“How Great Thou Art” – ThePianoGuys

Music Wednesdays

We posted Sam Robson’s acapella version of “How Great Thou Art” here.

But we wanted to post this version because the truth of this song never fails to help redirect a Christian’s thinking. When you think on God, nothing else matters.

Verse 1

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

Verse 2

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Verse 3

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Verse 4

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!”

#TBTB #TBT – Destined to Choose

ThrowBack Thursday

Have you ever been asked how you can believe in a completely supreme being and still believe in human free will?

Many of us here have heard that question and – praise God – the answer is simple.

“I believe because that is how God says it is.”

Paul observed this beautiful paradox in I Thessalonians.

Please enjoy today’s Throwback Thursday, and be encouraged by “Destined to Choose.”

Destined to Choose

 

“Let’s Learn from Creation”

“Let’s Learn from Creation”

Before He made man, God made dirt.
The first job He ordained? Gard’ner.
Yet the stain we all hate
Is the substance from which we were made,
And the job we refuse
Is the one man requires for food.

Children of Light cannot grow
Without the desire to know
More about the world God created.
How sad for a child separated
From the earth his Lord proclaimed, “Good.”
Let’s all reconnect with the wood.

Let’s see in the chaff and the wheat
Lessons ordained for this week.
Let us learn from the sparrow
That our Father will not suffer
His children, forgotten to cry.
Let’s learn from the ant to be wise.

Don’t bother to hug the rough bark.
You needn’t picket or build a new ark.
But take every chance that is there
To enjoy what the Heavens declare
About God Who chose to make sand,
And from it, create His first man.

-AMBrewster-

Written for “WildHeart Adventure Camp.”

Let's Learn from Creation

A Wrong View of Grace

It’s been said that we personify God based off of our human father. This may be true, but I hope it’s not. I’m a father. I have a father. Neither of us are even remotely capable of giving a good picture of our Heavenly Father.

But if the above is true, that would explain why so many of us have a distorted view concerning the relationship between us and God.

Here on earth, a father’s love can be capricious. He smiles more when we please him, but he threatens to disown us when we don’t. Thankfully my father never threatened to disown me, but we must understand that no matter what your earthly father is like, God does not operate the same way.

On his blog, David Crabb quotes Holiness by Grace (a book by Bryan Chapell). In the article we are encouraged to realize that nothing we can do will ever cause God to love us any more or any less.

The reality of the redeemed’s situation is a glorious one! God does not love me because of me . . . He loves me because of Christ! Christ’s blood has covered my sins. His righteousness has replaced my wickedness. By His blood I have been pardoned before God. When God looks at me, He does not see Aaron Brewster. He sees His son, Jesus Christ. And because of this beautiful substitutionary atonement, God loves me the exact same amount as He loves His only Son. Wow!

Therefore, no amount of sin on my part can separate me from His love. At the same time, no amount of holiness will ingratiate me to Him more. He loves me with a perfect, undying love!

Destined to Choose

I’ve been reading and re-reading I Thessalonians for my devotions, and I knew, undoubtedly, that many truths from this passage would make it from the The Word, into my heart, and eventually onto these digital pages. But you never can be sure what truths the Lord will impress on your spirit as you read a passage. I try to go to my personal devotions like David; “open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” And sometimes you’re surprised by what He shows you.

Today’s “wondrous thing” rests easily between the comfortable armchairs of everyday Christian life and the well-worn benches of deep biblical study. I’m not going to flesh out this truth in its entirety, but the Holy Spirit impressed it on my life today, and I believe I should share it with you.

In I Thessalonians 3:3, Paul speaks of the afflictions that he and Timothy had been experiencing. He even mentions that he sent Timothy to encourage the Thessalonians so that no one would be disturbed by the trials of Paul and Timothy. Isn’t that just like Paul? Looking out for others spiritual needs even as he is in need himself!

But at the end of verse three he makes a little comment that has huge doctrinal importance. “For you yourselves know that we have been destined for this;” speaking of the afflictions he’d referred to earlier in the verse.

Merriam-Webster tells us the word destined means “decree[d] beforehand: predetermine[d].” Paul was completely aware that God is, and was, 100% in control of all that enters into our lives; just read Romans.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

That’s how he learned contentment; regardless of what happened to him.

“How can I fear?
Jesus is near? He watches over me.
Worries all cease.
He gives me peace. How can I fear with Jesus.” -Ron Hamilton-

But then in verse ten, Paul says, “We night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face.” Why does a man who believes in the complete supremacy of God; the One Who foreknows, predestines, and predetermines everything, think he needs to pray “most earnestly” for a personal desire?

