Tuesday, July 22, 2008
It may seem strange that such a sedate hymn as “Rock of Ages” was written by a feisty, pugnacious man named Augustus Toplady. Converted under a Methodist evangelist while attending the University of Dublin, Toplady decided to prepare for the ministry. Although he was impressed with the spirit of Methodism, Toplady strongly disagreed with the Wesleyan theology and waged a running battle with the Wesleys through tracts, sermons and even hymns. “Wesley,” said Toplady, “is guilty of Satan’s shamelessness.” To which Wesley retorted,” I do not fight with chimney sweeps!”
Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages” to conclude a magazine article in which he emphasized that, just as England could never repay its national debt, so humans through their own efforts could never satisfy the eternal justice of God. He died of tuberculosis and overwork at the age of thirty-eight, two years after he published his own hymnal, in which “Rock of Ages” and Charles Wesley’s “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” were placed side by side.
Scriptures: Exodus 33:17-23; Psalm 62:5-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Themes: Salvation, Refuge, Forgiveness
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Augustus Montague Toplady (1740 -1778)
Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Cover a good few miles
But never seem to go anywhere
I go back and forth
Back and forth
And always end up in the same place
The engine revs and windscreen wipers
Are my back beat
Some of us travel all over this world
But never really seem to go anywhere
Come back with memories and pictures
Of how a place has touched their lives
We gotta change that
It’s not the place
It’s the people
Instead how can we touch lives
With His truth
So that their lives will change for eternity
Let us then start the longest journey
The journey that is within us
And who we really are deep inside
Saturday, July 12, 2008
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."
12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."
Monday, July 7, 2008
Just lately Matthew and myself have been keenly following and watching the Euro 2008 soccer finals held in Austria and Switzerland. The tournament was won by Spain who beat Germany by one goal to nil in the final. See the pic above which I think just epitomizes the glory of Spain’s achievement.
While watching this tournament it got me thinking as to why does mankind chase after glory so much. In sport, at work and life in general. We will associate ourselves with a sports team or an individual so that in some way we can be connected to and share in their glory.
However mankind’s glory does not last for long and soon fades.
Solomon who was a very wise, powerful and rich king about three thousand years ago was pondering on the meaning of his life as he entered into his twilight years. He was a man who really had everything and had chased after glory all his life. Surveying his kingdom and all his achievements he came to the conclusion that everything becomes meaningless if you do not have the one true God in your life and give Him all the glory. You can go read about it in Ecclesiastes in the old testament in the bible.
We have been made in God’s image for God’s glory. Jesus when He was down here on earth glorified His Father God by being obedient to God, even to the point of death. This opened the way, for all who choose Him, back to the God of all glory. The new testament is full of statements where God says He will glorify us in order that we may more fully glorify Him. I’ll just put down a few here.
Through Him (Jesus) we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Our bodies sown in dishonor, to be raised in glory; sown in weakness, to be raised in power. (1 Corinthians 15:43)
But we all with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, which comes from the Lord , who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Meaning of glory from dictionary.com
very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent
something that is a source of honor, fame or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride
adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving
resplendent beauty of magnificence
a state of great splendour, magnificence, or prosperity
a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment, etc.
the splendor and bliss of heaven
So it’s no wonder we hunger and thirst for glory because we were made to glorify the God of all glory and if we chase after any other glory it will become meaningless.
You are holy in this place
You are worthy of my praise and we worship You
Jesus we worship You
You're the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
You're the Master of the Universe
You're the Ruler of all Nations
And we sing to You, sing to You
When You call my name, I'll run to You
I'll do anything You ask me to
Falling on my knees I worship You, my Lord
We give You GLORY