Resting on God

The thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers me,
For I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed,
but Thou art for ever at perfect peace.
Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment,
they stand fast as the eternal hills.
Thy power knows no bond,
Thy goodness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion,
and my defeats are Thy victories:
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows,
to leave every concern entirely to Thee,
every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood;
Revive deep spirituality in my heart;
Let me live near to the great Shepherd,
hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls.
Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth,
from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit.
Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities,
burning into me by experience the things I know;
Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel,
that I may bear its reproach,
vindicate it,
see Jesus as its essence,
know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget Thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee,
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.

from The Valley of Vision A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions,
p. 129

A Prayer for Pentecost

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!
Be all Thy graces now outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart;
Thy fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of Thy light,
Thou in the faith doth men unite
Of ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue;
This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Thou holy Light, Guide, Divine,
Oh, cause the Word of life to shine!
Teach us to know our God aright
And call Him Father with delight.
From ev’ry error keep us free;
Let none but Christ our Master be
That we in living faith abide,
In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Thou holy Fire, Comfort true,
Grant us the will Thy work to do
And in thy service to abide,
Let trials turn us not aside.
Lord, by Thy pow’r prepare each heart
And to our weakness strength impart,
That bravely here we may contend,
Through life and death to Thee, our God, ascend.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The above words are from a hymn composed by Martin Luther in 1524. I am quoting them from The Contemporaries Meet The Classics on The Holy Spirit, compiled by Randall Harris, pp. 54-55.

This helpful volume contains quotations from authors both contemporary (after 1950) and classic (before 1950). Authors quoted include A. W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Jim Cymbala, Augustine of Hippo, Hans Kung, Karl Barth, Andrew Murray, and many others.

Quotations are divided into the following categories:

Character and Characteristics of the Holy Spirit
The Power of the Holy Spirit
The Purpose of the Holy Spirit
The Workings of the Holy Spirit
The Presence of the Holy Spirit
Life Lived in the Spirit
The Mystery of the Holy Spirit

This book provides a good introductory survey of literature on the Holy Spirit.

How Did Early Christians Worship?

How did early Christians worship? The following description was written by Justin Martyr around the year 150. This material is excerpted from a church history article I recently read.

This week as we focus on cultivating joy, let’s give thanks for the blessing we have each Sunday of joining together for worship, as Christians have been doing for thousands of years. We have so much for which to be thankful, including the great history and tradition of Christian worship!


How We Christians Worship
Translation by Dr. Everett Ferguson, professor of Bible at Abilene Christian University and editor of Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (Gardland, 1990).]
“On the day called Sunday there is a gathering together in the same place of all who live in a given city or rural district. The memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits. Then when the reader ceases, the president in a discourse admonishes and urges the imitation of these good things. Next we all rise together and send up prayers.
When we cease from our prayer, bread is presented and wine and water. The president in the same manner sends up prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people sing out their assent, saying the “Amen.” A distribution and participation of the elements for which thanks have been given is made to each person, and to those who are not present they are sent by the deacons.

Those who have means and are willing, each according to his own choice, gives what he wills, and what is collected is deposited with the president. He provides for the orphans and widows, those who are in need on account of sickness or some other cause, those who are in bonds, strangers who are sojourning, and in a word he becomes the protector of all who are in need.
We all make our assembly in common on Sunday, since it is the first day, on which God changed the darkness and matter and made the world, and Jesus Christ our Savior arose from the dead on the same day. For they crucified him on the day before Saturn’s day, and on the day after (which is the day of the Sun) he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught these things, which we have offered for your consideration.”

—First Apology, 67