Hymn Parade – What a Friend we Have in Jesus

How does the Bible describe the image of God in Jesus Christ?

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear! / What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! / O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear / All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwi_qKVI8lQ

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

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Joseph Scriven Monument in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

 Joseph Scriven was born on Sept. 10, 1819, in Ireland. He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin with a bachelor’s degree. While traveling with his bride on the day before their wedding, his bride fell from her horse while crossing a bridge over the River Bann and drowned in the water below.

In an effort to overcome his sorrow, Joseph travel to Ontario and settled in Port Hope, Canada (about 70 miles east of Toronto) where he joined the Plymouth Brethren. He was engaged to Elisa Roche but she died of pneumonia before they were married. He tutored children, organized a private school, and did some preaching (although not ordained), visited the sick and assisted the poor.

When he was ill, a friend discovered the words to the poem and asked if he could share it with his ailing mother in Ireland. Charles Converse wrote the musical setting. Joseph Scriven body was pulled from Rice Lake near Bewdly, Ontario (about 10 miles north of Port Hope) on August 10, 1886.

joseph scriven home

Home of Joseph Scriven in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

Martin Luther said you must know God as an enemy before you can know Him as a friend. It seems to me we must be known by God as servants before He would call us friends.

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

 

 

Hymn Parade – Awesome God

Awesome God – Rich Mullins and Michael W. Smith (1988)

How great is our God?

 Nehemiah 1:5-7: Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.”

Awesome God

When He rolls up His sleeves/He ain’t just putting on the ritz There’s thunder in His footsteps/And lightning in His fists The Lord wasn’t joking/When He kicked ’em out of Eden It wasn’t for no reason/That He shed His blood His return is very close/And so you better be believing that Our God is an awesome God/Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above/With wisdom, power, and love Our God is an awesome God/And when the sky was starless In the void of the night/(God is an awesome God) He spoke into the darkness/And created the light/(God is an awesome God) Judgment and wrath He poured out on Sodom/Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross

I hope that we have not/Too quickly forgotten that Our God is an awesome God

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38V8jnN1Kpw

Awesome God

Martin Luther said: “Pray as if everything depends on God, then work as if everything depends on you.” Nehemiah (445 B.C.E.) prayed both day and night for the sinful actions and complacency of the people of Israel. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king and his main job was to taste the king’s wine first to make sure it was not poisoned. It was a dangerous job! It also gave him intimate access to royalty, political standing and a place to live in the palace. Based on the reports Nehemiah heard in the palace he was concerned about what was happening to his countrymen in Jerusalem.

The report was that the survivors were in great trouble and disgrace, that the wall of Jerusalem was in shambles and that its gates had been burned with fire.  They were living in ruins and they accepted it. Nehemiah understood that before you can ask God to rebuild, you must first become concerned about the problem. First, he admits admit his sin and then the sins of his people. Nehemiah boldly and persistently asks God to hear his prayer and confession of sin. He cries, fasts, and persists in prayer. Nehemiah knows that the captivity was due to the disobedience of the people but that God had promised He would bring them back to Jerusalem. Nehemiah is willing and ready to get involved! He asked God to use him at risk to his well-being and life.

Our God is an Awesome God because He loves us when we are in ruins, lost, anxious, helpless. Everyone experiences difficult times and unhappiness but the power of this praise hymn is that God is all-powerful, all-loving, and always ready to help us. As Nehemiah prayed to rebuild Jerusalem, we pray to rebuild our lives or the life of someone in need of help. Just turn to Jesus in prayer, pray boldly and pray consistently! ‘He gave us grace on the cross!”

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org