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Showing posts from September 1, 2016

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

September 1


THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION
Samuel J. Stone, 1839–1900
  … Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. (Ephesians 5:23)

During an especially heated period of theological controversy in England in 1866 when liberalism threatened to destroy the great cardinal doctrines of the Anglican church, this hymn was written by Pastor Samuel Stone. He was a strong supporter of the conservative faith and refused to compromise in any way the critical attacks on doctrinal orthodoxy.

It was Stone’s desire to write a hymn that would reaffirm the Lordship of Christ as the foundation of the church. To combat the skeptical liberal scholarship, Samuel Stone wrote twelve hymn texts based on the Apostles’ Creed. This particular text refers to the ninth article: “The Holy Catholic (Universal) Church, the communion of saints: He is the Head of this body.”

Described as the poor man’s pastor, Samuel Stone demonstrated his firm belief in the church as the instrument of Chris…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 1

  Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them
        Ezek. 36:37
Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded by supplication. Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing’s shadow. When the sunlight of God’s mercies rises upon our necessities it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain. Or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it.

Spurgeon

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

My Utmost for His Highest

September 1st

Destiny of holiness



Ye shall be holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16 (R.V.).

Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is. The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right, good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfilment, but in the meantime, God has to atrophy them. The one thing that matters is whether a man will accept the God Who will make him holy. At all costs, a man must be rightly related to God.
Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe God can come into me and make me holy? If by your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I resent your preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it must reveal that I am unholy; but it also awakens an intense craving. God has one destined end for mankind, viz., holiness. His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men; He did…

Morning and Evening

Morning, September 1 Go To Evening Reading

“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” —Psalm 73:24
The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God’s counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend’s arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the all-seeing God. “Thou shalt,” is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counselor and friend; he shall guide thee; he will direct all thy ways. In his written Word…

Connect the Testaments

September 1: An Unusual Portrait
Hosea 1:1–2:23; Acts 1:1–26; Job 15:1–9

“At the beginning when Yahweh spoke through Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, ‘Go, take for yourself a wife and children of whoredom, because the land commits great whoredom forsaking Yahweh.’ So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son” (Hos 1:2–3). God’s people had prostituted themselves to other nations by seeking their help instead of Yahweh’s. Hosea’s act, which dramatized the rebellion of God’s people against Him, is one of the oddest in the Bible.

God loves His people with passion and jealousy. He has little tolerance when they seek alliances with other nations and put false gods before Him. At times, He takes shocking measures to get their attention. The act He requires of Hosea not only depicts Israel’s unfaithfulness, but it also reveals God’s own feelings of betrayal. Many of us can empathize.

At such moments in the Bible, it’s hard to understand how God uses such behav…