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

Amazing Grace Hymns

May 21

BREATHE ON ME, BREATH OF GOD

Edwin Hatch, 1835–1889

As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21, 22)

The good news of the gospel relates not only to what Christ once did—His death, resurrection, ascension—but to what He presently offers: Forgiveness of sin, the reuniting of our eternal fellowship with the Creator, an advocate with the heavenly Father, and the energizing indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit.

When a person becomes a Christian, he or she receives the Holy Spirit within. Often, however, the Holy Spirit does not have control of that life even though He resides there. The Scriptures teach that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are to live overcoming lives. This is not some emotional, mystical event. To be “filled with the Spirit of God” means in a very practical way that a believer has surrendered completely to the Lordship of Christ and sincerely desires to be directed by the Holy Spirit in order to worthily exalt Christ and be an effective representative for God. One of the most compelling evidences of a Spirit-filled life is our consistent, Christ-like daily living.

The author of this choice text, Edwin Hatch, was an Anglican minister. He also served for a time as a professor of the classics at Trinity College in Canada. Dr. Hatch was widely known for his scholarship and lectures in early church history. Despite his scholarly attainments, Hatch was said to have possessed a faith as “simple and unaffected as a child’s.”

This prayer to the Holy Spirit desiring a unity between our earthly will and God’s divine will first appeared in 1878 in a pamphlet titled “Between Doubt and Prayer.” The hymn in its present form appeared later in the Psalmist Hymnal, published in 1886.

Breathe on me, Breath of God; fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou dost love and do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with Thee I will one will—to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly Thine, till all this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with Thee the perfect life of Thine eternity.

For Today: John 3:5–7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:5; 1 John 4:13

Invite the Holy Spirit to have a greater control of your life—to empower you to be an even more effective representative for God. Sing this prayer as you go—

Osbeck, K. W.

EZC

  • Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except that a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh: and that that is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Marvel not that I said to thee, Ye  must be born againJohn 3:5–7
  • But we all behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord with open face, and are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness through faith. Galatians 5:5
  • Hereby know we, that we dwell in him, and he in us: because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13

Amazing Grace Hymns

May 20

HOLY GHOST, WITH LIGHT DIVINE

Andrew Reed, 1787–1862

That the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

As the earth can produce nothing unless it is fertilized by the sun, so we can do nothing worthwhile for God without the energizing Holy Spirit’s power operating in our lives.

Unknown

I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.

Hudson Taylor

One of the marks of spiritual maturity in any believer’s life is the growing conviction of the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power for daily living. How natural it often seems to attempt to live our lives and even minister for God in our own wisdom and strength. How tragic it is when churches and religious organizations institutionalize themselves with dogma or legalistic rules and practices and gradually replace the invigorating ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of their people. It is said that religious movements often follow a predictable course: A Spirit-filled leader, an efficient machine, a dead monument.

“Holy Ghost, With Light Divine” has been for many years one of the church’s important teaching hymns regarding the Holy Spirit’s ministry. The first stanza tells us that we need a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s presence in order to have clear directions for our lives. Then we are reminded that we need the Holy Spirit’s ministry in order to live lives of purity and power (verse two). We also need the work of the Holy Spirit to balance the emotional sorrows of life with “joy divine” (verse three). Finally, we need the all-prevailing control by the Holy Spirit if our lives are to be totally committed and conformed to God (verse four).

This fine text, written by Anglican minister Andrew Reed, first appeared in a publication by its author in 1817.

Holy Ghost, with light divine, shine upon this heart of mine; chase the shades of night away; turn my darkness into day.

Holy Ghost, with pow’r divine, cleanse this guilty heart of mine; long hath sin without control held dominion o’er my soul.

Holy Ghost, with joy divine, cheer this saddened heart of mine; bid my many woes depart; heal my wounded, bleeding heart.

Holy Spirit, all divine, dwell within this heart of mine; cast down ev’ry idol-throne; reign supreme and reign alone.

For Today: John 14:16–21; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9–11; Ephesians 5:8, 9, 18

Try to engage in a conversation some respected Christian friend whose life clearly reflects Spirit control. Seek to learn more about this truth in a personal, first-hand manner. Sing this prayer as you go—

Osbeck, K. W.

EZC

  • And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, becasue it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you fatherless: but I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world shall see me no more, but ye shall see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day shall ye know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them: is he that loveth me: and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will show mine own self to himJohn 14:16–21
  • But ye shall receive power of the holy Ghost, when he shall come on you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
  • Now ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, because the spirit of God dwelleth in you: but if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin: but the Spirit is life for righteousness sake. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:9–11
  • For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.) Ephesians 5:8-9
  • Having their understanding darkened, and being strangers from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heartEphesians 5:18