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 devotions from Egerton Free

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By shaunefc, May 24 2020 10:48AM

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday” (Psalm 91:2-6).


“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).


By shaunefc, May 10 2020 12:22PM

Hymn: Thou art the everlasting Word


Thou art the everlasting Word,

The Father’s only Son;

God manifestly seen and heard,

And heaven’s beloved One.

“Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou

That every knee to Thee should bow!”


In Thee, most perfectly expressed,

The Father’s glories shine;

Of the full Deity possessed,

Eternally divine:

“Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou

That every knee to Thee should bow!”


True image of the Infinite,

Whose essence is concealed;

Brightness of uncreated light;

Eternally revealed:

“Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou

That every knee to Thee should bow!”


But the high mysteries of Thy name

An angel’s grasp transcend;

The Father only – glorious claim! –

The Son can comprehend:

“Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou

That every knee to Thee should bow!”


Throughout the universe of bliss

The centre Thou, and sun,

The eternal theme of praise is this,

To heaven’s beloved One.

“Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou

That every knee to Thee should bow!”


Josiah Conder


The wonderful refrain in this hymn is based on Philippians 2:10. (See also v11.)


By shaunefc, May 3 2020 10:46AM

Hymn: O God, our help in ages past


O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home.


Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is Thine arm alone,

And our defence is sure.


Before the hills in order stood,

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God,

To endless years the same.


A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone;

Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.


Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;

They fly forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.


O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Be Thou our guard while life shall last,

And our eternal home.


Isaac Watts, 1719, based on Psalm 90


Can we note three or more truths about God found in this hymn?

Can we find three or more truths about ourselves found in this hymn?



Anecdote shared by Pastor Ken Slater


Dear Friends,


One of my delights used to be attending an Away Day for Baptist Pastors at what was The Methodist Guest House at the Meads in Eastbourne. My day started with an early walk to "Robbie's Seat", placed in memory of Fyfe Robertson "Robbie" the Scottish TV presenter, himself a son of a Pastor. After a time of quietness overlooking the sea, it was back to breakfast with approximately 40 Pastors. This was followed by lectures from invited speakers in an atmosphere of warm and invigorating fellowship.


Before one of the meetings I noticed that most Pastors who entered made a beeline for one particular man, hands were warmly shaken, backs patted and many smiles and greetings exchanged. I was keen to know who this man at the centre of attention was. I discovered it was Doctor Raymond Brown, one time Principal of a Bible College, Pastor, Bible Commentator and renowned preacher.


At one of the sessions, "Ray" as everyone called him was asked to give his testimony, something rarely if ever asked of Pastors possibly because hearing Pastors talk a lot, people can overlook the fact that they have a story, much of which they have never heard. The testimony was gripping, a real eye-opener, if that is the right term. Many who thought they knew him found out things they might never have imagined. I remember some parts vividly but how he started impressed me greatly.


He used words similar to what can be found in Psalm 66, "Come and see what God has done" and then he added "For Me!". Some Christians don't like personal testimony, they can be exaggerated and a vivid imagination can take over. What interested me was that Dr. Brown, whilst he mentioned what had happened to him, was careful to say that, "the Lord had done it".


A Pastor spoke to me this week about the pitfall of speaking about our lives experiences in an eloquent and easy manner and failing to tell people what God has done in our lives. Of course we have to be careful and tactful, to pray for opportunities and openings. An important thing is to have in mind to witness if an opportunity arises. A salesman when he goes out in a morning, his day may start with breakfast, saying goodbye to his family, filling the car up with fuel, setting his satnav and fulfilling an appointment but on his mind is, he is going out to sell.


As a child I was taught the following Chorus:-


Lead me to some soul today,

O teach me, Lord, just what to say;

Friends of mine are lost in sin,

And cannot find their way.

Few there are who seem to care,

And few there are who pray;

Melt my heart, and fill my life,

Give me one soul today.


Why not listen to it being sung below:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO0bk-WleTE


God Bless,

Ken.



By shaunefc, Apr 26 2020 10:20AM

Anecdote: Asking in faith


When Hudson Taylor was sailing to China to begin his missionary work, his ship was in great danger. The wind had died, and the current was carrying them toward sunken reefs which were close to islands inhabited by cannibals—so close they could see them building fires on the shore.


Everything they tried was to no avail.

In his journal Taylor recorded what happened next: The Captain said to me, “Well, we have done everything that can be done.” A thought occurred to me, and I replied, “No, there is one thing we have not done yet.” “What is that?” he queried. “Four of us on board are Christians. Let us each retire to his own cabin, and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us immediately a breeze.”


Taylor prayed briefly and then, certain that the answer was coming, went up on the deck and asked the first officer to let down the sails. “What would be the good of that?” he answered roughly. I told him we had been asking a wind from God; that it was coming immediately. Within minutes the wind did began to blow, and it carried them safely past the reefs. Taylor wrote: Thus God encouraged me ere landing on China’s shores to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honour the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help each emergency required.


Knowing that our prayers touch the heart of our loving Father in Heaven and that He can meet any need, we should be confident that He will hear and answer when we cry out to Him.


