Posts Tagged With: Romans

Begone Unbelief – John Newton

The trouble with writing a great hymn like Amazing Grace is that the poet’s other hymns are forgotten. John Newton wrote many hymns;  a number with his friend William Cowper (The Olney Hymns). However if you peruse Newton’s hymns you find many challenging and encouraging words. A good place to search for them is at

The following hymn is a wonderful encouragement to hold to the promises of God when circumstances tempt us to look elsewhere.

This painting is at the Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney

Begone unbelief, my Savior is near,
And for my relief will surely appear:
By prayer let me wrestle, and He wilt perform,
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.

Though dark be my way, since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey, ’tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
The Word He has spoken shall surely prevail.

His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.

Determined to save, He watched o’er my path,
When Satan’s blind slave, I sported with death;
And can He have taught me to trust in His Name,
And thus far have brought me, to put me to shame?

Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less:
The heirs of salvation, I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

How bitter that cup, no heart can conceive,
Which He drank quite up, that sinners might live!
His way was much rougher, and darker than mine;
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine?

Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food;
Though painful at present, wilt cease before long,
And then, O! how pleasant, the conqueror’s song!

Categories: christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, hymns, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Audit

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1&2

There is a natural, or we may call it, human leaning towards complacency. We take people and things for granted. For Christians, sadly, this even includes their relationship with God.

In my own life I find that God confronts that smug self absorption  with the passage above.  For me it is an auditor’s check-list; a reminder of a higher purpose and direction. It is a means to refocus my life.

The check-list is simple, but the challenge profound:

The Challenge: Am I striving to be a living sacrifice? In other words, am I living a life of gratitude to the glory of God, or is it focused on my own wants?

The Warning: Where is my life being shaped by the values and attitudes of the world – those insidious ideas we take on without realising their implications?

The Command: To be transformed. Are my heart and mind open to the restorative and life changing work of the Holy Spirit?

The Reason and Result: Paul reminds me that when the person of faith, lives before God with an openness to His divine hand, then we will be integrated/enveloped by God’s perfect will for His Kingdom and our place in it.

Is this easy? Not in any way as we are often fighting our own perverse wills. Is it important? Certainly! It is about being who God calls you and me to be.

Categories: christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, Romans | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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