AND CAN IT BE?

SCRIPTURE TEXT: …I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” –John 11:25-26

1. And can it be that I should gain, An int’rest in the Saviors blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, ho Him to death pursued. Amazing love! how can it be that thou, my God shouldst die for me?

Chorus: Amazing love! how can it be that thou, my God shouldst die for me?

2. He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace! Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for      Adam’s helpless race! Tis mercy all, immense and free, For, O my God, it found out me

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray: I woke the dungeon flamed with light! My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Even though Charles Wesley had a strict religious training in his youth, educated at Oxford University and missionary service in the new colony of Georgia, he had no peace or joy in his heart and life. After a disappointing experience in America, he met a group of Moravians while returning to London. His meeting with this group made him realize that “salvation is by faith alone.”

In his journal of May 20th, he wrote “At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking”. “I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me above what I can ask or think”. In this spirit of joyous enthusiasm, Charles began to write new hymns with increased fervor. He traveled throughout Great Britain with his older brother, John, leading crowds of thousands in singing his hymns in mass outdoor services. A hymn was born with every experience or thought that crossed Charles’s mind. Even on his deathbed it is said he dedicated to his wife a final hymn of praises to the Lord he had loved so intimately and served so effectively.

Just as Charles Wesley, as Christians, we are assured that we are safe in Christ. We experience salvation only when we realize the fullness of God’s love for us that our default human being is connecting with God. By trusting in that love, we are empowered to love others. We must make a conscious effort to make disciples for our Lord Jesus.

Prayer point: May God give us no rest until we fully search for Him with all our hearts.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

O HOW I LOVE JESUS

SCRIPTURE TEXT: We love because He first loved us” –1 John 4:19

There is a Name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear, The sweetest Name on earth

Refrain: O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a a Savior’s love, Who died to set me free; It tells me of His precious blood.
The sinner’s perfect plea

It tells me of a Father’s smile Beaming upon His child;
It cheers me through this little while, Through desert, waste, and wild

It tells of one whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below

Fredrick Whitefield wrote this hymn in 1855 while he was still a student at Trinity College. He was born and brought up in England. He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin. He studied ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. In less than ten years after its printing, the hymn began to appear in hymnals in America. The refrain is not part of Whitfield’s original hymn, but was later added by some unknown person. The tune used here is typically of camp meetings songs that emerged in America in the early 19th century.

The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as a practice of freedom.

There is no discrimination in His love. This gift of love is available to every single person, including those in the world who are most despicable. The love and forgiveness of God is open and available to anyone who will freely accept the gift of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). That makes this gift so utterly great and astounding. We don’t deserve it. Neither the best among us or the worst among us deserve the love that God has freely given to us.

But God has given us that love anyway. It is given freely to all. We also have been instructed to love one another in the same way Christ loves the church.

Prayer point: We must seek God’s help in identifying our talents at early stages in life like the author of this hymn, Fredrick Whitfield.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

RESCUE THE PERISHING

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Rescue those  who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” –Proverbs 24:11

Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of
Jesus the mighty to save.

Refrain: Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Though they are slighting Him, Still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive; Plead with them earnestly,
Plead with them gently; He will forgive if they only believe.

Rescue the perishing, Duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; Back to the narrow way,
Patiently win them; Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

Fanny Crosby recalls that this hymn like many of her hymns was written from her personal experience at the New York Bowery Mission. While she was addressing a large company of working men, a thought kept forcing itself on her mind that a boy must be rescued that night or he might be lost eternally. She made a plea to them asking if someone has wondered away from his mother’s teachings. A young man came forward and they prayed for him. And suddenly he rose with a new light in his eyes saying— “Now I am ready to meet my mother in heaven, for I have found God.”  The amazing part of this story is that a few days before Fanny encountered the young man, William Doane, the composer of this hymn sent a tune of a new song to be titled “rescue the perishing”.

The great commission to all Christians is to go to the world and be the disciples of Christ. Many are those who are perishing daily. We can only lift up the fallen by showing love to those in need. People don’t care about how much we know until they know how much we care.

Fields are white and the harvest waiting, the Master is looking for more laborers. Who will go and work today?

Prayer point: Pray for those who are far from the salvation of God, remember family members and friends who do not know Jesus and are not making any conscious effort to know him.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS