Amazing Grace Hymns

May 22

BLESSED QUIETNESS

Manie P. Ferguson, 19th century

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only that which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:29, 30)

The Holy Spirit performs many important ministries in the life of a Christian. One of these is to give us a calm and tranquil spirit, despite the stormy circumstances of life that may come our way.

One of the great tragedies of the Christian life, however, occurs when, through apathy or neglect or overt attitudes and actions, we allow the Holy Spirit’s ministry to become grieved and even quenched, leaving us powerless and restless. Perhaps it might be due to: self-centeredness and lack of concern for the needs of others; negative and critical attitudes toward others; practicing known sin; or lack of times of worship and communion with God. Whatever the cause, this time of spiritual draught must be dealt with even as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me …”

The text for “Blessed Quietness” was written about 1900 by Manie Payne Ferguson after she had come into the Wesleyan experience of “holiness” or “entire sanctification” or—as some call it— “the filling of the Holy Spirit.” Regardless of our theological terminology for the Holy Spirit’s energizing ministry, the truth of these words is an essential in every believers’ life—

Joys are flowing like a river since the comforter has come; He abides with us forever, makes the trusting heart His home.

Bringing life and health and gladness all around, this heav’nly guest banished unbelief and sadness, chang’d our weariness to rest.

Like the rain that falls from heaven, like the sunlight from the sky, so the Holy Ghost is given, coming on us from on high.

See, a fruitful field is growing, blessed fruit of righteousness; and the streams of life are flowing in the lonely wilderness.

What a wonderful salvation, where we always see His face! What a perfect habitation, what a quiet resting place!

Chorus: Blessed quietness, holy quietness—what assurance in my soul! On the stormy sea He speaks peace to me—how the billows cease to roll!

For Today: Luke 11:13; John 14:18; Acts 5:32; Romans 8:16; Galatians 5:22

Be especially aware of attitudes, words, or actions that could grieve and quench the Holy Spirit’s ministry in your life. Enjoy a life of “blessed quietness” as you walk with God. Carry this musical reminder with you—

Osbeck, K. W.

EZC

  • If ye then which are evil, can give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Ghost to them that desire himLuke 11:13
  • I will not leave you fatherless: but I will come to you. John 14:18
  • And we are his witnesses concerning these things which we say: yea, and the holy Ghosts, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Acts 5:32
  • The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithGalatians 5:22

Connect The Testaments

May 22: Motive Is Everything

1 Chronicles 11:1–47; 1 Timothy 6:3–10; Psalm 80:1–19

It’s not often that we take an honest look at our motivations. But it’s important to reevaluate them regularly. When our sight is not fixed on God, we might become entranced with goals that conflict with godliness. Even though we might initially be performing the right actions, our lives will start to reveal the motives of our hearts.

Paul addresses this issue within the Ephesian community, where some people were spreading conflict in order to further their own gain. And this wasn’t just a problem with the perpetrators. This “constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain” was like poison, spreading envy and strife throughout the community (1 Tim 6:5).

To counteract this, Paul states that “godliness with contentment is a great means of gain” (1 Tim 6:5–6), but the gain he talks about is not success as we traditionally define it. Rather than financial riches, Paul presents the idea of complete contentment—of being satisfied with what we have and feeling secure in the life (both eternal and physical) with which God has blessed us (1 Tim 6:8).

This is not just a simple side issue. Paul states that “the love of money is a root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). When money becomes our guiding motivation, we’re very much tempted to be self-sufficient. Our motives become muddled, and we try to find our contentment in transient things. In contrast, when we’re completely satisfied in God, we won’t be tempted to conflicting motives.

Are your motives conflicted? How do you need to readjust your motives so that you desire godliness?

REBECCA VAN NOORD

EZC

  • Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bones and thy flesh. And in time past, even when Saul was king, thou leddest Israel out and in: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be captain over my people Israel. So came all the Elders of Israel to the King to Hebron, and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord, by the hand of Samuel. And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem: which is Jebus, where were the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come in hither. Nevertheless David took the tower of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first, shall be the chief and the captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was captain. And David dwelt in the tower: therefore they called it the city of David. And he built the city on every side, from Millo even round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David prospered and grew: for the Lord of hosts was with him. These also are the chief of the valiant men that were with David, and joined their force with him in his kingdom with all Israel, to make him king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord. And this is the number of the valiant men whom David had, Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the chief among thirty: he lift up his spear against three hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, which was one of the three valiant men whom David had, Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the chief among thirty: he lift up his spear against three hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, which was one of the three valiant men. He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle: and there was a parcel of ground full of barley, and the people fled before the Philistines. And they stood in the midst of the field, and saved it, and slew the Philistines: so the Lord gave a great victory. And three of the thirty captains went to a rock to David, into the cave of Adullam. And the army of the Philistines camped in the valley of Rephaim. And when David was in the hold, the Philistines garrison was at Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh, that one would give me to drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate. Then these three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it for an oblation to the Lord. And said, Let not my God suffer me to do this: should I drink the blood of these men’s lives? for they have brought it with the jeapordy of their lives: therefore he would not drink it: these things did these three mighty men. And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three, and he lift up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among the three. Among the three he was more honorable than the two, and he was their captain: but he attained not unto the first three. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada (the son of a valiant man) which had done my acts, and was of Kabzeel, he slew two strong men of Moab, he went down also and slew a Lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, even five cubits long, and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam: and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three worthies. Behold, he was honorable among thirty, but he attained not unto the first three. And David made him of his counsel. These also were valiant men of war, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, Sibbechai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hurai of the rivers of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shageh the Harite, Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him. Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite, Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother the Tizite, Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, Eliel and Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite. 1 Chronicles 11:1–47
  • If any man teach otherwise, and consenteth not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, He is puffed up and knoweth nothing, but doteth about questions and strive of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Froward disputations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness: from such separate thyself. But godliness is great gain, if a man be content with that he hath. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain, that we can carry nothing out. Therefore when we have food and raiment, let us therewith be content. For they that will be rich, fall into tentation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction. For the desire of money is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:3–10
  • Hear, O thou shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like sheep: show thy brightness, thou that sittest between the Cherubims. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stire up thy strength, and come to help us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine that we may be saved. O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink with great measure. Thou hast made us a strife unto our neighbors, and our enemies laugh at us among themselves. Turn us again, O God of hosts: cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou madest room for it, and didst cause it to take root, and it filled the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She stretched out her branches unto the Sea, and her boughs unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they, which pass by the way, have plucked her? The wild boar out of the wood hath destroyed it, and the wild beasts of the field have eaten it up. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven and behold, and visit this vine, And the vineyard, that thy right hand hath planted, and the young vine, which thou madest strong for thyself. It is burnt with fire, and cut down: and they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. Let thine hand be upon the man of thy right hand, and upon the son of man, whom thou madest strong for thine own self. So will not go back from thee, revive thou us, and we shall call upon thy Name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts: cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:1–19

Morning and Evening

May 22

“He led them forth by the right way.” —Psalm 107:7

Changeful experience often leads the anxious believer to enquire “Why is it thus with me?” I looked for light, but lo, darkness came; for peace, but behold trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved. Lord, thou dost hide thy face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday that I could read my title clear; to-day my evidences are bedimmed, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday I could climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the landscape o’er, and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; to-day, my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part of God’s plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven? Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all these things are but parts of God’s method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith—they are waves that wash you further upon the rock—they are winds which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven. According to David’s words, so it might be said of you, “so he bringeth them to their desired haven.” By honour and dishonour, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, think not, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, even to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”

“O let my trembling soul be still,
And wait thy wise, thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by thee.”

Evening

“Behold, thou art fair, my Beloved.” —Song of Solomon 1:16

From every point our Well-beloved is most fair. Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus; how amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and he has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen him also “from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards,” and he has lost none of his loveliness. From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and he has never been otherwise than “all fair.” Many of his saints have looked upon him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of him, but have died extolling his surpassing charms. Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be for ever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Saviour in all his offices, and to perceive him matchless in each?—to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on his throne, in the garden and in his kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, he is everywhere “altogether lovely.” Examine carefully every little act of his life, and every trait of his character, and he is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh him as you please, and he will not be found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, his hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendour, and his unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds.

Spurgeon, C. H.