Amazing Grace Hymns

June 24

SATISFIED

Clara Tear Williams, 1858–1937

For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

The lie of the secularist is the notion that contentment in life is dependent upon material possessions. The going expression is “if I only had just a little more.” One of the important lessons that we should learn early in life is this: “If I am not satisfied with what I have, I will never be satisfied with what I want.” But contentment is an attitude that must be learned and developed. It is foreign to our human behavior. The apostle Paul was shut up in Nero’s dungeon in Rome when he penned these words: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation …” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s contentment was a personal relationship with his Lord. Money can buy many wonderful things, but it never provides this kind of permanent satisfaction. Only an intimate daily relationship with our Creator can truly satisfy the human heart.

In his book Songs That Lift the Heart George Beverly Shea tells of his first meeting with the author of this hymn text, Mrs. Clara Tear Williams. It occurred while he was walking one day with his dad:

“That,” said Dad, “was Mrs. Clara Tear Williams. She writes hymns.” There was a near reverence in his voice, and though I was only eight years old, I was duly impressed. When Dad and I got home that afternoon, I told Mother about meeting Mrs. Williams, the hymn writer. She smiled knowingly and nodded her head. Then she went to the piano bench and found a hymnal that contained one of Clara Tear Williams’ compositions. She explained that Mrs. Williams—a Wesleyan Methodist like us—had written the words, but that the music had been written by Ralph E. Hudson, an Ohio publisher who also was an evangelistic singer. A few years later, when I was in my teens and began to sing solos, I memorized the hymn that Mother played that day and sang it. It was entitled, “Satisfied.”
* * * *

All my life long I had panted for a draught, from some clear spring, that I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within.

Feeding on the husks around me, till my strength was almost gone, longed my soul for something better, only still to hunger on.

Poor I was, and sought for riches, something that would satisfy, but the dust I gathered round me only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

Well of water, ever springing, bread of life so rich and free, untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me.

Chorus: Hallelujah! I have found Him whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings—Thru His blood I now am saved.

For Today: Psalm 42:1; 81:16; 103:5; Proverbs 13:4; Philippians 4:11, 12

Reflect on this question—“What is the true source of my daily satisfaction?” Then sing this musical testimony as you go—

Osbeck, K. W.

EZC

  • As the Hart brayeth for the rivers of water, so panted my soul after thee, O GodPsalm 42:1
  • And God would have fed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock would I have sufficed thee. Psalm 81:16
  • Which satisfieth thy mouth with good things: and thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:5
  • The sluggard lusteth, but his soul hath nought: but the soul of the diligent shall have plenty. Proverbs 13:4
  • I speak not because of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. And I can be abased, and I can abound: everywhere in all things I am instructed, both to be full, and to be hungry, and to abound, and to have want. Philippians 4:11-12

 

Amazing Grace Hymns

June 23

I’D RATHER HAVE JESUS

Mrs. Rhea F. Miller, 1894–1966

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

The inspiring and challenging words of this hymn, written by Mrs. Rhea Miller, so influenced 23–year-old George Beverly Shea that they determined the direction of his entire life. As he began to compose a melody for these moving lines, he decided to devote his singing talent to God’s glory alone.

Growing up with devoted Christian parents, Bev was encouraged to use his fine singing voice often in the services of the Wesleyan Methodist churches of which his father was a minister. Financial needs of the family made it necessary for him to leave college and work in an insurance office. However, he continued singing in churches and for Christian radio programs. Unexpectedly he was offered an audition for a secular singing position in New York City and passed the test. The opportunity for a substantial salary and wide recognition made Bev’s decision very difficult.

One Sunday as Bev went to the family piano to prepare a song for the morning service, he found there the poem “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” His mother, who collected beautiful quotations and literary selections, had begun to leave some of them around the house for her son to read, hoping to guide him spiritually. Bev was deeply moved with the challenging message of this text. Immediately he began to compose the music for the lines and used the song that same day in his father’s church service.

Bev Shea comments: “Over the years, I’ve not sung any song more than ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus,’ but I never tire of Mrs. Miller’s heartfelt words.” As a young man of 23, Bev allowed the message of this text to guide him wisely to a wonderfully productive and worthwhile life of service to Christ as he shared his musical “theme song” with audiences around the world—

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land; I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand:

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame; I’d rather be true to His holy name:

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom; He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb; He’s all that my hungering spirit needs—I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead:

Refrain: Than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin’s dread sway! I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

For Today: Joshua 24:15; Matthew 16:24–26; Romans 1:16; Philippians 3:8

What would be your honest response to this question: “What are you living for and what would you be willing to die for?” Sing this testimony—

Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day who ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served (that were beyond the flood) or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but I and mine house will serve the LordJoshua 24:15
  • Jesus then said to his disciples, If any man will follow me, let him forsake himself: and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what shall it profit a man though he should win the whole world, if he lose his own soul? or what shall a man give for recompense of his soulMatthew 16:24–26
  • For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Grecian. Romans 1:16
  • Yea, doubtless think all things but loss for the excellent knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have counted all things loss, and do judge them to be dung, that I might win Christ. Philippians 3:8

Connect The Testaments

June 23: Discernment and Prayer

Nehemiah 6:1–7:65; 1 John 5:1–5; Psalm 109:16–31

“For all of them sought to frighten us.… And now, God, strengthen my hands” (Neh 6:9).
While God calls us to “love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us]” (Matt 5:44), he also calls us to act with discernment and prayer. Loving others doesn’t mean we should be weak or passive. Part of loving others means discerning their hearts and motives.

