The Savior Of The World

I cannot tell why He whom angels worship
Should set His love upon the sons of men,

Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wanderers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when:

But this I know, that He was born of Mary,
When Bethlehem’s manger was His only home,

And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
And so the Savior, Savior of the world is come.

I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
As with His peace He graced this place of tears,

Or how His heart upon the cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years:

But this I know, He heals the brokenhearted,
And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,

And lifts the burden from the heavy-laden,
For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.

I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
How He will claim His earthly heritage,

How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of East and West, of sinner and of sage;

But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,

And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known.

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,

Or who can say how great the jubilation
When all the hearts of men with love are filled:

But this I know, the skies will thrill with gladness,
And myriad, myriad human voices sing,

And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth will answer;
At last the Savior, Savior of the world is King!
— William Y. Fullerton (1857-1932)

Joy, Prayer And Thanksgiving

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV

Adapted from “The Bible Treasury,” edited by William Kelly. These brief notes were from a Bible study in 1917.

These verses are so sweet and precious, especially to the young believer. The believers in Thessalonica were Paul’s joy and crown of rejoicing (2:19), and we cannot read the epistles without noticing the spirit in which they were written. In these verses we have the normal state of the Christian: perpetual, or continual, joy, prayer and thanksgiving. What do we know, for instance, of perpetual joy – a joy that never wanes? If we were marked more by these three things what a different people we would be!

In 2 Kings 18:14 we find that Hezekiah was not prayerful. By looking at that portion we also discover the means God used to change him into a man who prayed. King Hezekiah did not turn to God when the king of Assyria first came up, but God would not let Hezekiah go on in his way. The Devil tried to hinder the king of Judah’s confidence. Finally, after Rabshakeh’s insolence, Hezekiah went into the house of Jehovah (19:1). What a pity that he did not go before!

Hezekiah was learning a profitable lesson, but it needed to be deepened. Hence, he got the letter which then he spread out before the Lord, and he received God’s magnificent answer. Does not this show how much better it would be for us if we were more constantly in prayer? Hezekiah had beautified the house of the Lord more than any; but after opening the house, through not praying, he had to cut off the gold.

In the order in Thessalonians, joy comes before prayer; and the question is, “Where is true Christian joy to be found?” The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10), but how is this joy to be maintained? Paul had it in prison (Acts 16:25), and he told the Philippians to rejoice always (Phil 4:4). This joy is only to be found where the Lord Himself found it: through obedience. As we are obedient we shall prove it likewise. The dependent Man could say in Psalm 16:6, ”The lines are fallen unto Me in pleasant places.” We are no doubt living in the last moments of the Church’s history, and it is only conscious communion with the Lord that can keep one happy. If you meditate on the Lord, even through a hard day’s work, you will find joy.

Next we have “Pray without ceasing” (1 Th. 5:17). “Open thy mouth wide,” He has said, “and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10). The Lord does not want us to close our mouths. The answer in Malachi is: “I will … open … the windows of heaven” (Mal. 3:10). Don’t we want that? Back in Acts 16 we find the Lord opened Lydia’s heart. If you and I open our mouths wide the Lord will fill them. Then, He will do what we cannot do: He will open hearts.

In Luke the Lord is seen praying more than in any other gospel. At His baptism He came up praying. On the mountaintop or in the garden, He was always praying. Confidence and dependence marked Him all through. Only in Luke do we read the admonition, “Men ought always to pray” (18:1).

“Pray without ceasing” does not forbid the thought of definite times for prayer, nor does it detract from the proper carrying out of our service to the Lord. Prayer should indeed have the first place in all our service. Through it we are strengthened of God for whatever He gives us to do. But alas! Are we not ready to put our work in the first place and to give a lower place to prayer? Not so with the apostles: “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4).

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we have “thanksgiving.” How the Lord loves to hear it! We find three sacrifices in Hebrews: one never to be repeated, two never to be left off. The Lord’s one offering can never be repeated (10:12). But in Hebrews 13 we read: “By Him let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually” (v.15) and, “To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (v.16).

There are four records of our Lord giving thanks. With 5,000 hungry men before Him, He gave thanks, knowing what He would do. When His testimony was rejected (Mt. 11:25), He gave thanks. At the grave of Lazarus He gave thanks before He raised him, and in the presence of His own death He gave thanks (Lk. 22:17,19). “In everything give thanks,” but that is not as difficult as “giving thanks always for all things” (Eph. 5:20). This is God’s will for us.

