Let the Holy Spirit Come Into Your Heart

Now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13:11

Recommended reading: Romans 13

Lelia Naylor grew up in Ohio. As a child, Lelia went forward to the altar several times, seeking salvation. At the age of ten she converted to God. Shortly thereafter she began playing the organ at prayer meetings. Age the age of nineteen Lelia married Charles Morris and they joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. She sang in choir and worked in Sunday school and women’s ministries. Lelia wrote the words and music to over a thousand gospel songs, but shunned the limelight preferring to be a nondescript homemaker for forty eight years. One of her first hymns written in 1898 was “Nearer, Still Nearer.”

My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, thank you for the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. Help us to open our hearts and let the Holy Spirit come in to cleanse our souls to better serve You. May our lives be a light to bring others together know You and Your Son Jesus. In Your Holy Name we pray. Amen



God Loves All Equally

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

Recommended reading: Romans 10

Stuart Hamblen hosted a popular west coast radio show and was infamous for his gambling and brawling. In 1949 Billy Graham came to Los Angeles for a crusade. The crusade was off to a slow start. Henrietta Mears invited Billy to speak
to a group of Hollywood personalities. Hard-drinking western star, Stuart Hamblen was present. The two men took a liking to each other. Billy wanted to win Stuart to Christ. The three week crusade neared its end with no sign of Stuart’s conviction. At 4:30 the next morning Billy was awaken by a telephone call from Stuart. That night, Stuart gave his heart to the Lord Jesus. Stuart shared his story on his radio show. John Wayne heard the story and asked about it. Stuart answered “Well, Duke, it’s no secret what God can do.” “Sounds like a song,” said John. Stuart went home and wrote the hymn, “It Is No Secret.”

My prayer for the week: Dear Lord, thank you for sharing Your love equally with all of us. Lord, You walk beside us and support us in all we do. We know we are not alone because You are with us at all times. Alleluia! Praise God. Amen



I Put My Whole Trust in Jesus my Savior

For I am persuaded that neither death or life, nor angels or principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Recommended reading: Romans 8

Samuel Francis was born in a village north of London. His father was an artist. As a child Samuel enjoyed poetry and compiled his own poetry. He had a passion for music and joined the choir at age nine. He struggled spiritually as a teenager and moved to London to work. He knew things were not right and cried to God to have mercy on me. His life’s passion was the Kingdom’s work. He liked specially hymn writing and open air preaching for the Plymouth Brethren. He wrote the hymn, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” in 1875. He lived to be 92 years old and served the Lord preaching for 73 years.

My prayer for the week: Dear Lord, thank you for your son, Jesus who provides a resting place for our weary souls. Guide our hearts and hands to reach beyond ourselves to serve You. Amen



God is Light

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense. And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33

Recommended reading: Romans 9

Mary Fulkner was born in London and her family immigrated to America when she was young. After marrying John Thompson, they joined the Church of the Annunciation (Episcopalian) in Philadelphia. Mary and her husband, John, served the church for many years. Mary enjoyed writing poetry and penned more than forty hymns. She began writing the rousing missionary hymn “O Zion, Haste” in 1868. At the time she was a worried mother sitting at the bedside of her dangerously ill son, who had typhoid fever. She completed the hymn three years later when she wrote the refrain.

My prayer for the week is one of the original verses she wrote for the hymn which is left out of most hymnals: Dear Lord, “Tis thine to save from peril of perdition the souls for whom the Lord His life laid down; Beware lest, slothful to fulfill thy mission, Thou lose one jewel that should deck His crown. Amen



The Humble Serve God

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

Recommended reading: Romans 8

Charles Tindley was born into slavery in 1851. His father was poor but rich in the grace of God. Charles taught himself to read. He then read the Bible. One day Charles slipped into church and sat in the back. The preacher asked if any child could read the Bible that they should to come forward. Charles went to the front. People looked at him oddly and remarked about his bare feet. Charles resolved that day to gain an education. After emancipation, he moved to Philadelphia. He gave his life to Christ in a Methodist Church. He began his ministry humbly as a church janitor. He entered correspondence schools to gain his education. In 1885 he applied for ordination. He became a world-famous pastor, preacher and hymnist. He wrote words and music for the hymn “Nothing Between” in 1905.

Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, You deliver us so we are able to walk with You to serve You in Your ministry. Help us to be more like Christ so we can be clear to help other know and follow You. Amen



Jesus Christ Died for Us

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Roman 5:8

Recommended reading: Romans 5

Harriet Buell heard a Christian speaker at the 1876 annual camp meeting held at Thousand Park in upper New York State. The speaker that morning was discussing our relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Harriet left the service as if walking on air as she walked to her cottage. The complete set of words had come to her and she entitled the poem, “The Child of the King.” John Summer was a young pastor in Pennsylvania traveling throughout the Susquehanna
Valley, teaching singing schools. In February 1877 while reading the Methodist revival magazine, The Northern Christian Advocate, he found Harriet’s poem and set it to music. It became popular hymn quickly and found its place in the gospel hymn books of the day.

The prayer for the week is the speaker’s work that inspired Harriet’s poem: “Christian friends, we are the children of a King! Our Heavenly Father’s King! Poor ones. take heart, you’ll have a palace someday built for you by Jesus Himself!” Amen



Invest in God’s Kingdom

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuaded me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28

Recommended reading: Acts 26

Philip Bliss was a gifted young musician who died tragically in train disaster at the age of thirty five. Philip worked for a publishing company, writing sacred and secular songs. He was a rising star in the American gospel music scene. As time allowed, he also volunteered as soloist and song leader in evangelist meetings. One day he was assisting preacher, Rev. Brunage. During the sermon the evangelist quoted Acts 26:28. Philip was struck by those words and penned the hymn “Almost Persuaded” in 1871, a year before his death. Philip sang the hymn at evangelistic rally in
Waukegan. When he sang hymn an unusual power swept over the crowd.

Dear Jesus, every day is a gift from the Lord. We are blessed with Your Holy words in the Bible that persuade us to serve You. Your teachings are true and good. We desire to join You in Your ministry to others. Amen.



Secure in the Lord’s Hand

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household. Acts 16:31

Recommended reading: Acts 16

Priscilla Owens was a public school teacher. She was lifelong native of Baltimore, Maryland. She taught school for forty-nine years and in her spare time devoted her time to the local Methodist Church. In addition Priscilla wrote
prose and poetry. Priscilla wrote the hymn “Jesus Saves” in 1882 based on the above verse for the anniversary of the Union Square Methodist Sunday school in Baltimore. She also wrote the hymn, “Will Your Anchor Hold” based on Hebrews 6:19.

Prayer for the week is the chorus from The hymn, “Will the Anchor Hold”:
Dear Lord, We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fasted to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love. Amen



Calvary’s Grace

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Recommended reading: Romans 5

William Newell as a boy had serious problems and was torn apart by turbulence. But he did keep the rules and day by day ventilated his frustrations to Dr. Torrey, president of Moody Bible Institute. Years later William was a beloved professor at Moody Bible Institute. He thought he should put his testimony into verse. The result was the hymn, “At
Calvary” which he wrote in 1895 on the back of an envelope. He said that had if he not gone through his troubled years he might not have fully understood the importance of Calvary’s grace.

Prayer for the week:

Dear Lord, we sing praises to You. God grants forgiveness by surrounding us with His love. He
hears our pleas for help. The greatest gift we can give is ourselves to the service of God. We must
allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our service. Amen



God’s Love in Strains of Music

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

Recommended reading Romans 5.

Philip Bliss was born in a Pennsylvania log cabin where his father led daily prayer and music was the primary entertainment. As a lad he was drawn to the Lord Jesus and music. When he was ten, Philip sold vegetables door to door. Approaching home, he heard music he’d never heard before. It was a piano. The next year he went to work in logging camp. He married Lucy Young and she encouraged his musical dreams. Her grandmother provided funds for classes
at a nearby music school. He began traveling place to place teaching music and singing. Within a short time he was one of America’s foremost writers of gospel music. In 1870 he joined the staff of Chicago’s First Congregational Church. One evening while mediating on the above verse he wrote the hymn, “Jesus Loves Even Me.”

Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, thanks for the gift of resiliency, spirits that stretch instead of breaking; this resiliency offers fresh responses to life’s inevitable surprises. Be strong as a spiritual warrior of Jesus Christ to celebrate the Bible’s message of peace, joy and love. Amen