: 12-13

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, in its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth fuller everyday, Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in  the hollow of His blessed hand, Never foe can follow, never traitor stand; Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care, Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above, Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love; We may trust Him fully all for us to do; They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

This hymn text by Frances Havergal, often called “England’s Consecration Poet,” reflects so well her personal lifestyle. Her brief life of 43 years was said to be completely dedicated to God and His service.

The music was composed for this text by James Mountain, an English Baptist pastor, evangelist and musician. The hymn first appeared in its present form in the Hymns of Consecration and Faith, published in 1876. The song was titled “Perfect Peace.”  Frances said on one occasion: “Writing is praying with me. You know a child will look up at every sentence and say, ‘And what shall I say next?’ That is just what I do; I ask Him that at every line He would give me not merely thoughts and power, but also every word, even the very rhymes.”

Peace with God in Christ through His blood, in a way of believing, and as the fruit and effect of His righteousness being received by faith; this is not always felt, received, and enjoyed in the soul; yet the foundation of it always is, and is perfect.

Prayer point: Pray and ask for peace, peace in your home, peace in your workplace, peace in your country and peace in the world.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

CHRIST, UPON THE MOUNTAIN PEAK

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground”  -Matthew 17: 5-6

Christ upon the mountain peak stands alone in glory blazing; let us, if we dare to speak, with the saints and angels praise Him. Alleluia!

Trembling at His feet we saw Moses and Elijah speaking. All the prophets and the Law shout through them their joyful greeting. Alleluia!

Swift the cloud of glory came. God proclaiming in its thunder Jesus as His Son by name! Nations cry aloud in wonder! Alleluia!

Wren wrote this text at Mansfield College, Oxford, England, in 1962. Published in the ‘British Supplement’ 100 Hymns for Today(1959), “Christ, Upon the Mountain Peak” was the second hymn text that Wren wrote.

The text is based on the gospel story of Christ’s transfiguration from Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. Powerfully poetic, the text not only captures something of the awe in the event–we share in the awe as we sing “Alleluia”-but also presents cosmic picture: the saints, angels, prophets, all nations, and the whole creation bring praise to the true Son of God! In the style of the transfiguration celebration in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the entire focus is on Christ, the Alpha and Omega.

Adoring the Lord is more than just loving Him. It is being captivated with who He is. Adoration is looking beyond what the Lord has done for us and gazing into His face. When we do this, life’s problems are seen from Heaven’s perspective.

Adoration is a heart response; a recognition that He is all we ever need. When we meditate on how great He is, we become transformed into His likeness as we are face to face in adoration of Him.

Prayer point: Pray for the peace of the world.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

BLEST BE THE KING

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”  -Matthew 25 : 34

Blest be the King whose coming is in the name of God For Him let doors be opened, no hearts against Him barred! Not robed in royal splendor, in power and pomp, comes He; But clad as are all poorest, such his humility!

Blest be the King whose coming is in the name of God By those who truly listen His voice is truly heard; Pity the proud and haughty, who have not learned to heed The Christ who is the Promise, who has atonement made.

Pagura has served as president of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and the Council of Methodist Bishops in the Latin America and the Caribbean. A Bishop Emeritus of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina, Pagura is also a member of the board of the Life and Peace Institute of Uppsala, Sweden.

A former member of the World Council of Churches, (W.C.C) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, Pagura was elected a president of the WCC by the Harare assembly in 1998. He is a writer, a poet and composer of songs.

The second coming of Jesus shall be a great moment for them who have washed their clothes in Christ. It will be a time of weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who have blatantly ignored warnings from messengers of God to repent. God’s invitation is to everyone, He says we should come to Him burdened and He shall give us rest.

Prayer point: Pray and bless the name of our God for He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

HE LIVES

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good”  -Psalms 14 : 1

I serve a Risen Savior, He’s in the world today; I know that He is living, Whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him He’s always near.

Refrain: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me Along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? H e lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care, And though my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading Through all the stormy blast The day of His appearing will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King! The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find, None other is so loving, so good and kind.

“Why should I worship a dead Jew?” This challenging question was posed by a sincere young Jewish student who had been attending evangelistic meetings conducted by the author and composer of this hymn, Alfred H. Ackley. Mr Ackley’s answer to this searching question ultimately prompted the writing of this popular gospel hymn, He lives.

