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

A Spiritual Foundation

Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. Romans 3:25

Recommended reading: Romans 3.

William Cowper was the fourth child of a British clergyman. Three of his siblings died. His mother died when he was six while she giving birth to a fifth child. William was emotionally frail. He was sent to boarding school and was terrorized by a bully for two years. He then attended Westminster School and developed a love for literature and poetry. His father wanted him to be an attorney. While preparing for his bar exam he experienced great anxiety. Concluding himself damned, he attempted suicide. He went to an asylum run by Dr. Nathaniel Cotton, a lover of poetry and a Christian. Slowly William recovered. He found the Lord reading the above verse. He wrote the hymn “There Is a Fountain” in 1772.

Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, Thank you for being our foundation. We know that the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to accept Your love. Help us to bring others to know Your love. Amen

We are Saved by God’s Grace

We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved….Acts 15:11

Recommended reading: Acts 15

Fanny Crosby continued writing hymns until she died at age ninety-five. She did slow down in her eighties reducing her quota of hymns to two hundred to fifty hymns per year. She wrote the hymn “Saved by Grace” in 1891 as a personal
hymn for herself, and intended it not to be published. Some time later at a Bible Conference, D. L. Moody asked Fanny to share a word of testimony. Caught off guard, Fanny shared the hymn “Saved by Grace” and it was published, and became one of her “greats.” During the last weeks of her life, her face manifested an unusual glow.

The prayer for the week uses the words from the last hymn Fanny wrote the night she died:

In the morn of Zion’s glory, when the clouds have rolled away, and my hope has dropped its anchor in the vale of perfect day, when with all the pure and holy. I shall strike my harp anew with a power no arm can sever, love will hold me fast and true. Amen

Jesus Saves!

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…. (Acts 2:38)

Recommended reading: Acts 2

Lela Long was very ill and very disturbed while staying at the Stephens Hotel in Chicago. Her family called Dr. P. W. Philpot, of Moody Church in Chicago. Dr. Philpot spent time with her and told her about the Lord. Lela lived and returned to California. Dr. Philpot moved to California to be the pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. One Sunday afternoon in 1924 after the service three people came to see him. One young lady, Lela Long, thanked him for leading her to Christ and that she was using the special talent the Lord had given her in music. She was a writer of gospel music. She handed him the manuscript of a new song, “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know.” Lela wrote the song in remembrance of the day Dr. Philpot introduced her to the Lord in Chicago.

Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, thank you for being with us at all times. Thank you for the birth of your son Jesus. Jesus was born to save us all from our sins. During this beautiful fall time we sing hymns to celebrate the birth of Jesus and Your love for each of us. Alleluia! Amen.

The Depths of God’s Mercy

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…. (Acts 2:38)

I recommend reading Acts 2 again.

Lydia Baxter was born in Petersburg, New York and was converted to Christ under the preaching of Eben Tucker, a Baptist evangelist. She was married and worked tirelessly for Christ Jesus until a severe illness left her bedridden. Her attitude was so sunny that the Baxter home became a gathering place for Christian workers. Lydia told friends how she could be radiant despite her health problems. Lydia said, “I have a special armor. I have the name of Jesus.” Lydia also wrote gospel songs. She wrote the hymn, “Take the Name of Jesus with You” in 1871 from her study of the
precious name of Jesus in the Bible. Her other hymn, “The Gate Ajar,” spoke of Christ’s leaving the gate open for us.

My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, We have great joy knowing of hope and love You provide us each day. Thank you for Your mercy when struggle to meet our daily challenges. You give us strength to continue to serve and praise you. Amen

O Lord, Send the Power Now

And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding, (Acts 1:13)
I recommend reading Acts 1.
Charles Tillman was born in Tallassee, Alabama just as the Civil War was heating up.  His father was a traveling evangelist and Charles accompanied him on his campaigns.  Charles first worked as a house painter and then became a traveling salesman for a music company.  Charles established his own publishing company and published twenty volumes of gospel songs. Tillman then began writing the words and music for his own gospel songs.  He wrote the gospel hymn “They Were in an Upper Chamber” in 1895 based on Acts. He helped establish Southern gospel music. He also wrote the beloved songs such as “My Mother’s Bible’ and “When I Get to the End of the Way.”

My prayer for the week: Dear Lord, Help us how to use Your wisdom and Your love to grasp the meaning of Your power.  Show us how to apply Your wisdom in our work and daily worship and walk with You. In Jesus Name we  pray. Amen