“Blessed are the meek, because they will inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5). When Jesus spoke about being meek, He wasn’t referring to weakness. Instead, He was teaching us to focus on others rather than ourselves. That doesn’t mean we should be passive toward those who wish to harm us. Part of practicing meekness is being aware of our enemies and dealing with them cautiously. Doing so successfully takes strength and discernment—necessary components of any godly work.

Nehemiah demonstrates these traits in his interactions with his enemies. When his opponents ask him to meet with them, Nehemiah discovers that they actually wish to hurt him. He resists their attack—even calling them on their deceit (Neh 6:8).

Too often we allow ourselves to live passively. We enter into situations without thinking things through or recognizing that we’re about to be hurt by others. Yet we as Christians are at war against the evil in the world—not just against people, but also the unseen forces of evil (Eph 6:12). When we feel oppression, we must resist the urge to be reactive. Instead, we must appeal to Christ, who can overcome it all. We must refuse to engage unless it’s on our terms, by the power of the Spirit and completely in His will.

What battles are you engaging with that you should disengage from? Which situations in your life need discernment?

JOHN D. BARRY

EZC

  • And when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall, and that there was no more breaches therein (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates) Then sent Sanballat and Geshem unto me, saying, come thou that we may meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono: and they thought to do me evil. Therefore I sent messengers unto them, saying, I have a great work to do, and I cannot come down: why would the work case, while I leave it and come down to you? Yet they set unto me four times after this sort unto me the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand, Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu hath said it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel, for the which cause thou buildest the wall, and thou wilt be their king according to these words. Thou hast also ordained the Prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is King in Judah: and now according to these words  it shall come to the King’s ears: come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. Then I sent unto him, saying, It is not done according to these words that thou sayest: for thou feignest them of thine own heart. For all they afraid us, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, and it shall not be done: now therefore encourage thou me. And I cam to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, and he was shut up, an dhe said, Let us come together into the house of God in the midst of the Temple, and shut the doors of the Temple: for they will come to slay thee: yea, in the night will they come to kill thee. Then I said, Should suah a man as I, flee? Who is he, being as I am, that would go into the Temple to live? I will not go in. And lo, I perceived that God had not sent him, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobia and Sanballat had hired him. Therefore was he hired, that I might be afraid, and do thus, and sin, and that they might have an evil report, that they might reproach me. My God, remember thou Tobiah, and Sanballat according unto these their works, and Noadiah the Prophetess also, and the rest of the prophets that would have put me in fear. Notwithstanding the wall was finished on the five and twentieth day Elul, in two and fifty days. And when all our enemies heard thereof, even all the heathen that were about us, they were afraid, and their courage failed them: for they knew that this work was wrought by our God. And in these days were there many of the princes of Judah, whose letters went unto Tobaih, and those of Tobaih came unto them. For there were many in Judah, that were sworn unto him: for he was the son in law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah. Yea, they spoke in his praise before me, and told him my words, and Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. Nehemiah 6:1–7:65
  • Whosoever believeth that Jesus is that Christ, is born of God: and everyone that loveth him, which begat, loveth him also which is begotten of him. In this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdenous. For all that is born of God, overcometh this world: and this is that victory that hath overcome this world even our faith. Who is it that overcometh this world, but he which believeth that Jesus is that Son of God1 John 5:1–5
  • Because he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the afflicted and poor man, and the sorrowful hearted to slay him. As he loved cursing, so shall it come unto him, and as he loved not blessing, so shall it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like a raiment, so shall it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be unto him a garment to cover him, and for a girdle, wherewith he shall be always girded. Let this be the reward of mine adversary from the Lrod, and of them that speak evil against my soul. But thou, O Lord my God, deal with me according unto thy Name: deliver me, (for thy mercy is good) Because I am poor and needy, and mine heart is wounded within me. I depart like the shadow that declineth, and am shaken off as the grasshopper. My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh hath lost all fatness. I became also a rebuke unto them: they that looked upon me, shaked their heads. Help me, O Lord my God: save my according to thy mercy. And they shall know that this is thine hand, and that thou, Lord, hast done it. Though they curse, yet thou wilt bless: they shall arise and be confounded, but thy servants shall rejoice. Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their confusion as with a cloak. I will give thanks unto the Lord greatly with my mouth, and praise him among the multitude. For he will stand at the right hand of the poor, to save them that would condemn his soul. Psalm 109:16–31