The composer answered his inquirer: He lives! I tell you, He is not dead, but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands. Mr. Ackley’s forthright, emphatic answer, together with his subsequent successful effort to win the man for Christ, flowered forth into song and crystallized into a convincing sermon in hymn on “He lives!”

So he sat down at the piano and voiced that conclusion in song. He says, the thought of His ever-living presence brought the music promptly and easily.

A prolific writer, David J. Stewart, once said “Are you ready for the incontrovertible proof that Evolution is a big hoax? The fact of the matter is that evolutionists don’t have as much as one single shred of evidence to support their bizarre claims. This fact alone is incontrovertible PROOF, that evolution is the biggest educational fraud ever fabricated.” Even Charles Darwin himself, unquestionably the father of Evolution, admitted that they had NO PROOF of the “Origin of the Species” But Christians have proof. The Bible says in the book of Genesis that in the beginning, God created heaven and earth. Unquestionably, God is the creator.

Prayer point: Pray for atheist, they do not believe in the existence of God.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing”  -Ezekiel 34 : 26

There shall be showers of blessing: This is the promise of love; There shall be seasons refreshing, Sent from the Savior above.

Refrain: Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need: Mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead

There shall be showers of blessing, Precious reviving again; Over the hills and the valleys, sound of abundance of rain.

There shall be showers of blessing, If we but trust and obey; There hall be seasons refreshing, If we let God have His way.

What a beautiful song Daniel Whittle wrote! The words bring hope and encourage the Christian to seek after God. Daniel W. Whittle was born on November 22, 1840, and died on March 4, 1901. Whittle served as a Major in the Civil war, where he lost his right arm, and was known thereafter as Major Whittle. It was during the Civil war that he was saved.

He was asked to pray with a dying young soldier because he had been seen reading a Bible. He obeyed the request and it was at this young man’s bedside that he asked God for forgiveness. Major Whittle then prayed with the young soldier and the soldier found Christ before passing away. The Lord used this situation to draw Major Whittle and the young dying soldier to Him. What a blessed story this was to read! After the war, Major Whittle became treasurer of a watch company. It was in this company’s quiet vault that he committed his life to the Gospel.

Major Whittle not only wrote this blessed hymn but also wrote two more which you will recognize: ‘The Banner of the Cross’ and ‘Christ Liveth in Me ‘

In challenging times Christian should seek to express a more mature and faith-like gratitude to God. This will not come easy and if it does come, it will more than likely come through many tears. In Philippians 4:4-7, Paul says “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer point: Like Jacob, ask God to bless you and your descendants.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  -Psalms 146 : 2

Praise Him. Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him, hail Him! highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a Shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long:

Chorus: Praise Him. Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness. Praise Him. Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!

Praise Him. Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him, hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Praise Him. Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever. Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Power and glory unto the Lord belong.

This is another of the many favorite gospel hymns written by Fanny Crosby, blind American poetess. In all, she wrote between 8,000 and 9,000 gospel hymn texts and supplied our hymnals with more beloved hymns that are still sung today than any other writer. “Praise Him! Praise Him!” first appeared in a Sunday school hymnal, Bright Jewels, which was published in 1869. The song was originally titled “Praise, Give Thanks.” And still today, these words evoke praise from each believing heart.

How I wish men in perplexities could look up and say Jesus has made all things well. But more often than not, our lifetime mercies are forgotten in the agony of one trial. Fanny was a wonderful personality; she rose from all odds to make history as a poetess and a prolific writer. As a blind woman, she could have resigned to her fate as an unfortunate being. She could have thrown her hands in absolute despair. She could have stood on the road side and begged for arms. She could have complained and blame the Doctor who gave her a wrong medication that resulted in her blindness. But that was not what she did. She studied and produced over 8,000 hymns and other articles. She was a woman of praise.

We should remember to praise God all the time, for true praises are the weapon of overcomers. Praises stir the heart of God. Remember, angels prostrate before Him and with their faces covered, praise His majesty and heaven echoes with Amen. Let me give you this assignment: sign hymns anytime you are down and sad, sing hymns anytime you feel failed and helpless. Share your testimonies with other believers.

Prayer point: Let us pray to God to give us a grateful heart to praise Him irrespective of our circumstances. Again, He should help us to stop blaming people for what we ought to do for ourselves.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS