LORD JESUS CHRIST, BE PRESENT NOW

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “He who does love love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”— John  14:24-26  

Lord Jesus Christ, be present now,
Our hearts in true devotion bow,
Thy Spirit send with grace divine,
And let Thy truth within us shine.


Unseal our lips to sing Thy praise,
Our souls to Thee in worship raise,
Make strong our faith, increase our light
That we may know Thy name aright 


Glory to God the Father, Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To thee, O blessed Trinity,
Be praise throughout eternity 

(Cantionale Sacrum, 1651)
(Translated by Catherine Winkworth 1827- 1878)


Jesus said that where two or more gather in His name, He will be there with them. That happens each time we worship. Another verse says that the Lord inhabits His praise. And Christ is in some way present when we observe the Lord’s supper. 
This hymn is a call to worship, inviting Christ to inspire, inhabit, and enjoy our praises. It also serves to remind us that Christ has promised to join us on such occasions.

 
PRAYER: Pray to ask the Holy Spirit to be present 

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

IMMORTAL INVISIBLE GOD ONLY WISE

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” -1 Timothy 1:17

Immortal, Invisible, God only wise, In light inaccessible hid from our eyes, Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of days, Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise

Unresting unhasting, and silent as light, nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might; Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above Thy clouds, which re fountains of goodness and love.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light, Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight; All praise we would render; O help us to see ‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!

This hymn was written by Walter Chalmers Smith, a pastor of the Free Church of Scotland, in the late 19th century. It is based on 1Timothy 1:17, which in the King James Version says: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen”

It tries to express the inexpressible the nature of God—and so it uses words like this: “In light inaccessible hid from our eyes” that are mysterious as well as beautiful. “Light inaccessible”. Why would anyone refer to God as “light inaccessible”? The Scriptures, particularly the Psalms, speak of God as light: “God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1). “Let the light of your face shine upon us” (Psalm 4:6).

But why “light inaccessible”? Perhaps, if the light of God were to shine upon us full force, it would consume us. Perhaps we could not stand to see the full glory of God until we see Him face to face in Heaven. There are other interesting phrases “silent light” I think of light as bright or dim or as expressing a particular color, but I had never thought of it as silent but, of course, light is silent.

This hymn speaks of God as “unresting, unhasting, and a silent light.” How can God be unresting and unhasting on one hand, but silent on the other hand? That line reminds us that God is always at work in our lives but that God’s presence in our lives is often so subtle that we can fail to perceive it. If you would like to do a thoughtful, quiet meditation, sit quietly for a half hour reading the words of this hymn; they are powerful.

Prayer point:  Let us give praises due  God to Him.

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