Today’s Hymn: Immortal, Invisible God

I was doing a Youtube search for the hymn “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise” and my favorites I will share with you, but something about the lyrics struck a chord in my heart. The lyrics are old; the meaning is magnificent.

First, the lyrics:

Verse 1
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

Verse 2
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

Verse 3
To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small,
in all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.

Verse 4
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
all praise we would render, O help us to see
’tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!

 

Next, how it touched me:

In worship, there was a reading of the lyrics before singing the hymn, so we could better understand the old song’s message. What I interpret from it is this:

  • Verse 1 tells of the unsearchable quality of God, how he is light and yet his light we are not aware, even as we praise him. “Too vague a God” skeptics say, and too big a concept for any of us to fathom, really, but Jesus Christ gives us reason to believe (recommended reading: “A Case for Christ”  by Lee Strobel)
  • Verse 2 expresses the simile “silent as light” which my brain wants to replace the word light with night, due to the popular song “Silent Night”. But then I actually think about it, and how much more silent can anything be, than light? God’s mighty presence is all around us, his handiwork in the sky and mountain peaks.  His plan is carefully brought about by his perfect love. Even in the hurricane, his love never ceases.
  • Verse 3 strengthens the point he is ruler, unchanged by fleeting lives and seasons. Even when the hurricane comes and goes, and the flowers bloom and the grass grows for months on end afterwards, once it is all over, God still remains.
  • Verse 4 finishes the point with the majestic request for God, the invisible, to not let our lack of sight be a hindrance in our faith. God and the angels are there, but our hearts pray, please don’t let our eyes hinder us from seeing the light and believing God is within it.

Last, the spotlight videos from international sources:
Sang by American music group Out of Eden (live performance), along with the song Meditate

Sang by African worship group Soul Winners Worship, an African worship group

Sang by American artist Fernando Ortego

Piano Solo by a member of Singapore church, Life Missions Church

 

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Be Comforted by the Rock of Ages

Today during worship, I sang the old hymn, Rock of Ages. It is a beautiful song, especially sung by the Mennonite Choir in the video above, and it’s also sung around the world; below there’s another sing-along video with the lyrics both in English and Khmer (the language of Cambodia), and also a third video by the choir at Michael’s Children Home. The choir in the third video has a mesmerizing new arrangement, starting at 1 minute and 28 seconds; I strongly recommend you take a listen.

I believe the diversity we have in Christ, and in our brothers and sisters around the globe, is indeed a pleasure to behold. I invite you to join me in song and praise, wherever you are, so we can make Christ’s joy complete.

Girls With Swords, Week 4

“Now by the laws of war, better than defeating a country by fire and the sword, is to take it without strife.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As Christians, we are not called to fight a war with earthly weapons; the battles that are fought are actually in the spiritual realm.  Instead, we are called to show kindness to all people.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

My Task, hymn lyrics by Maude Louise Ray

“To love someone more dearly every day, to help a wandering child to find his way, to ponder o’er a noble thought and pray, and smile when evening falls: This is my task.

“To follow truth as blind men long for light, to do my best from dawn of day til night, to keep my heart fit for His holy sight, and answer when He calls: This is my task.”

Being equipped with the armor of the Lord and the Sword of the Spirit, we are a part of the army of the Lord.  Take heart, you are not alone!  There are Christians all over the world, and they are going through similar battles.  That’s why we need to encourage one another and help strengthen them.  I liked a quote that I read in the Art of War, which says “Skillful soldiers make defeat impossible, and further render the enemy incapable of victory.”

Let’s be skillful in our task, and help others become skillful in their tasks too, so that we may render Satan incapable of victory.

“Division weakens the Church. As long as people are focused on their squabbles and disagreements, they cannot further the kingdom of God.” -quote from Kat’s fencing manual

“The Unity Creed: To create peace and unity, I must work hard. I must observe the world around me. I must minister in time of need. I must listen actively all the time. I must remember all that I can. Then when I need help, if no one gives it, I must pray to God, giver of all things.” -quote from Lacy’s fencing manual

 

Pray With Me

This Easter our worship was a singing service. We sang songs and read a prayer written by Mr. Charles Spurgeon. It was an uplifting service, as singing services usually are.  (I always loved singings as a child, and still do.)  Here’s a summary of the prayer -in my own words of course- that we read, along with a verse or two of a few of the songs we sang.


“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10

Oh Lord God, we are humans and sometimes we forget that Your kingdom is more important than our cares and worries.  As much as we need Your help in overcoming our weaknesses, You want our undivided loyalty.  We stand on holy ground in Your presence. Help us to remember in reverence Your love for us, as You adopted us as Your people. Remind us to adore you; remind us to hold on fast to our faith in You.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!  All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea; Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

-“Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty”  (verse 3) by Reginald Heber

Let us pray for the world, and let every person be touched with Your love (through the Holy Spirit). Jesus died a painful and terrible death (and then rose again!) so that we humans could be saved and adopted.  Father, open the hearts of the people in this world, so that they may see Your glory and may know Your love for them. Reach out to them so that they can feel Your care in their lives and give them hope.

He who gave His love to me, that I might from sin be free bids me share it today, “As I love you,” He has said “You must serve men in my stead, as you go on your way.”

While His love burns true and bright, we are walking in the light. He has shown us the road; we His glory must reflect lest our dimness and neglect keep some soul from its God.

-“The Love of God” (verses 3 & 4) by Laurene Highfield

Be with the church, Lord. Help us live up to our position: Christ’s bride.  Help us do what is expected of us. That is to bring Your message of love and salvation to the people around us, and to reveal the truths of the world. We need Your strength to stand against the forces of darkness as we work diligently; we need Your wisdom to know how to be at peace with the people here, but also the knowledge on how to shine Your goodness in the world to bring more people to salvation in Jesus’ name, under Your grace.  Give us courage to do the right thing.

We have heard the Macedonian call today, send the light!  And a golden off’ring at the cross we lay: send the light!

Let us pray that grace may ev’rywhere abound: send the light! And a Christ-like spirit ev’rywhere be found: send the light!

Send the light! The blessed gospel light; let it shine from shore to shore. Send the light! The blessed gospel light; let it shine forever more.

-“Send the Light” (verses 2 & 3, chorus) by Charles H. Gabriel

You, oh God, forgive us when we do any wrong. You overlook our ignorance and You fix our mistakes.  You turn ALL things into good things. You make miracles out of catastrophes. And what do You ask for in return? You ask for us to be kind to everyone, and to show Your love to not only our brothers and sister, but our neighbors too. We are called to introduce You to the world.  When people look at us, they need to see You.  Help Your people, God.  Help them live the way they should.

Somebody did a golden deed, proving himself a friend in need; Somebody sang a cheerful song, bright’ning the sky the whole day long: Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

Somebody filled the days with light, constantly chased away the night; Somebody’s work bore joy and peace, surely his life shall never cease: Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

-“Somebody Did a Golden Deed” (verses 1 & 3) by John R. Clements

And Lord, last of all, please help us. If we’re sick, or sad, or struggling.  Be with Your people who are battling temptations, because Satan wants to snatch our souls from Your grace.  Be also with Your people who are in danger, help them survive the persecution that they are facing.  Encourage Your people who are in need of encouragement, and strengthen those who are weak.  “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide; Secure whatever ill betide, a shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night; No fears alarm, no foes affright, a shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat; We’ll never leave our safe retreat, a shelter in the time of storm.

O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.

-“Shelter in the Time of Storm”  (verses 1, 2, & 3, chorus) by Vernon J. Charlesworth

Lord, come quickly to deliver us from the evils of this world.  In Jesus name, Amen.