This is the core of the lesson I was reminded of today. This is the beauty of the true, biblical doctrine of God’s supremacy and our free will. God is not bound by our mortal views. He can predestinate an action that will be born from the free will of the person acting! There is a balance, nay, a synchrony of divine determination and personal prerogative to every moment.

In the same way, even though we know that “what will be” is “what will be,” we can go to our Heavenly Father and request blessings of Him, and rest assured that our prayers have real efficacy.

We serve an awesome God! May your cloudy soul be quieted knowing that He hears our prayers and that nothing that happens in life surprises Him.

What You NEED to Know

What You Need to Know

The single most important factor in your entails a relationship.

The Bible reveals that God exists. He is not merely a force, ethereal energy, a collection of souls, or an uninterested observer. He is a real person Who created you, loves you, and has a perfect plan for you. But that plan cannot be fulfilled outside of a personal relationship with Him. My son receives benefits that no other little boy on the planet receives by virtue of the fact that he is my son. The Bible is clear that my human relationship with my son is a perfect picture of our relationship with God. We cannot be estranged from Him and yet demand the benefits of an intimate relationship.

The first thing we must know about this relationship is that since God is perfectly good He cannot tolerate wickedness. Sin is a simple word to encapsulate all that God cannot abide. What is sin specifically? Well, God’s Word has much to say on the subject, but this much is enough for our discussion here: we must realize that we have all sinned in one way or another (Romans 3:23). Have you ever stolen, lied, hated someone, disobeyed your parents, committed adultery? Of course you have. I have. In fact, everyone has done at least one bad thing. Everybody has sinned. “As it is written, none is righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:9-10) And since we have all sinned, we must also understand that our sin drives a wedge between ourselves and God. This wedge is not mere ambivalence, our sin puts us at odds with God. The old phrase “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” would be quite appropriate here. Whether you feel “against God” or not, you must realize that this is the precise position you are in. The worst part about the whole situation is that anyone who is against God must be separated from Him for eternity in a place called Hell. We are criminals deserving of a sentence, and and eternity of punishment is the only way to pay for sin against an infinite God. Former President Bush outlawed broccoli from the White House because of his disdain for the green vegetable. How much more will the perfectly just Creator of the universe cast wickedness from His sight?

But there is glorious news! Knowing that we humans were incapable of rectifying our standing before Him – and knowing it would take an eternity of torture to pay for our high crimes against God – the Father sent an Advocate. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in our stead. He not only lived a perfect life, He not only died in our place, but He conquered death when he raised from the dead three days later! He now offers the free gift of reconciliation to everyone who believes in Him and His advocacy for us (John 1:12). He promises to take our sentence, to stand in our place before God, and to proclaim us sinless based on His own righteousness.

So what must you do to claim Christ’s righteousness as your own and enter into an intimate relationship with God the Father? All you have to do is ask. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Jesus possesses infinite righteousness and He’s willing to impart it to you to fulfill your debt to God. If you accept the free gift of reconciliation, God the Father will credit Jesus’ righteousness to your account. That’s all you have to do. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Now, you might ask “I believe in God, isn’t that enough?” Well, the Bible says that even the demons believe in God. But they don’t love Him, they don’t beg Him for forgiveness from their sins, and they don’t ask Him to enter their hearts and clean out the sin that’s keeping them from having a relationship with Him. They believe God exists but they don’t want Him to rule their life.

God wants to be your Savior. He wants to be your lover. He wants to have a relationship with you. All you have to do is accept His offer. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! If you don’t know what to say, even if you’ve never prayed before, all you have to do is talk to God just like you’d talk to me. Tell Him, “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner. I know You hate my sin and would never have an intimate relationship with me the way I am. I believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose again. I believe He did that for me. Please forgive my sin and cleanse my heart.”

These aren’t magical words and they’re not the only things you can say, but it’s a start. If you’ve never asked Jesus Christ to cover your wickedness with His holiness, please do it today. He will change you life and He will even change your after-life. And that is the key. God is not offering a “fire escape” from Hell. It’s about a relationship He wants to start with you today and carry on every day between now and eternity.

If this article has helped you realize your need for salvation, or has helped you understand what it takes to have a relationship with the God of the universe, or if you still have more questions . . . please leave a comment. I’d love to hear if you’ve become a believer! I’d love to know if God has cleansed your heart from sin! I’d also love to answer any more questions you may have.

This is the single most important part of a person’s life. Please enter into a relationship with God today, don’t wait. “Today is the day of salvation!”