Thine Is The Love, Lord, That Draws Us Together

Thine Is The Love, Lord, That Draws Us Together

— Agnes Mary Harding (1887-1966)

Thine is the love, Lord, that draws us together,
Guiding our steps from the wilderness ways;
Soon face to face we’ll adore Thee for ever,
Now our glad hearts would be filled with Thy praise.

Faithful Thy grace o’er our pathway has waited,
Deep the delight we have found, Lord, in Thee;
Now with this treasure our spirits are freighted,
Bowed at Thy feet, and the fragrance set free.

For us, Lord Jesus, Thyself Thou hast given;
Sufferings unfathomed for us Thou hast known;
Now, in accord with the homage of heaven,
Rises a song from the hearts of Thine own.

Jesus, Lord Jesus, we love and adore Thee,
Glorious Thy name, all our praises above;
Peerless Thy beauty, we worship before Thee;
Hushed are our spirits, at rest in Thy love.

A Place For Worship

By Stephen Campbell

The people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days … Now the king [Solomon] went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place … At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon. 1 Kings 3:2,4-5 NKJV

First Kings 3 describes a pivotal moment in Israel’s worship of the LORD. More than four centuries earlier, before the people of Israel entered Canaan, Moses told them to anticipate a central location for worship. The portable tabernacle of the LORD had been the designated site for worship as the nation traveled across the desert, but in the Promised Land there would be a “place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide,” a place for sacrifices and rejoicing (Dt. 12:11-12). As Joshua and the people of Israel took possession of Canaan, the tabernacle was set up in Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), and there it remained during the long years of the judges.
However, Israel’s moral condition brought no honor to the LORD. Their identity as God’s people continually weakened until, during the time of the blind priest Eli and his immoral sons, the ark of God – which normally rested in the holiest part of the tabernacle – came to be viewed as nothing more than a good luck charm. When enemies captured the ark, it was as if the glory of the LORD departed with it (1 Sam. 4). The traditions of worshiping at Shiloh dissolved.

As a result, the people began worshiping the LORD on mountaintops and high places, as our introductory verses describe. The great bronze altar and other parts of the tabernacle were moved to the mountains of Gibeon (1 Chr. 16:39, 21:29), and the people also built altars to the LORD elsewhere. For example, it is likely that the altar on Mt. Carmel which the prophet Elijah later repaired was one of these (1 Ki. 18:30). Although the high places were often associated with idol worship and other ungodly practices, that was not the case here. The people knew the LORD deserved their worship, so they sought Him where they could. Still, what had happened to Moses’ statement about a central gathering place for the LORD’s name? It seemed as if his words had fallen to the ground and would remain unfulfilled.

But God was at work. The ark of the LORD was returned to Israel, and King David ordered the construction of a new tent where it could be kept (1 Chr. 16:1). David later discerned that a spot in Jerusalem was to be the location for the house of the Lord (22:1), and he gathered a vast supply of materials for its construction. As yet, however, the building process for such a house had not begun. Hence, when Solomon began his reign, he visited the great high place at Gibeon. There, on the altar of burnt offering constructed nearly 500 years earlier, he offered a thousand sacrifices to the LORD.

This event was a turning point, for it was the last time Solomon ever offered there. The LORD appeared that night to give the new king a blessing. Solomon asked for wisdom, and his humble desire was granted. The very next day Solomon returned to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices before the ark of God; and soon afterwards, temple construction began. God’s wisdom, coupled with the discernment of Solomon’s father David, led Solomon to abandon the high places and embrace the long-awaited revelation of a place where the LORD’s name would reside.

It is still a valuable desire to bring our worship to the Lord. He is certainly worthy of every sacrifice of praise! Now, however, as the Lord Jesus Himself taught in John 4, our worship is not restricted to a specific location. Yet it is still important to seek the place where His name is honored, for in such a place He meets His people as they are gathered unto Him.

Worshipers Found In Matthew

• “Wise men from the East came … to worship Him” (2:1-2).
• “Behold, a leper came and worshiped Him” (8:2).
• “A ruler came and worshiped Him” (9:18).
• “Those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him” (14:33).
• “A woman of Canaan … came and worshiped Him” (15:21,25).
• “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary … came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him” (28:1,9).
• “The eleven disciples … when they saw Him, they worshiped Him” (28:16-17).

But I Say Unto You

“Ye have heard that is hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” — Matthew 5:43-44 KJV

By Bill Kulkens

The Lord Jesus exposed the false teachings that the religious leaders were preaching in His day. Among the many false teachers were the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and lawyers. They focused on outward conformity to the law of Moses. The Lord Jesus brought us God’s perspective, which includes the heart – the inward moral reality of mankind.

