VIDEO “All My Heart This Night Rejoices!”

Sept 27, 2013

Music: ‘All My Heart This Night Rejoices’, taken from the Kathleen Lundquist album “Light In Our Darkness: Music for Advent and Christmas” (2005).

Origin: Lyrics written by Paul Gerhardt between 1653-1656, and set to music composed by Johann Georg Ebeling in 1666, during the seventeenth century.

Translation: Hymn translated from the original German into English by Catherine Winkworth in the year 1858.

Full Lyrics: (*Additional verses)

All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near, sweetest angel voices!
“Christ is born,” their choirs are singing,
Till the air, everywhere, now with joy is ringing!

*Forth today the Conqueror goeth!
Who the foe, sin and woe, death and hell, o’erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son now is one with our blood forever!

Shall we still dread God’s displeasure?
Who, to save, freely gave His most cherished Treasure?
To redeem us, He hath given
His own Son from the throne of His might in Heaven!

Should He who Himself imparted
Aught withhold from the fold, leave us broken hearted?
Should the Son of God not love us,
Who, to cheer sufferers here, left His throne above us?

*If our blessèd Lord and Maker
Hated men, would He then be of flesh partaker?
If He in our woe delighted,
Would He bear all the care of our race benighted?

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
Sin away and for aye full atonement maketh.
For our life His own He tenders
And our race, by His grace, meet for glory renders.

*For it dawns, the promised morrow
Of His birth; Who, the earth rescues from her sorrow.
God to wear our form descendeth;
Of His grace to our race here His Son He sendeth!

Hark! A voice from yonder manger!
Soft and sweet, doth entreat, “Flee from woe and danger;
Brethren, come; from all that grieves you
You are freed; all you need I will surely give you!”

Blessèd Savior, let me find Thee!
Keep Thou me close to Thee, cast me not behind Thee!
Life of life, my heart Thou stillest,
Calm I rest on Thy breast, all this void Thou fillest.

*Thee, dear Lord, with heed I’ll cherish;
Live to Thee and with Thee, dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,
Far on high, in the joy that can alter never!

Come, then, let us hasten yonder!
Here let all, great and small, kneel in awe and wonder!
Love Him Who with love is yearning!
Hail the star that from far bright with hope is burning

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“The Temple of the Holy Spirit”

…only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you. —Genesis 41:40

I am accountable to God for the way I control my body under His authority. Paul said he did not “set aside the grace of God”— make it ineffective (Galatians 2:21). The grace of God is absolute and limitless, and the work of salvation through Jesus is complete and finished forever.

I am not being saved— I am saved.

Salvation is as eternal as God’s throne, but I must put to work or use what God has placed within me. To “work out [my] own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) means that I am responsible for using what He has given me. It also means that I must exhibit in my own body the life of the Lord Jesus, not mysteriously or secretly, but openly and boldly. “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection . . .” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Every Christian can have his body under absolute control for God. God has given us the responsibility to rule over all “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” including our thoughts and desires (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are responsible for these, and we must never give way to improper ones.

But most of us are much more severe in our judgment of others than we are in judging ourselves. We make excuses for things in ourselves, while we condemn things in the lives of others simply because we are not naturally inclined to do them.

Paul said, “I beseech you…that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Romans 12:1). What I must decide is whether or not I will agree with my Lord and Master that my body will indeed be His temple. Once I agree, all the rules, regulations, and requirements of the law concerning the body are summed up for me in this revealed truth-my body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Our Ever Present Helper in Prayer

Romans 8:26-27

Christians need the Holy Spirit’s help in prayer. At times in our journey of faith, we’ll find that we cannot . . .

• Find the right words

• Discern God’s will

• Recognize what He is doing, or

• Grasp the complexity of a situation.

Periods of struggle in prayer are normal for believers. Few of us are as eloquent as the psalmist David—especially when we are confused, distressed, or weary. So let’s look at two biblical examples of prayer in challenging situations.

First, notice that in today’s reading, the apostle Paul admits to feeling weak in his prayer life. His well-known request was for God to remove a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). Paul pleaded desperately—and probably with great effort—for relief. With the Spirit’s help, he came to understand the Lord’s call to endure in spite of pain.

A second example is Jesus Christ’s agonized prayer the night before His crucifixion. Although He was committed to doing His Father’s will, He dreaded the immeasurable spiritual suffering that lay ahead. Crying out to God from Gethsemane, the Savior uttered this urgent sentence: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).

God knew we’d need help in prayer. With our limited human perspective, we cannot know all aspects of the situations facing us. But the Holy Spirit understands our needs and burdens—as well as the big picture. He carries our requests to God even when we can’t adequately express them.

His Mercy Found Me

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

The third verse of the hymn “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” sets the stage for the implementation of His majestic plan.

He left His father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
T’is mercy all! Immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

The plan involved the death of God the Son. The Creator dying for the creation. The righteous Judge taking on Himself the penalty of the condemned. The rejected Holy One becoming sin on behalf of the true sinner. The convicted ones, powerless to alter the situation, simply receiving the offered grace through faith (see our text).

First, God had to take on Himself the nature of the condemned, live a guiltless life so that He could die as a substitutionary sacrifice. To do so, God the Son had to leave His Father’s throne. And, although “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [i.e., was willing to give up his kingly status]: But made himself of no reputation [literally, ‘emptied himself’], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: . . . and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

Adam had rebelled against his Creator’s authority, and all of mankind suffered. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12), yet Christ’s work on the cross changed all that. “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” (v. 15). Amazing love! JDM

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.—Philippians 3:10.

WHAT within me and without
Hourly on my spirit weighs,
Burdening heart and soul with doubt,
Darkening all my weary days,
In it I behold Thy will,
God, who givest rest and peace,
And my heart is calm and still,
Waiting till Thou send release.
A. H. FRANCKE.

WHATEVER thy grief or trouble be, take every drop in thy cup from the hand of Almighty God. He with whom “the hairs of thy head are all numbered,” knoweth every throb of thy brow, each hardly drawn breath, each shoot of pain, each beating of the fevered pulse, each sinking of the aching heart. Receive, then, what are trials to thee, not in the main only, but one by one, from His all-loving hands, thank His love for each, unite each with the sufferings of thy Redeemer; pray that He will thereby hallow them to thee. Thou wilt not know now what He thereby will work in thee, yet, day by day, shalt thou receive the impress of the likeness of the ever-blessed Son, and in thee, too, while thou knowest it not, God shall be glorified. EDWARD B. PUSEY.

By strength shall no man prevail

By strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone.

There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. — Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

1 Samuel 17:45,49,50. Psalm 33:16,18. 1 Chronicles 29:12. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm 119:71

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. —We suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

Hebrews 5:8. Romans 8:17,18. Job 23:10,11. Deuteronomy 8:2,5,6.