The Light and Heat

Just a brief post this morning.

This is a hymn by William Cowper (1731-1800), perhaps best known as the author of “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” and “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”. As Kenneth Osbeck says in his introduction to the hymn, “This hymn teaches an important truth: The same Spirit of God who authored the Bible is the One who enlightens it for our understanding and guidance…”

The Spirit breathes upon the Word, and brings the truth to sight;

Precepts and promises afford a sanctifying light.

A glory gilds the sacred page, majestic like the sun:

It gives a light to ev’ry age; it gives but borrows none.

The Hand that gave it still supplies the gracious light and heat;

His truths upon the nations rise; they rise but never set.

Let everlasting thanks be Thine for such a bright display

As makes a world of darkness shine with beams of heav’nly day.

My soul rejoices to pursue the steps of Him I love,

Till glory breaks upon my view in brighter worlds above.

Overlapping Devotional thoughts

As part of my daily devotions I read through Scripture and read from Kenneth Osbeck’s “Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions”. I also frequently read from C. H. Spurgeon’s excellent “Morning and Evening” devotional. Today there was a happy overlapping of the devotional thoughts from them. First, here is a quote from the Spurgeon:

“We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit unto him: we are his members, and though for awhile we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet we are even now blessed with heavenly blessings in him. We have the earnest (down payment or guarantee) of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy for ever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward.”

The hymn for today is called “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” by Anne Ross Cousin (1824-1906). Here is the hymn text, as quoted in the devotional:

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks; the summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes. Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day-spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above: There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine! He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.” I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand, not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face; I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace, not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand: The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

Spurgeon says, “we have foretastes of our portion”. The hymn says, “the streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above.”

“There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising”, says Spurgeon.  “The dawn of heaven breaks…the fair, sweet morn awakes” speaks the hymn.

There is also the comparison of the church and Christ as Bridegroom and Bride: “We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief?” “The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face.”

All, all of this is written to encourage our hearts towards thoughts of our eternal home. May we ever more be sighing for that “summer morn” of the Eternal Day in Heaven…

 

How Great Is the Love

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” Psalm 92:1

This Sunday we’ll be singing a new song, called “How Great Is the Love”.

It’s a wonderful, sweet song of thankfulness. This is Paul Baloche’s version of the song.

How Great Is the Love

by Meredith Andrews, Paul Baloche, and Jacob Sooter

Thank You for the way that You love us

How You love us

Thank You for the way You have made us

We were created

For Your pleasure, for Your presence

For the glory of Your name

Thank You for the way that You love us

 

Jesus, faithful King

Lord, with grateful hearts we sing

How great is the love

How great is the love

Of our Savior

The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame

You carried it all and rose from the grave

How great is the love, how great is the love

Of our Savior

 

Thank You for Your grace that has saved us

You forgave us

Thank You for the way You have freed us

We have been ransomed

We’ve been rescued, we’ve been purchased

With the price of Your own life

Thank You for the way that You love us

It’s been lonely here…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted (I think since February). Let me re-start with a wonderful hymn of thanks, first published 300 years ago. Our songs of gratitude are ever sweet in God’s ear.

When all Thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view I’m lost in wonder, love and praise.

Unnumbered comforts to my soul Thy tender care bestowed
Before my infant heart conceived from whom those comforts flowed.
When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou with health renewed my face;
And, when in sins and sorrows bowed, revived my soul with grace.
Thru ev’ry period of my life Thy goodness I’ll pursue,
And after death, in heav’n above, the glorious theme renew.

Joseph Addison, 1672–1719