Source: The Works of J. Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor



Quote:


“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.”


E.M. Bounds.



Bible Study by Rev Peter Michell of the Independent Gospel Cause:


Is anything too hard for the Lord?

This text for 2020 AD, taken from Genesis 18:14 - Is anything too hard for the LORD? It challenges the littleness of our faith today. Perhaps it is the Old Testament version of the words of Jesus to His disciples: “O ye of little faith!”


The words were spoken by one of the trinity of visitors at Abraham’s tent. Abraham gave lavish hospitality to the unidentified men who appeared. He had been given a three-fold promise in Genesis 12:1-3 of (i) a land that would belong to him and his descendants, (ii) descendants who would be so numerous that they would be a great nation, and (iii) blessing to all the nations through his descendants.


Abraham and Sarah were getting old and had had no son. As we tend to do, they tried to re-interpret the promise, God’s word. That was not good enough. They must take the word at face value. One of the visitors announced that he would return and Sarah would have a baby boy. Sarah could hardly believe it.


Let us examine the text under these heads.


I. The Affront

Sarah had heard the talk of her having a son. Abraham was about one hundred, and she was about ninety. Within herself, she laughed with disbelief. At their age, it was unrealistic for anything of the sort to be. The visitor knew what she thought and her inward reaction and challenged it. It was an affront. She did not believe what he was saying. It was in response to her disbelief that the Lord said, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” There is a certain edge to that rhetorical question. He said, “Wherefore did Sarah Laugh ...?” and “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” It is a rebuke.

We may well be equally doubting. There is talk of revival and Christians shrug it off as foolishly unrealistic. We are supposed to believe that the Lord will come again, but it is hardly taken seriously. Such unbelief is an affront. It is an insult to the Almighty. The Lord challenges it.


II. The Answer

The text is a rhetorical question. The hearer is not being asked for an opinion. There is a correct answer that should be obvious. The Lord is the Creator and Sustainer, and He holds the world in His hand like a ping-pong ball. He can do whatever He wants with it. He can keep it turning on its axis, crush it in His grip or toss it out as worthless. In fact, He chooses to sustain it. He can do anything He wants to do.

Centuries later, the angel told Mary that she would have a child and call Him Jesus. Mary did not understand how that could happen when she had not had intimacy with any man. The angel said something that echoes the words of Abraham’s visitor: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:27)


III. The Application

How it applies is evident in the text in Genesis. It is about these things:

(1) The Prophecies concerning Christ. The word of God to Abraham in Genesis 12 was about Christ. All the prophecies of the Old Testament refer Him. God could do it.

(2) The Promises of the Gospel. Abraham was promised blessing of the nations. That would mean salvation, forgiveness, heaven, and the work of the Holy Spirit. God could do this too.

(3). The Prayers of the Saints. No doubt, Abraham prayed for years and decades for a son and the fulfilment of the word of God to him. Yes, God could do it. And God can answer your prayers and your longings. Do not doubt it.


Peter Michell 11/01/2020


By shaunefc, Apr 19 2020 11:04AM

Hymn Stories: How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds


When John Newton was ordained a curate of Olney Parish in Buckinghamshire, England, after a hard past of working as a sailor and slave trader, he gave particular attention to ministering to the people in ways that went above and beyond the weekly worship service. He began arranging spiritual gatherings during the week: one on Thursday afternoons for children, where he would explain the Scriptures to them “in their own little way,” and one in the evenings for adults to allow for extemporaneous prayer and teaching.


For these meetings Newton began to compose little bits of verse to be sung, probably as a way to summarize and impress the Scripture lessons on the minds and hearts of his congregants. Regarding his composition of these hymns, Benson writes


Newton was not a poet and did not pretend to be one. . . . He was writing for plain people, and made his hymns so simple that these could follow and understand. In all this he took his cue from Dr. Watts. Newton had a ready pen, some imagination, deep feeling, a knowledge of Scripture, and an urgent motive.


Eventually Newton composed over 200 of these hymns and combined them with 68 more from his friend William Cowper to publish Olney Hymns. The book became quite popular in England and America as it captured the spirit and theology of the Evangelical revival that was happening in those days through the ministries of George Whitefield, the Wesleys, and many others.


The hymn “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” was published in Olney Hymns under the title “The Name of Jesus.”


How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds

In a believer’s ear!

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,

And drives away his fear.


It makes the wounded spirit whole,

And calms the troubled breast;

’Tis manna to the hungry soul,

And to the weary, rest.


Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,

My Shield and Hiding Place,

My never failing treasury, filled

With boundless stores of grace!


By Thee my prayers acceptance gain,

Although with sin defiled;

Satan accuses me in vain,

And I am owned a child.


Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,

O Prophet, Priest and King,

My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,

Accept the praise I bring.


Weak is the effort of my heart,

And cold my warmest thought;

But when I see Thee as Thou art,

I’ll praise Thee as I ought.


Till then I would Thy love proclaim

With every fleeting breath,

And may the music of Thy Name

Refresh my soul in death!


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