A Hymn Devotion for 6 October 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:5-10
This hymn is not common to English or American hymnals – not at least insomuch as I could find it there. I discovered this hymn long ago in the standard Korean Hymnal and have loved it since. It is an old hymn once featured in the Presbyterian hymnals of two centuries ago. The hymn is written by T. Sasao and translated from Korean by John T. Underwood. The tune is NETTLETON composed by J. Wyeth in 1812. It reflects the immutable truth that our salvation is ALL of grace and none of our own works.
GOD’S GREAT GRACEW IT HAS BROUGHT US
1. God’s great grace it is has brought us, All this way in faithfulness
God’s unbounded love which sought us, How can tongue of man express
His strong hand is watching o’er us, Whether sleeping or awake
He makes all things pleasant for us, In the Lord for Jesus sake
2. God renews our failing powers With His might from day to day
And in mercy on us showers Grace sufficient for the way
Though the loveless streets be dreary Harsh and bleak the mountain ways
We shall walk and not be weary Clasp His hand and sing His praise
3. Daily closer comes the promise When again we see the Lord
Every burden taken from us Every joy in him restored
Back at home my room is waiting I shall walk in through that door
Join my Father celebrating And with Him live evermore.
1. God’s great grace it is has brought us, All this way in faithfulness God’s unbounded love which sought us, How can tongue of man express His strong hand is watching o’er us, Whether sleeping or awake
He makes all things pleasant for us, In the Lord for Jesus sake In most modern churches, we hear little of grace in the context of its true meaning in Scripture. Though it is often used to represent the favor of God (which is true), it most often means in a sense of ‘deserved’ grace and not the biblical definition of ‘unmerited grace.’ There is no greater grace than that of God. In fact, apart from that of God, there is no grace. Grace is a product of sacrificial love, and all love comes from God. There is no language under the sun that can even begin to fully express the grace of God toward His people. He never slumbers nor sleeps. “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
2. God renews our failing powers With His might from day to day And in mercy on us showers Grace sufficient for the way Though the loveless streets be dreary Harsh and bleak the mountain ways We shall walk and not be weary Clasp His hand and sing His praise. If we recall the wicked days before the Great Deluge, we will know that the heart of man is nothing more than to continually imagine wickedness more and more. We see the days of Noah reflected in our own times today. The very first mention of grace, in fact, is found in regard to Noah: “8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:7 The Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem us from our sins so that we suffer not the great death, but have life more abundantly without the penalty of the Law. “4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23”4 Under every dark circumstance, the faithful Christian is able to sing praises to our Lord.
3. Daily closer comes the promise When again we see the Lord Every burden taken from us Every joy in him restored Back at home my room is waiting I shall walk in through that door Join my Father celebrating And with Him live evermore. Every passing day of our lives, we draw nearer to that moment of being face-to-face with our Creator and Lord. Though the Lord bears our heavy burdens here in this life, the day comes when every burden shall be lifted and we shall enjoy close fellowship with Him and all the saints in Heaven. We all have a room of dying in this life, but that room is only a rough foyer to the Gates of
Splendor which awaits every elect of God. You do not earn entrance – it is all of grace. You were chosen and elected from before the foundation of the world; and you were called to life, even while living a temporary existence in the world, by the soothing and penetrating voice of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, GRACE IS THE FOUNDATION of true Christianity. The New Testament reveals that God the Father’s GRACE is an ALL-ENCOMPASSING quality.
The life-giving faith of the Christian is also a gift and benefit of grace: “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:8-10 (KJV) We were all dead in trespasses and sin until our souls were made alive by the Holy Ghost – totally an act of God and no act of the dead man.
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Eph 1:3-7 (KJV)
Your labors for God come AFTER your salvation – not before. When you are in Christ, your good works are His as He works through you to accomplish His certain will.