Posted by: rcottrill | December 2, 2016

Have You on the Lord Believed?

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Words: Philip Paul Bliss (b. July 9, 1838; d. Dec. 29, 1876)
Music: Philip Paul Bliss

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Philip Bliss)
They Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Philip Paul Bliss remains one of the great American gospel song writers of the nineteenth century. This is so, even though his output was not as great as some others, and even though his life was cut short by a terrible train accident, when he was only thirty-eight. Hymn books still contain a number of his songs: Hallelujah, What a Saviour; Wonderful Words of Life; I Will Sing of My Redeemer; and more. Songs such as Hold the Fort, and Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, were inspired by unusual events in the news, as was a lesser known song of Bliss’s called Have You on the Lord Believed?

Television pitch men do it all the time. They’ll rave about how wonderful their product is–the latest kitchen gizmo, or some gunk to stop leaks–and after we’re utterly astonished at what a great thing it is, and how little it costs, they add, “But there’s more!” Apparently they’re in a mood to be generous, and feel led to throw in some extras.

“Buy our blender, and we’ll also send you this incredible set of kitchen knives.” Or, “Hurry! Phone within the next twenty minutes and we’ll double your order for our fabulous furniture scratch remover at no extra cost.”

Is it as good as they say it is? It’s often helpful to go Online and check out comments from those who’ve already purchased whatever it is. That can be revealing–and save us from wasting our money. And, think about it: selling two for the price of one suggests the product is actually worth less than half of what they’re charging. They may well not be as generous as they want us to believe.

Aren’t you glad the Lord has infinitely more integrity than a blathering salesman? He is “a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He” (Deut. 32:4). We can count on His promises. He is a God of abundant grace (I Tim. 1:14), abundant mercy (Ps. 86:5, 15; I Pet. 1:3), offering an abundant pardon to sinners (Isa. 55:7). He is the Source of abundant life (Jn. 10:10), and of abundant satisfaction (Ps. 36:8).

But there’s more. Unimaginably more.

Christians discover, and will yet discover, that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). His gifts are beyond human prayers or even human imagination, partly because they extend beyond this present time into an endless eternity of multiplied blessings.

Through faith we have a new standing in Christ. We are counted as “joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17; cf. Gal. 4:7), and have an imperishable inheritance reserved for us in heaven (I Pet. 1:4). The Lord has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6-7).

The story behind Have You on the Lord Believed is this. Long ago, a great fortune was inherited by a very poor man. But instead of giving him the legacy directly, lawyers entrusted it to the man’s pastor to distribute at his discretion. Knowing the man, and being aware of how sometimes sudden wealth can be squandered frivolously, the pastor decided to give the fortune to the man in small amounts. In the envelope with each payment was a note saying, “This is thine; use it wisely. There is more to follow.” In telling of this, evangelist Dwight Moody concluded, “Brethren, that’s just the way God deals with us.”

Thinking of the story and what Mr. Moody said, Bliss wrote the song:

CH-1) Have you on the Lord believed?
Still there’s more to follow.
Of His grace have you received?
Still there’s more to follow.
Oh, the grace the Father shows!
Still there’s more to follow.
Freely He His grace bestows,
Still there’s more to follow.

More and more, more and more,
Always more to follow,
Oh, his matchless, boundless love!
Still there’s more to follow.

CH-3) Have you felt the Spirit’s power?
Still there’s more to follow.
Falling like the gentle shower?
Still there’s more to follow.
Oh, the power the Spirit shows,
Still there’s more to follow.
Freely He His power bestows,
Still there’s more to follow.

Questions:
1) What blessing have you received from the Lord that keeps enriching you more and more?

2) What does it mean to “lay up treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20)? And what kind of riches is the Lord talking about?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Philip Bliss)
They Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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