Sunday, October 10

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

For the love that crowns our days...

The Love of God
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God's love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam's race--
The saints' and angels' song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

---Frederic Lehman
---Midi file from Rose's Garden.

From David Legge, pastor of The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a sermon on God's love:
As we close I want to leave with you a verse, it's 1 John 4:18, this great book of love - listen to it: 'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love'. You know the child that gets lost in the supermarket, and it gets into a frenzy and into a panic, and it's distressed looking around, and it feels vulnerable and it feels danger - and that is the way so many people feel today. Our society is wrecked by fear and by anxiety and distress and worry, and even those who belong to the Lord are living like that! And as long as we are willing to live in the world, and to be satisfied standing, trembling, in the arms of chance and this world system - we will fear! If you want to continue to go down a carnal Christian route, if we want to continue to live in our sins without Christ, fear will come to us - and as the word of God says, fear hath torment. And how many people are tormented with fear? The word of God's right you know - clear as a bell! If you fear, you will be tormented - and the only way, my friend today, to deal with your fear is to enter into the secret place of leaning upon the arm of God, leaning upon the arm of the love of God!

Oh, isn't it wonderful? A. W. Tozer said this: 'Let a man become convinced that nothing can harm him and instantly for him all fear goes out of universe. The nervous reflex, the natural revulsion, the physical pain may be felt sometimes - but the deep torment of fear is gone forever. God is love, God is sovereign, His love disposes Him to desire our everlasting welfare and His sovereignty enables Him to secure it'. Oh, we learnt, didn't we, that what God wants to do He has the power to do. And today, you see where you sit, if God wants to deliver you from fear that brings torment, He can do it now. Why do we grumble? Why do we become discontent? Why are we resentful when God takes us down a certain path in life and we feel distrustful, fearful, depressed? Maybe our Christian life is becoming lukewarm, informal and half-hearted, and our loyalties are divided - why does that happen? Because we are not resting in the love of God!

Handley Moule was the Bishop of Durham, and there was a colliery disaster. And he went down with his Bible in his hand - as the man of God that he was - to bring some comfort to these people who had been bereaved and were mourning. And he didn't know what he was going to say, he was lost for words, and he opened his Bible - and the Lord opened the Bible - at a particular place where he had a bookmark. And you've seen these bookmarks, on the one side it says 'God is love', and on the other side there was a mass of tangled and coloured threads. And old Handley Moule lifted up that bookmark and showed them the side that was tangled coloured threads, and he said: 'This is the disaster in your life, it doesn't seem you're going to see through it, things you can't understand' - and as he turned it over, he said: 'But behind it all there is a loving God'. Isn't that true?