I posted earlier this month about Job, and how in his distress, he showed faith by continuing a dialogue with God. Today I’m reading the 22rd Chapter of 2 Samuel, to prepare for our Bible study later today. These verses are almost identical to Psalm 18, and constitute David’s song of praise to God, who had delivered him from all of his enemies. Like Job, David “called upon the Lord” in his troubles, and God answered him. Not surprisingly, this Psalm has been adapted in modern times, as well, by Michael O’Shields. O’ Shields was a young minister travelling in Oklahoma and Texas in the 1970s. He often struggled to make ends meet, and so he was calling upon the Lord for very tangible, everyday needs when he wrote “I Will Call Upon the Lord”. Remember these words of David in your own times of tribulation. Never hesitate to call on Him.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!”
The author of this well-known hymn, Thomas Chisolm, did not experience any major tragedies in his life. He simply wanted to recognize and remark upon the faithfulness of God in ordinary, daily life. It’s a good reminder that even when our faith falters, His faithfulness doesn’t.
This song from the 1970’s was written by Lanny Wolfe, an American Christian music songwriter, musician, music publisher, and music teacher. The song came to Wolfe while he was waiting for a church dedication. He immediately wrote down the words and melody, taught it to his trio and played it on the spot. It’s often used on our Lutheran Via de Cristo weekends, and I used it recently as part of a closing devotion with our Fanning the Flame team. It’s a good reminder that God is with us everywhere.
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:16
You Are My All in All is a Christian praise song written by Dennis Jernigan, who calls himself a “song-receiver” rather than a songwriter. It’s been running around in my head today because it matches what seems to be my monthly theme — Ideal. Christ should be everything to us. Based on verses from John 6:31-35, Ephesians 1:20 and Revelation 1:8 and 5:11-14, it is his most performed composition. Listen to the words and ponder this thought in your heart, “Is He my all and all?”
“Be Thou My Vision” is a traditional, Irish hymn written in the 6th century. The author is believed to be Irish poet, Dallan Forgaill. It was originally chanted by monks, and the tune with which we are familiar was composed much later. I think fits well with the concept of the ideal, which I wrote about earlier this month. As Christians, our ideal is to grow more Christlike. He is the only true ideal, the “author and perfecter” of our lives. Listen to this hauntingly beautiful song as you begin your day focused on the One Who Made You.
This Christian song has been on my mind for days now. When that happens I can’t help but think that God is trying to get my attention. It was written by Rick Founds and from 1997-2003 was the song most often played in Christian churches across the country. It’s not a surprise that Rick wrote it during his morning devotions. It reminds me of something a friend of mine often says: the first part of prayer and worship should be praise. January is the right time to think about our priorities and putting the most important things first in our lives. So listen, praise God and make Him your priority in 2019.
When Kelly Willard was asked how her song, Make Me A Servant, came to be written, this is how she answered:
“Well, it’s pretty simple, what happened. I was at home, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying very gently, “You know, you could stand to have a little more of a servant heart.” I went straight to my piano and began playing and singing this prayer…”Make me a servant, humble and meek, Lord let me lift up those who are weak…And, may the prayer of my heart always be, make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant today.” I still pray for a servant’s heart.”
Let Kelly’s plea sink into your heart and make you a servant today!