The verses above show us the last of six quotes by the Lord from the Old Testament and His explanation for them. Right away, if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that while outwardly we may be able to show obedience to some or all of these commands, inwardly we know we come up short. When we review the kings of Israel and Judah we see the same failures on many of the six commands that the Lord reviewed. In fact, all of mankind is disobedient inwardly in some way.

Only the Lord Jesus was completely obedient to the law of Moses, both inwardly and outwardly. He not only taught us that we need to love our enemies and not hate them, He also lived that way. When the Lord considered Jerusalem’s rejection of Him, He shared His desire to bless and not curse; but the people “would not” receive Him and His blessing (Mt. 23:37). At the time when the Lord revealed to Peter that he would deny knowing Him, the Lord told His disciple that He had prayed for him (Lk. 22:31-32). The very moment Judas Iscariot arrived to betray the Lord, He greeted the betrayer with the term “friend” (Mt. 26:50). Dying on the cross by the hands of wicked men, the Lord Jesus asked His Father to “forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

What a wonderful, faithful Savior! He alone deserves our worship and praise.

The Father’s Love, Displayed By Jesus

By Jacob Redekop

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.” —1 John 1:1 NKJV

The apostle John was amazed at the thought of the Father’s love being so great, and he stopped to consider it carefully. To do so, his senses were involved: First, the ears for hearing; second, the eyes for seeing; and third, the hands for touching. John’s conclusion was that truly this Man is unique!

As the apostle began this opening verse of 1 John, he first mentioned that “which we have heard.” The disciples actually heard the Man speaking and realized He was no ordinary Man. They listened intently and then passed on to us what they had heard. The multitude “marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Lk. 4:22). “They were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority” (v.32). On another occasion officers sent to take Jesus said, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn. 7:46). To the disciples, Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (6:63). That is to say, His words produced a spiritual and life-giving effect in those who heard. This can be said of no one else.

The apostle then continued to speak of that “which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon.” Here the apostle would have us look and contemplate. This is not just a casual glance, but to take time and reflect on the One on whom our eyes are fixed, even Jesus. In Luke 5 we see the Man who can forgive sins, and the large crowd witnessing this reasoned, “Who can forgive sins but God alone” (v.21). The multitude that heard Jesus speak and saw what He did were amazed and said, “We have seen strange things today!” (v.26).

The Samaritan woman after her encounter with Jesus at the well of Sychar went to the men of her city and said, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (Jn. 4:29). Jesus was more than a Jew, more than a prophet; He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. He opened her heart and revealed to her the Father, who is seeking worshipers to worship in spirit and truth.

Is this not the voice for us today? We are wonderfully privileged to focus our eyes, our spiritual vision, on Jesus. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels … crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9). “But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18 JND). We know who He is, Son of God and Son of Man – the One who loves us and came down from heaven to save us and to reveal the Father’s love.

Back to our verse in 1 John, we then read “our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.” After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see” (Lk. 24:39 NKJV). The word “handle” means to feel or touch, and the meaning is the same in this passage as in our verse.

In Luke 5:12-14 we see Jesus in a city where a man full of leprosy saw Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus responded. He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed,” and “immediately the leprosy left him.” In Luke 8:43-48 we find a woman with a flow of blood for twelve years who came and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. When Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”, the woman came forward, trembling, and declared that immediately upon touching Him, she was healed. Jesus’ answer to her is remarkably beautiful: “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

We have traced a little of the life of the Lord Jesus and found that He was available to all who were in distress. He was able and willing to reach out with acts of kindness and words of comfort. May all who read this find comfort and strength by “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). Praise His name!

Channels Only

How I praise Thee, precious Savior, that Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me that I might Thy channel be.


Channels only, blessed Master, but with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us every day and every hour.

Just a channel, full of blessing, to the thirsty hearts around,
To tell out Thy full salvation, all Thy loving message sound.

Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me, a clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest graciously with each command.

Witnessing Thy power to save me, setting free from self and sin;
Thou who bought me to possess me, in Thy fullness, Lord, come in.

Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water from our inner man may flow.

