Devotions

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hymn for herself, and intended it not to be published.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



Blessed in Prayer

And it shall come to pass. That whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21

 

I recommend reading Acts 2.

William Doane was born in Connecticut and grew up in a devout family and converted to Christ in high school. At eighteen, he was hired by J. A. Fay & Co., one of America’s largest woodworking machinery factories. At the age of thirty he became the company’s president. He then suffered a heart attack and almost died. He determined that God was
chastening him for not devoting more time to gospel music. He began writing music and Sunday school songs. He did not have quality poems. He heard a knock on his door and there was a note from Fanny Cosby saying, “Mr. Doane, I have never met you, but I feel impelled to send you this hymn. May God bless it.” In 1868 they wrote the hymn “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.” It began a wonderful partnership that produced many hits, “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “Near the Cross,” “To God Be the Glory,” and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” William wrote about two thousand tunes.

My prayer for the week:Dear Lord, thank you for calling to us to pass the story of Your love and salvation on to others. Thank you forgiving us the Holy Spirit to lead us during all the seasons of our lives and all the seasons the year. 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



Lay Pastors Weekly 01-03-16

Peace on Earth!!!
 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14
 
I recommend reading Luke 2 again.
Edward Sears attended Harvard Divinity School and was ordained in the Unitarian ministry. Edward chose to devote himself to ministry in the small towns in Massachusetts, so he would have time to study, think, and write. He focused on the angelic request for peace on earth in his hymn “It Came upon the Midnight Clear” based on the above verse. He wrote this hymn in 1849 when civil strife was darkening in the United States. He is well known for his hymns and books. My prayer for the week is the verse he wrote that is left out of the hymn most hymnals:  
 
Dear Lord: Yet with the woes of sin and strife, the world hath suffered long. Beneath the angel-strain have rolled, two thousand tears of wrong. And man, at war with man, hears not, the love song which they bring. O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing. Amen


Lay Pastors Weekly 01-10-16

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!!!
 
…When the angels have gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another “Let us now go to Bethlehem…” Luke 2:15
 
I recommend reading Luke 2 again.
The words for the Christmas carol, “What Child Is This?” were taken from a long poem written by William Dix in 1865. His father was a surgeon who wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. William had no interest in medicine. William left Bristol Grammar School and moved to Glasgow, England to sell insurance. William’s greatest love as his prose and poetry for Christ. He wrote two devotional books, a book for children, and scores of hymns. His other popular carol is “As with Gladness Men of Old.” All of Dix’s hymns should be more widely sung today, for they are masterpieces of poetry, filled with scriptural truth.
 
My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, we sing Alleluia! to Your son, Jesus as He is our salvation. We are joyful for the great opportunity to serve you Lord. Help us to pray for all Your children and their daily spiritual and personal life needs. Glory to God! Amen


Lay Pastors Weekly 01-17-16

Jesus Is Heralded from Mountain Tops!!!
 
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them. Luke 2:20
 
I recommend reading Luke 2 again.
John Wesley Work Jr. was born in Nashville. His father was the choir director for a church in Nashville. John grew up singing in his father’s choirs and then enrolled in Fisk University. He became active in the music program. His primary subjects were history and Latin. He was hired as a professor of Latin and Greek. His greatest love was the preservation and performance of the Negro spirituals. The Christmas hymn “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” was largely unknown even though it was performed by the Jubilee Singers since 1870. Some stanzas were obscure but the chorus was crystal clear.  John wrote two new stanzas for the hymn and it was first published in 1907.
 
My prayer for the week:
Dear Jesus thank you for being the liberator for all of us including the meek and lowly. Each of us is challenged to share the Good News of Jesus so others may be saved. Praise God! Amen


Lay Pastors Weekly 01-24-16

Make My Will Thy Will!!!
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…to proclaim liberty to the captives. Luke 4:18
 
I recommend reading Luke 4.
 
George Matheson III inherited a mind for business from his father and the gift of song from his mother. From both parents, he received a rich and traditional theology and the love of the Lord. George attended Glasgow University and received his masters. He had poor vision and was declared blind. He entered the ministry. He had a phenomenal memory, optimism, spirit and inspiring personality. People flocked to hear him preach at St. Bernard’s in Edinburgh. Queen Victoria came to hear him. He was a prolific author and hymnist. He wrote the hymn “Make Me a Captive, Lord” in 1890, which speaks to the paradox pf Christianity—that surrender to Christ brings victory to life. He also wrote the hymn “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.”
 
My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, Thank you for helping us to learn to serve You by helping us to spring into action for the weak and the poor. Help us to show others ways to learn of Your love and guidance through reading the Bible. Praise God for Your love, light and fire of spirit. Amen


Lay Pastors Weekly 02-07-16

We Will Be Blessed When We Serve the Poor!!!
 
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you shall be blessed, because they cannot repay you: for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13-14
 
I recommend reading Luke 14.
 
John Mason Neal, an Anglican minister, sought to return church music to its medieval roots. He gave us the Christmas carols, “Good Christian Men Rejoice” &“O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” He also gave us “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” John wrote the poem “Good King Wenceslas” in 1854 to honor King Wenceslas, a Christian who ruled Czechoslovakia in the 900’s. King Wenceslas built churches and showed concern for the poor. His pagan brother murdered him while he was leaving church. Today Wenceslas is the patron saint of Czechoslovakia.
 
My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, You give to us our divine assignments each day. One of our assignments is to care for the poor. We can learn our assignments by reading the Bible. When we feed our spirit, we grow spiritually. When we till our soul and cultivate God’s blessing we grow in joy and hope. In Your Holy name we pray. Amen