Recently, I’ve been writing a talk for an upcoming Via de Cristo weekend. The title of the talk is piety, or the process of learning to direct our entire live toward God. We can be comfortable doing this because, as the Bible tells us, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37. That doesn’t mean we’ll always get our way, but it does mean that God is omnipotent, He will work everything out in accordance with His Will, and it will be good.
As you listen to this song, resolve to surrender and allow God to control your life. He’s full of wonderful surprises!
Every human relationship is bound to let us down, because every human is finite. At some point, our spouse, our children, our best friend will leave us. It’s inevitable. The only unending security is in God, because God is eternal. That lasting comfort is expressed in the hymn, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. It was written in by Professor Anthony Showalter.
In 1887, Professor Showalter spent some time in Alabama teaching music. One day, after class, he returned to his boarding house to find letters from two of his former music students. Both men were writing with the sad news that their wives had recently died.
Showalter wanted to console them with a Bible verse, and this is the one he chose:
“The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy before you, and will say, ‘destroy.'” Deuteronomy 33:27
He decided that rather than sending simply the verse, he would compose a song based upon it. He wrote the chorus with which we are all familiar:
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms, Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
He later sent the chorus to Reverend Elisha Hoffman in Pennsylvania who added the verses for this beautiful hymn.
“Clearly, the Scripture tells us that we lack the capacity to grasp God’s infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. How arrogant of us to think otherwise! Trying to analyze His omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of man.”
For more about the attributes of God see these posts:
Recently I was asked to serve on a Via de Cristo weekend, and to give one of the talks. The title of the talk is “piety.” Writing it has required me to look back over my life with God (I’m old so it’s long). It’s been interesting to realize how much I have changed in 70+ years. Even though my basic personality is the same — quiet, serious, introverted, I’ve become more confident, more reliant on God, less adverse to change.
These changes in me would not have been possible without the immutability of God. Lucky for us, God does not change. In Psalm 102, the writer tells us:
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end.” Psalm 102:25-27
Just about everything in life is subject to change. We change jobs, loved ones die, friends move away. Our health may fail. Technology changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. Civilizations come and go Even churches have a life cycle of growth and death. In a world like that, it’s hard to feel stable — is there anything on which we can count?
The answer of course, is God. He provides the foundation, the rock that is always there for us. We can change, our circumstances can change, but God will always be there. We can run to His love, His mercy, and His justice whenever we are afraid. Who wouldn’t worship a God like this?
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear thought the earth gives way; though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling….”Psalm 46:1-3
One of the things that has helped me to grow in my Christian life was discovering and living my personal mission, or vision. In this devotional, Tim Tebow guides the reader through the steps of finding your purpose in life and moving forward in that purpose. Some topics covered include:
Identifying your priorities
Making wise choices
Harnessing your passion
Aligning your will with God’s will
Each short, daily reading includes a Bible verse, short devotion, and a question or comment that could be used for discussion or journaling.
“When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving (all these are attributes of God), to be generous, to love their follow men, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them.”
St. John Chrysostom
For another quote by St. John Chrysostom see these posts:
“When God justifies a sinner, everything in God is on the sinner’s side. All the attributes of God are on the sinner’s side. It isn’t that mercy is pleading for the sinner and justice is trying to beat him to death. All of God does all that God does.”