—Mary E. Maxwell

“I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
Acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship.”
—Romans 12:1 NASB

God’s Care: Lessons From The Eagle

By Alfred Bouter

The eagle is a large bird of prey with a massive hooked bill and long broad wings, known for its keen sight and powerful soaring flight.1 It may have the status of “king” among birds, much like the lion on land. Eagles are powerful, having striking features that God has used to describe some of His actions in delivering His people Israel from Pharaoh’s bondage in Egypt. “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself” (Ex. 19:4 ESV). He led them out of their servitude and brought them to absolute safety, resembling the eagle who builds its nests very high in the mountains to keep its young out of the reach of foes (Job 39:27). The LORD fed, guided and protected them, as Moses wrote, “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him” (Dt. 32:11-12).

However, Moses predicted that Israel would become disobedient, and God would discipline them by delivering them to a strange nation, which would act like an eagle swooping on its prey (Dt. 28:49; Job 9:26). God will act in a similar way with all nations because He controls everything, even though all are fully responsible and accountable to Him (please read carefully Acts 17:24-31). Moses compared God’s care of His people when leading them through the wilderness with a man who carries his son (Dt. 1:31). Paul summed up this protection and treatment by saying that God nourished them, implying the idea of a mother taking care of her baby (Acts 13:18). Others link this verb with a slightly different reading, that God “put up with them,” which would highlight their resistance during the wilderness journey (see Dt. 8). What a contrast with the Lord Jesus who always obeyed!

Nonetheless, God did take care of them – something that He does for us all, whether we see and appreciate it or not. David praised God for His care by saying that He “satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Ps. 103:5). From observation we know that the eagle parent at some point in the upbringing throws its young out of the nest to teach it to use its wings, and swoops underneath to catch and carry it back on high. Perhaps we may link this point with Isaiah 40:31: “ … shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary.” This verse describes how God re-energizes the believer who puts his trust in Him, even in old age (Ps. 92:12-14).

Ezekiel described very remarkable visions in which he saw amazing creatures, each with the faces of an eagle, a man, lion and ox (Ezek. 1:10) or an angelic being called a “cherub” (10:14). These details are associated with God’s unfathomable greatness, acting in judgment according to His wisdom and power (Ezek. 1:10, 10:14; see Jer. 4:13, 48:40). Revelation describes these created beings, calling them “living beings,” as being intimately linked with God’s supreme power, wisdom and control (Rev. 4:6-9, see Jer. 49:16,22; Lam. 4:19).2 For sure, all these things are “too wonderful” (Prov. 30:18), or beyond our grasp. Nevertheless, they describe God’s wisdom, control, power and loving care of His creation, as displayed in His providence and righteous judgment. These details have been written and communicated to us that we may bring honor and glory to God, now and forever.

Let us worship Him who was manifested, or seen, in the flesh, and for whom the wise men came all the way from Babylon to Jerusalem. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16 NKJV).

1. Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th edition.
2. Mentioned 20 times in Revelation (4:6-9, 5:6,8,11,14, 6:1,3,5-7, 7:11, 14:3, 15:7, 19:4).

A Little While

“A little while!” Our Lord shall come, and we shall wander here no more;
He’ll take us to our Father’s home, where He for us has gone before,
To dwell with Him, to see His face, And sing the glories of His grace;
To dwell with Him, to see His face, And sing the glories of His grace.

“A little while!” He’ll come again: Let us the precious hours redeem;
Our only grief to give Him pain, our joy to serve and follow Him;
Watching and ready may we be, as those who long their Lord to see;
Watching and ready may we be, as those who long their Lord to see.

“A little while!” ’Twill soon be past: Why should we shun the shame and cross?
O let us in His footsteps haste, counting for Him all else but loss;
Oh, how will recompense His smile, the suffering of this little while;
Oh, how will recompense His smile, the suffering of this little while!

“A little while!” Come, Savior, come! For Thee Thy Bride has waited long:
Oh, take Thy wearied pilgrims home, to sing the new, eternal song,
To see Thy glory, and to be in everything conformed to Thee;
To see Thy glory, and to be in everything conformed to Thee!
—James G. Deck (1802-1884)

Not To Ourselves We Owe

Not to ourselves we owe
That we, O God, are Thine;
Jesus the Lord, our night broke through,
And gave us light divine.

The Father’s grace and love
This blessed mercy gave,
And Jesus left the throne above,
His wandering sheep to save.

No more the heirs of wrath –
Thy sovereign love we see;
And Father, in confiding faith
We cast our souls on Thee.

Our hearts look up to see
The glory Thou hast given,
In spirit dwell where we shall be
With Christ, Thine heirs, in heaven.

With the adopted band
Soon shall we see Him there:
With them and Him in glory stand,
And in His honours share.

By Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778)