Posted by: rcottrill | January 29, 2018

Lord, Speak to Me

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Frances Ridley Havergal (b. Dec. 14, 1836; d. June 3, 1879)
Music: Canonbury, adapted from music by Robert Alexander Schumann (b. June 8, 1810; d. June 29, 1856)

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Miss Havergal was the daughter of an English pastor. Though her life was short, her output was great, deeply devotional writings drawn from a rich study of God’s Word. What was studiously put into her mind and heart, and enlightened by the Spirit of God, came out in the flow of ink from her pen. Aiding her in her study was Miss Havergal’s knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible writers.

American hymn writer Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) wrote a poetic tribute to Frances Havergal in which she describes her has having a “seeing heart.”

Her heart can see, her heart can see!
Well may she sing so joyously!
For the King Himself, in His tender grace,
Hath shown her the brightness of His face.

If you fill a pitcher with water, that’s what you expect will be poured from it later. Not milk, or juice. There’s a definite connection between what goes in and what comes out.

The same principle applies to the human mind. Feed in lies, feed it error, and that’s what will come out, And we can’t expect to have wholesome thoughts if we fill our heads with what is corrupt and debasing. On the other hand, if we focus our attention on what is good, and true, and right, it will affect our thinking in a positive way, and ultimately influence our decisions and our actions.

In a Bible passage about gaining inner peace (Phil. 4:4-9), eight qualities are listed (vs. 8) describing things that are worthy of our attention. The eight are:

¤ What is true (factual, accurate)
¤ Noble (honourable)
¤ Just (righteous, acceptable to God)
¤ Pure (chaste, morally clean)
¤ Lovely (pleasing)
¤ Of good report (good reputation, appealing)
¤ Having virtue (excellence)
¤ Praiseworthy (commendable)

And we are exhorted to “meditate on these things.” Not just give them a passing glance, but dwell on them, and make them the subject of careful reflection.

Notice that the first issue of concern becomes: Is it true? No other matter is of greater significance to those who teach God’s Word, and it applies to Christian witness as well. John the Baptist was commissioned by God to introduce Christ at His coming, and people said this of him afterward:

“John performed no sign [miracle], but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true” (Jn. 10:41).

Is it true? In August of 1844, Samuel Snow preached that Christ was going to return on October 22nd of that year. But the day came and went, and nothing happened. To followers of Snow’s teaching it became “the great disappointment.” One of them wrote, “”Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. We wept, and wept, till the day dawn.”

Snow was wrong. Yet we know from Scripture that the Lord Jesus will return. He said so Himself (Jn. 14:3). And we look forward to “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13). Where Snow went wrong was in forcing his own opinions upon the truth, and proclaiming them with the certainty of divine revelation. The Bible does not set a date for Christ’s return. Not even the angels know it (Matt. 24:36).

Unfortunately there are prophetic teachers around today too, who do much the same thing. And, when their speculations turn out to be in error, it causes many to discredit the Bible, assuming that what was presented was from God’s Word. Paul’s instruction to young Timothy is worthwhile for each of us:

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15, NIV).

If we are to share God’s wonderful truth with others, we need to be careful and diligent in our quest to acquire and understand it for ourselves. Truth in will mean truth out. Hymn writer Frances Havergal wrote about that in a fine hymn.

CH-1) Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living echoes of Thy tone;
As Thou has sought, so let me seek
Thine erring children lost and lone.

CH-2) O lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.

CH-4) O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.

1) What have you learned from God’s Word in the past week that has had a definite effect on your thinking and conduct?

2) Do you have a way to record things the Lord teaches you, so you can review them later, and build on them. If not, see my article Best Bible Study Tool. It could change your devotional life.

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


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