Monthly Archives: August 2017


Happy Day

The text of the hymn “O Happy Day” was written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751). It is said that he wrote his hymns as summaries of his sermons and intended to help his congregation express their response to what they were being taught.

 

O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.

Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
And live rejoicing every day:
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!

 

O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.

It’s done: the great transaction’s done!
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.

Now rest, my long-divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest;
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heav’nly pleasures fill my breast.

High heav’n, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.

 

 


All My Life is Portioned Out by Thee

“Father, I know that all my life

Is portioned out by thee,

And the changes that will surely come

I do not fear to see;

 

But I ask Thee for a present mind,

Intent on serving Thee.

I would not have the restless will

That hurries to and fro,

 

Seeking for some great thing to do,

Or secret thing to know;

I would be treated as a child,

And guided where I go.”

 

Thus, brother, “go thou thy way till the end be;”

and “thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

 

Bruce, A. B.. The Training of The Twelve (p. 379). Public Domain. Kindle Edition.


Pastor Sam Bennett Devotional: Waiting on the Lord

But, I will sing of your strength, and revel at dawn in your mercy; You have been my stronghold, my refuge in the day of distress. (Psalm 59:16)

Jeremiah_Michelangelo_Sistine_Chapel_sm

Jeremiah fresco by Michelangelo (c. 1542–1545) on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Lamentations is a book of sorrowful songs or poems. It’s author, Jeremiah, wrote about the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 B.C. He warned of its destruction, watched it take place, and then sadly reflected on it in order to teach God’s people that disobedience to the Lord results in immense suffering and distress.

Jeremiah also wrote that restoration would come.

For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. (Lamentations 3:31-32)

There’s hope in the midst of despair when we wait on the Lord.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (Lamentations 3:21-32)

It’s important to know that even when we stray the Lord offers compassion and restoration. Better yet, he offers hope even when the source of suffering and condemnation is outside of our control.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:24)

But what did Jeremiah mean by the word “wait”?

Here, the Hebrew word “wait” is translated qavah, defined as “look for,” “hope,” or “expect.” Waiting on the Lord does not mean stopping all activity, quieting ourselves, and emptying our minds with a blank stare.

We wait for something we expect. We wait in anticipation and expectation.

Wait on the Lord in anticipation and expectation. Expect anything from God that is consistent with his nature. Expect God to do anything that he has revealed as his will, or implied from his character. He is faithful, dependable, and reliable. The Lord does what he says he will do.


Miracles and the New World Order

Then said Jesus to him, “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” (John 4:48)

David Hume lived in the 18th century. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. He believed that miracles were singular events that differed from the established laws of nature. Therefore, miracles violated all prior experience and were not possible based on reasonable belief. This position reflects the view of many skeptics today.

Mr. Hume’s position presupposes that the actions of Jesus must fit into the rational world of science. “But suppose, just suppose,” says Professor N.T. Wright, that miracles offer a glimpse of a deeper truth. Suppose the miracles of Jesus signal a new creation, with him fully in charge. What if miracles are his way of sharing with us a glimpse of what happens when God’s kingdom on heaven and earth come together? In doing this, why would Jesus feel confined to the laws of physics?

“Jesus,” says Professor Wright, one of the world’s leading Bible scholars, “seems to be the place where God’s world and ours meet, where God’s time and ours meet.” Jesus is the place where God’s matter — his new creation — intersects with us.

Miracles in the New Testament meant more than “simply” healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and raising the dead. Everything in the gospel narrative, including but not limited to miracles, is extraordinary. Those whose vision is limited to what they see using conventional spectacles risk missing the larger significance of Jesus’ miracles and their meaning in the new world order.