Amazing Grace

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Praise HIm! Praise Him!

Category: Amazing Grace

I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my Gos as long as I live. Psalm  146:2

Praise is our Lord's most righteous due. It is not an option whether we will offer praise-it is one of God's commands. Scriptures clearly teach that we are to offer a sacrifice of praise to God continually (Hebrews  13:15, 16). Our daily sacrifice of praise should include joyful songs for who Christ is-"our blessed redeemer." Then we need to praise God for all of His daily blessings, which are beyond number. We should offer praise even for the trials of life for they are often blessings in disguise. Finally, our sacrifice should include praise fo His leading in ways yet to be experienced.

This is another of the many favorite gospel hymns written by Fanny Crosby, blind American poetess. In all she wrote between 8,000 and 9,000 gospel hymn texts and supplied our hymnals with more beloved hymns that are still sung today than any other writer.

"Praise Him! Praise Him!" first appeared in a Sunday school hymnal, Bright Jewels, which was published in 1869. The song was originally titled "Praise, Give Thanks." And still today, these words evoke praise from each believing heart-

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled and died; He, our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows; love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong:

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring. Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet and Priest and King! Christ is coming! Over the world victorious, pow'r and glory unto the Lord belong:

Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!

For Today: Psalm  71:23; Hebrews  1:3-8; 13:8, Revelation  1:5, 6; 5:11-14

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So Send I You

Category: Amazing Grace

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah  6:8

Isolated form Christian fellowship and feeling very lonely, Margaret Clarkson was a 23-year old school teacher in a gold-mining camp town in norther Ontario, Canada. Her friends and family were many miles away. As she meditated on John  20:21 one evening, God spoke to her through the praise "So send I you." She realized that this lonely area was the place to which God had sent her. This was her mission field. As she quickly set down her thought in verse, one of the finest and most popular missionary hymns of the 20th century was born.

Miss Clarkson has authored many articles and poems for Christian and educational periodicals. For more than 30 years she was involved in the Toronto, Canada, public school system in various educational capacities.

Because of a physical disability, Miss Clarkson has been unable to fulfill her early desire of going to a foreign mission field. Yet her distinguished career in education, her many inspiring writings, and this challenging missionary hymn have accomplished much for the kingdom of God, even though she has remained in Canada.

These words have been greatly used by God to challenge many to respond to God's call for service with the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Here am I...send me!"

So send I you to labor unrewarded, to serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown, to bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-So send I you to toil for me alone.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken, o'er wand'ring souls to work, to weep, to wake, to bear the burdens of a world a-weary-So send I you to suffer for my sake.

So send I you to loneliness and longing, with hear a-hung-'ring for the loved and known, forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-So send I you to know my love alone.

So send I you to leave your life's ambition, to die to dear desire, self-will resign, to labor long and love where men revile you-So send I you to lose your life in Mine.

So send I you to hearts made hard to hatred, to eyes made blind because they will not see, to spend-tho it be blood-to spend and spend not-So send I you to taste of Calvary. "As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you."

For Today: Matthew  9:37, 38; John  4:35; 20:21; Acts  1:8

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Praise To The Lord, The Almighty

Category: Amazing Grace

Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. Psalm  67:3

Great expressions of praise to God have come from many different traditions and backgrounds. Throughout the centuries God has used the talents of people from various cultures to provide His church with hymns of praise so His people might be known as people of praise and thanksgiving.

The author of this inspiring hymn text, Joachim Neander, has often been called the greatest of all German-Calvanist Reformed hymn writers. He wrote approximately 60 hymns and composed many tunes. Nearly all of his hymns are triumphant expressions of praise.

This hymn is a free paraphrase of Psalm  103:1-6, which begins, "Bless [praise] the Lord, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless His holy name." The translator of this text, Catherine Wikworth, is regarded as one of the finest translators of the German language. Her translations helped to make German hymns popular in England and America during the 19th century. The tune, "Lobe Den Herren" ("Praise to the Lord"), first appeared in a German hymnal in 1665. It is said that Neander personally chose this tune for his text, and the words have never been used with any other melody.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth, shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee, decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee; How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief, spreading His wings for to shade thee!

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now wiht praises before Him! Let the amen sound from His people again; Gladly for aye we adore Him!

For Today: Psalm  100; 103:1-6; 104; 150; Colossians  1:15-20

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Onward, Christian Soldiers

Category: Amazing Grace

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy  2:3 KJV

The Christian life is often compared in Scripture to a warfare-the struggle of sin against righteousness and of the flesh versus the spirit. Each follower of Christ is called to be a "good" soldier. This involves motivation, training, discipline, good equipment, and endurance.

This hymn text reminds us that the church universal, the "called out" body of believers from every age, race, and culture, is to be an aggressive, unified body. It must always be moving forward in its mission. We cannot allow ourselves to become stagnant and contented with the status quo.

The author of this text, Sabine Baring-Gould, a Church of England minister, has left this account regarding the writing of this hymn:

It was written in a very simple fashion, without thought of publication. Whitmonday is a great day for school festivals in Yorkshire, and one Whitmonday it was arranged that our school should join forces with that of a neighboring village. I wanted the children to sing marching from one village to the the other, but couldn't think of anything quite suitable, so I sat up at night resolved to write something myself. "Onward Christian Soldiers" was the result. It was written in great haste, likely in less than 15 minutes.

Yet these words that were written hurriedly for marching children became the text for a hymn that God ordained to inspire lives around the world, challenging Christians with their responsibility to be aggressive in advancing His cause both individually and with other members of the "Church of God."

Onward, Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see His banner go!

Like a mighty army moves the Church of God; brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we-One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng; blend with ours your voices in the triumph song. Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King-This thru countless ages men and angels sing.

Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!

For Today: 1 Corinthians  16:13; Ephesians  6:10-18; 1 Timothy  6:11-12