The three hundred year span of time from 1640 to 1940 saw the development of great variety in congregational singing throughout America. Beginning with the Psalters of the first colonists, Americans contributed widely varying styles of songs and hymns, culminating with the popular and influential gospel song.
The revivalist tradition is rooted in pietist hymnody. It is characterized by an emphasis on the relationship of Christ (the bridegroom) to the church and to the individual believer (the bride). It is commonly held that Isaac Watts combined most successfully the expression of worship with that of human devotional experience. The Wesleys developed what we know today as “invitation” songs. When transported to America, this tradition gave rise to the modern revival movement.
What is God calling you to do, to become? Unsure? In Mark 1:17 we read of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew: “Come, follow Me.” Not only is He direct, notice the important implication: To say “follow Me” assumes He’ll show the way! The application for us today is simply this: The serious seeker will not be left in the dark. Wait upon the Lord if you are uncertain. When God is clear, go for it!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things,” writes the Apostle Paul (Colossians 3:2); “Live for eternity and not for time,” said D. L. Moody.
It’s impossible to even estimate the impact godly women have had on this world! For instance: Godly mothers have affected the destiny of countless millions by their influence in the home. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, D.L. Moody (evangelist), Hudson Taylor (missionary), Charles Spurgeon (pastor), R.A. Torrey (pastor, evangelist, Bible teacher), Chuck Smith (pastor/Bible teacher), Jack Hayford (pastor/Bible teacher), and James Dobson (psychologist/author) all testify to the shaping influence of their mothers.
So often God does the unexpected and creates the difficulty to help us become what He made us be: trusting and dependent worshipers. His ways of grace are beyond human capacity to fathom, yet the patient and obedient child of God is eventually able to look in the rearview mirror and see divine orchestration of his or her life.
Really the promises of God to prayer have been pared down by us to our little faith, and have been brought down to the low level of our narrow notions about God’s ability, liberality and resources. Let us ever keep in mind and never for one moment allow ourselves to doubt the statement that God means what He says in all of His promises. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)
Faith gives birth to prayer, and grows stronger, strikes deeper, rises higher, in the struggles and wrestlings of mighty petitioning. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance and realization of the inheritance of the saints. Faith, too, is humble and persevering. It can wait and pray; it can stay on its knees, or lie in the dust. It is the one great condition of prayer; the lack of it lies at the root of all poor praying, feeble praying, little praying, unanswered praying. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)
There is only one way to experience the joyful, cleansing power of forgiveness. It’s by confessing our sins to the only One who can redeem us and make us wholly acceptable in the holy eyes of God.
While salvation is promised to those who believe, the believing sinner is always a praying sinner. God has no promise of pardon for a prayerless sinner just as He has no promise for the prayerless professor of religion. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)