This week I have some great links to share with you. See the compelling topics below:
Some hymn lyrics immediately take me back to my childhood, standing beside my parents in worship services. I didn’t understand half of the words, such as “do dwell,” but it’s interesting to note that these lyrics go way back to the 16th century. It’s fascinating to me to imagine our pilgrim ancestors singing these very words as they crossed the ocean, most likely. Here are two different versions of the song.
All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. Serve Him with joy, His praises tell, come now before Him and rejoice! — William Kethe
All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord will cheerful voice. Him serve with mirth, Hi praise forth tell. Come ye before Him and rejoice. — William Kethe
Another hymn that I recall from my childhood, of course, is the Doxology, or “Old 100th,” written in the 17th century:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. — Thomas Ken
But my favorite hymn as a child was this one from the 20th century:
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings and ’round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world! I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought. — Maltbie D. Babcock
Although I love hymns and choruses focused on God Himself, rather than on us as worshippers, there are some great lyrics that refer to the actual worship of the believer. These too have a place in our hymnals and in our worship.
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, thro’ the eternal ages let His praises ring. Glory in the highest I will shout and sing; standing on the promises of God. — R. Kelso Carter
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is they health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration! — Joachim Neander
What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. — Elisha A. Hoffman
This week I’ m focusing on hymn lyrics. I’ve been seeing these in my devotions this year and some of the lyrics have made their way into my journal. I’m not one to say that we need only hymns in our worship services, but I do think they have a way of worshipping God that is truly special. But chorus or hymn, I love the ones that are more focused on God (His character, His works, His heart) than on us (our worship, our service, our hearts).
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater; He sendeth more strength as our labors increase. To added afflictions He added His mercy; to multiplied trials He multiplies peace. –Annie J. Flint
I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise.; that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day. The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey. — Isaac Watts
Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost. By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost. Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty; for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. — Holder Lillenas
He framed the globe, He built the sky. He made the shining worlds on high and reigns in glory there. His beams are majesty and light; His beauties, how divinely bright! His dwelling place how fair! — Isaac Watts
Each of these quotes has something to do with power, if you think about it.
The godly minister has no more difficult, no more solemn, no more blessed task, than to lead his people out to meet God. –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 73
Power can be used for good or evil. This is underscored by the fact that the inventor of dynamite was Alfred Nobel, for whom the peace prize is named. — One Year Book of Psalms, 8/7/17
Each act of self-denial is a seed-germ of the harvest of gladness. — F. B. Meyer
This is another interesting quote from A. W. Tozer about the infinite nature of God.
As created beings, we have devised ways to account for ourselves. Measurement is a way we have of accounting for things, and we are compulsive about this…We know how big the sun is, how big the moon is, how much the earth weighs, how much the sun weighs and how much many other of the heavenly bodies weigh. We can weigh all of these things and measure them because they are finite. When we come to God, there is no way to measure anything of His grace. The grace of God is infinite and beyond our ability to measure. His grace has no beginning and therefore no end. — A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 231
It’s time for more quotes from my journal. I love these thoughts about God–big, limitless, boundless.
The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood. Launch out in the deep and cut away the shore line, and be lost in the mercy of God. –A. B. Simpson
We misuse the words ‘boundless’ and ‘unlimited’ because the words ‘boundless,’ ‘unlimited,’ and ‘infinite’ all mean the same thing. They are words to describe God. In no way, shape or form do they describe man. We have a limit to everything about us. God, on the other hand, has no limits. We are not using words carelessly when we say that God is boundless, limitless and infinite. — A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 230
Bravo, God, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might. — Psalm 96:7 (MSG)