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For God Alone: God's Amazing Grace

We love to sing our songs of Zion, especially with God’s people. Perhaps the most beloved song-of-the-redeemed is John Newton’s Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound. In fact, many would call this the world’s most famous and, perhaps, favorite hymn. It is translated into many languages across the globe, printed in some 1300 hymnals, and could be sung with gusto by almost any crowd of people throughout the entire United States at any given moment. It is frequently the hymn of choice for Hollywood film directors in funeral service scenes. Christians and non-Christians alike sing Amazing Grace in times of great joy and celebration, and times of deep sorrow and pain. But, always, the words reassure the believer that it is by God’s amazing grace that we are saved, and we are kept.
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; How precious did that gr…

For God Alone: Give Thanks to God!

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faithinto this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
In this passage, the Apostle Paul points us to what Jack MacGorman calls the ‘marvelous consequences of our justification’ in Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, you and I have been tested and stretched in ways we could never have imagined; but, our Shepherd-Savior who is our all in all of everything leads us on our respective journeys.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restor…

For God Alone: Hope in God!

At present, with so much unrest in our world, many yards in our neighborhood are displaying a sign that reads: Hope is not cancelled!
In what do you place your hope? We often say things like: I hopeyou are doing well. Or, Tomorrow, I hope to go to shopping … or to play golf. Merriam-Webster defines the verb, hope, as follows: to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true. A second, and archaic meaning is: to trust. As a noun, hope is defined as: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.
For the Christian, hope is found in the eternal God alone. In Bible study class this past Sunday, we heard an excellent lesson on reverencing the name of God: 
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Our Bible study teacher reminded her listeners via ZOOM of the many names of God: Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will provide); Jehovah Rapha (The God who heals), …

For God Alone: More of Thee. Less of Me.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,  with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)
When Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisee, he was quoting the Shema as found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Every Hebrew father taught his children this bedrock verse from the Talmud. With His reply to the Pharisee’s question, Jesus confirmed that this principle, this maxim, remains at the very foundation for those who would follow Him as His disciple.
James, the apostle, reminded us to … 
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
In the Preface to his book, A Passion for God,* Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. writes: “To commune with God by faith in deep personal fellowship is the highest fulfillment one can experience. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and I want more.”
Years ago, I traveled to Dublin, Ireland a few days before a scheduled mission effort, that I might spend time alone with God in a city that was altogether new to me. The trip was at the end of a particul…

For God Alone: This is my story! This is my song!

Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard! Tell how the angels, in chorus, sang as they welcomed his birth, “Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.” Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard!
Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Fanny Crosby wrote between 5,500 and 9,000 gospel songs. (She used some 200 pseudonyms to preserve her modesty.) Conversion, life transformation, and preservation of the saints are common themes of her texts: Rescue the Perishing; Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine; To God Be the Glory; All the Way My Savior Leads Me; Praise Him! Praise Him!; I Am Thine, O Lord; Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior; Jesus Is Tenderly Calling; He Hideth My Soul; My Savior First of All (I Shall Know Him).
The Bible records countless stories of transformed lives in both the Old and New Testaments:
Ruth - 
But Ruth said, “Do not urge …