The Law of the Lord is Perfect

English: Scroll of the Psalms

The Law of the Lord is Perfect is the text of Psalm 19:7-11, which speaks of the work of God’s Word in the life of the believer.

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect        

The law of the Lord is perfect,
Converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure,
Making wise the simple.

(refrain)
More to be desired are they than gold.
Yea, than much fine gold,
Sweeter also than honey
And the honeycomb.

The statutes of the Lord are right,
Rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure,
Enlightening the eyes.
(refrain)

 The fear of the Lord is clean,
Enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true
And righteous altogether.
(refrain)
Music by Joanne Roberts Graham  

Dear Father in heaven. Lead us to meditate on your law day and night. On this special day, enable your ministers to proclaim your Word in power as you open our hearts to hear and respond. Use your Word today for conversion, wisdom, rejoicing, and enlightenment for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

This hymn was unknown to me until a few years ago when I purchased an album by the Cambridge Singers under the direction of John Rutter. This rendition sounds like the prelude to Jesus’ triumphant return in His great glory. The second is a quieter, more personal expression.

Between the two are the lyrics to this hymn written by John Cennick, Collection of Sacred Hymns 1752, republished & altered by Charles Wesley, 1758. The tune Helmsley is usually attributed to Thomas Olivers, a Welsh Methodist preacher and hymn-writer but this hymn is sung to other tunes, also. This has been my favorite and seems to fit the text better than others. (The first rendition uses first, second, and last verses.)

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.
Rev. 1:7 

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand, thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at nought and sold him,
Pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

Every island, sea, and mountain,
Heav’n and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate him must, confounded
Hear the trump proclaim the day;
Come to judgment! Come to judgment!
Come, to judgment, come away!

Now redemption, long expected,
See in solemn pomp appear;
All his saints, by man rejected,
Now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

The dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshippers;
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
High on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
Claim the kingdom for thine own:
O come quickly, O come quickly;
Alleluia! come, Lord, come.

John Cannick 1752
Republished and altered by Charles Wesley in 1758           Tune: Helmsly

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:11

Copy of music score for Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

Reflections on a Lord’s Day in the Year of our Lord 2001

(Written on the afternoon of the Lord’s Day, September 23, 2001)

Imagine a soldier in the service of his country who is given an order. Instead of obeying, he says, “I cannot because I have something else  to do.” Or he says, “Let me check with my wife to see if we have other plans.”

As ludicrous as this sounds, was this not Adam’s reason for his dishonorable discharge. And is it not the reason for so many who fail to obey their call to active duty as soldiers of the cross. Our calling on this day of each week is to be in His house of worship to praise Him and to hear His Word, to renew our covenant with Him, and receive His grace for the following week.

In the afternoon of a Lord’s day in 2001, I was thinking of the gift of righteousness, the unspeakable gift of His grace, and the unsearchable riches of Christ  (Ephesians 3:8). My heart was quickened in the understanding of our Father’s overwhelming love and His redeeming grace for us (1 John 4:10).

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15

We can give to Him only what He has given to us ~ our time and worship, our talents and all this life. The love, the gifts, and fruit of the Spirit ~ all that is from Him ~ when used for His glory, He gives again and again.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you that your grace continues to bring the fruit of the life of Christ in and through us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit today that we may worship you in spirit and truth; to spend this day faithfully with you. Prepare us to serve you this week. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

 

A Special Day of Grace ~ for God’s Eternal Glory

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Fear before Him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:9

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

O worship the King all glorious above.
O gratefully sing his pow’r and HIs love;
Our shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”
Robert Grant 1833  ~  Based on Psalm 104

Where Is God?

Unbelievers sometimes ask this question contemptuously, while believers may ask it when overwhelmed by tragedy, trial, and sorrow.

WHERE IS GOD?
Let the Bible tell you.

God is above us.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.” Psalm 91:1, 4

God is beneath us.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

God is before us.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. Exodus 13:21;

God is behind us.

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

God is around us.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

God is with us.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 (Scripture Tune)

Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20

God is within us.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13

Take time to meditate on these references and be assured that whatever your circumstances, if you are His child by the birth of His Holy Spirit, the Lord your God is above, beneath, before, behind, around, with, and within you.

Gracious Father, we thank you for your promise to never leave us, nor forsake you; that your presence with us will bring us through whatever we must endure in this life. We praise you that in Christ, we are filled with your grace and wrapped in your glory, now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
(If you have read this somewhere else, please let me know. I found this in one of my older journal/notebooks, so I am not positive if it is mine or a copy: I usually note the source of someone else’s work.)

Image:Google

The Power of Redemption

As I continue to study Andrew Murray’s, Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness, the end of this year seems a good time to share some treasures from this book. We can take into the new year these special truths that can change our thinking and our lives. Considering if we live in pride or humility is to know if we live by the flesh as in the first Adam, or by the Spirit in the second Adam.

Think of the power of sin that was within us before we were born of the Spirit. Then meditate on the following quotes from Andrew Murray. Let us take these with us into the new year as we continue to study the power of the new life, the life of redemption that is ours in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

“Even as we need to look to the first Adam and his fall to know the power of the sin within us, we need to know well the Second Adam and His power to give within us a life of humility as real and abiding and overmastering as has been that of pride.  We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.”

“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow.  It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us.  Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”

There is no greater blessing than a life of humility; serving the Lord and others.

Gracious Father, we thank you for the new life that is ours in Christ. We praise you that you showed your power in His incarnation, resurrection, and redemption so that we can experience the power of His humility working in us. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
Have This Mind Among Yourselves
Philippians 2:5-11 Music

Suggested Reading: A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility

Heavenly Overtones

Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece.  Other parts add harmony.  The melody is the beginning, and the ending.  It is what holds the piece together.  Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music.  Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.

Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator.  It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3  and Revelation 4:8)

Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, a descant.  A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices.  It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.

Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.

In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music (Ephesians 5:19).

I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy”  from the foundation of the world.  He would not only be the beginning of music but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”

The melody of heaven was here
~ He was wrapped in our humanity ~
to gather around Him those that would
add the harmony to Himself,
and provide the music for His family,
the music that the Father wanted to hear.

“On the same night, there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the field. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”

 ~ the music and the worship were about to begin.

And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”

  ~ the prelude
the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.

To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”

 the music begins.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest”

 ~ the descant.

“And on earth peace.” Luke 2:7-14

Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.

“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”  (Hebrews 2:12-13)

~ the harmony of His family.
Now He has a full choir.

The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire.  The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.

As we live by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody and to follow Him.  Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices.  And walking humbly with Him in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ, He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard or sung before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.

I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song (Exodus 15:2).

I pray that we would experience “the new song as He fills us with His Spirit (Psalm 149:1).

On the Lord’s Day, we go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.

I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.

Our Father has composed the music
and directs the choir.

Let us sing with full hearts
to His glory and our joy.

“Holy,—-Holy,—-Holy,

The LORD of hosts:

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Fran ~ Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (Article from Waiting Is Not A Game ~ Articles and Stories of Faith. Unpublished)