Posts Tagged ‘born again’

Monday 28th August, 1978 – The Miracle of Saving Grace

August 28, 2017

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This morning I wakened to a beautiful memory – the memory of what took place in my life thirty-nine years ago this very day. Like today it was a Bank Holiday Monday in the U.K. and like today I was feeling a little weary – but my weariness back then was because I had made a long journey the previous day and I was under a great deal of conviction. My little bit of weariness today is because I am thirty-nine years older and I didn’t sleep so well last night! And yet today I feel well and I am optimistic about the future, for I have placed all my tomorrows into His Hands.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1Cor. 15v19)

On the evening of Monday, 28th August 1978 a light shone into my soul, for it was on that decisive evening that I came to know my Lord and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save my soul.  As I say in my testimony, ‘I asked Him to carry me from darkness into His light’…. and how bright is that light!

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor. 4v6)

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31v3)

“The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” (Psalm 34v22)

Lord, thank you for sustaining me through worries about my children, through the trauma of serious health issues, through bereavement on the death of loved ones… You have been my constant Companion, Confidant, Counsellor and ever Faithful Friend at times when no one else upon the face of this earth could ever understand. My tears of joy or of pain, or my broken heart – You have understood it all. In the darkness of the night I searched for you and I found you and you comforted me. In good times you rejoiced with me.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart: and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34v17-19)

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34v4)

Help me, my Lord, to “measure my days” and never to waste time. Each day, each hour, each minute must count for Thee and each word and action should glorify my Lord and Saviour. As I embark upon the fortieth year in my walk with Thee, lead me in the way that I should take. Lord, I own nothing in this world – all I have and all I am is thine, to use for thy glory and for the extension of thy Kingdom. Lord, teach me to “apply my heart unto wisdom.” Still you are my loving Teacher for even after the deepest work you do in our hearts, we never cease to grow in our walk with You.

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from you own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90v12)

Lord, I praise you for all that is past – and I trust you for all that is to come. “I will love Thee O Lord, my strength.” (Psalm 18v1)

“My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” (Psalm 31v15)

Today I want to thank you my Lord, that through all the rolling years, you have led me by the hand. Through weary ways and golden days, your loving arms have surrounded me in all the changing scenes of life – and I believe that they will continue to do so, gently guiding and teaching me – until some glorious day beyond the clouds… I will meet you face to face. Oh “what a Day that will be… when my Jesus I shall see and I look upon His face – the One who saved me by His grace!”

In the lovely words of Timothy… “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Timothy 1v12)

“I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known,

Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own –

But I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able

To keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

 

Link to my testimony: https://readywriterpublications.wordpress.com/my-testimony/

 

 

 

On Legacies – and an “Inheritance Incorruptible and Undefiled”

February 15, 2012

In the past few months some of my closest neighbours have sadly died and one day just recently I started to reflect on the possessions that these people have left behind. Cars, houses, land, property, livestock… Then I began to think about what I had to leave, if I should suddenly pass away… very little indeed, in the material sense, by this world’s standards!

Nevertheless, a long time ago I remember someone say that when each one of us dies, we will each leave a legacy…. This legacy can be a litany of negative and bitter memories – but it can also be a legacy of immense value in the spiritual sense. Will I be remembered as a sincere and genuine servant of the Lord, who has laboured for Him during my short sojourn here – or will I be remembered for being someone who was constantly argumentative, impatient or even bad-tempered? Praise God for His deliverance and for His strength in our daily lives, making the former a great possibility! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 7v25)

This week I remember my father who passed into the Lord’s Presence exactly one year ago. I remember how he encouraged us, as children, to learn Bible verses and how he was a special witness to his own loved ones, including all his eleven grandchildren.

“Grandad loved that tree,” my youngest daughter told me one afternoon as we walked in a beautiful glen close to our home, “and he sat just where you are sitting right now, telling me all about trees and how they shed their barks as the branches grow thicker… I wish he could have lived to camp in the glen sometime with us, as he once said he would like to. He was such fun and we loved him so much…”

I nodded silently, as we sat staring for a long time at the spreading oak tree, its magnificent branches still bare from the winter, but soon they would be in full leaf again… and then I remembered Psalm 1, which my father ensured that we all learned by heart many years ago.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away, Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Knowing this psalm by heart; not only knowing it, but being encouraged to love it – is my father’s great legacy to me.

Lower down in the valley we could hear some unusual birdsong and then we watched a squirrel scurry swiftly up one of the mossy branches, climbing so high that he was no longer visible.

“Have you visited Grandad’s grave recently?” my daughter asked me and I shook my head sadly, signifying that I hadn’t. “Anyway, he’s not there,” I replied. “He’s higher than that squirrel, higher than the tree, higher than the sky…”

“I know…” was the quiet reply.

Memories of my father’s witness to his own grandchildren came flooding back to me and then I remembered the text on his farmyard wall, as pictured above. Yes, we can leave a rich and wonderful legacy of memories, even tangible memories; ones that can speak to our loved ones, neighbours and even visiting strangers, long after we have gone to possess our own incorruptible inheritance…

Thoughts on June Birthdays – and a Birthday that Counts!

June 17, 2011

Just recently, on 15th June, I felt sad in the knowledge that it was the birthday of my dear dad, Jack Hutchinson, who had passed away earlier this year, but then the Lord showed me this uplifting tract which I had written some years ago – something I believe that Dad would have wanted me to share at this time…

“Many notable Christians were born in the month of June. Billy Bray, the famous Cornish miner who was converted from alcoholism was born on 1st June 1794; Elizabeth Clephane the hymn writer, who wrote “There were ninety and nine,” was born on 10th June 1830; John Wesley, the great evangelist was born on 17th June 1703, while Charles H. Spurgeon, also a renowned preacher, was born on 19th June 1834. Samuel Medley the hymn writer was born on 23rd June 1738 and Richard Weaver (known as “undaunted Dick”) was born on 25th June 1827. No doubt, some further research would reveal even more well-known Christians who share a June birthday!

Just recently I was invited in to see the new baby of a neighbour of ours. As she reached out her tiny hand and gripped my smallest finger tightly, I thought about this new life. What would the future hold for her? Would she be rich or poor, famous or obscure, miserable or happy? Would she grow into an accomplished young lady or would she commit some terrible crime? ‘Hopefully,’ I mused, ‘not the latter.’ Above all I hoped that someday she would come to trust the Lord Jesus as her Saviour…

Have you ever looked on a tiny vulnerable baby and paused for a moment to think of what the future holds for that little one? Most of us are average individuals with humdrum lives, but we are all unique. Just as each one of the billions of human beings ever born into this world through the centuries have had DNA and fingerprints peculiar only to them, so it is with our paths in life. You and I as individuals have a path before us that is ours alone to walk. Although there are many factors which may influence our behaviour in life, we do not have to shoulder those burdens alone, and despite what some would say – our eternal destinies have not been decided for us before birth. (2Peter 3v9) One thing is for certain, for whatever life and all its uncertainties throws at us, the Lord Jesus Christ sincerely loves and cares for each one of us more than anyone else in this world. The Christians mentioned above came from vastly differing backgrounds. Billy Bray was a drunkard in his youth, while John Wesley was a Bible-reading church-goer – but both of them needed to see their need of salvation.

How wonderful that Jesus died for both of these individuals and for all the other Christians mentioned above. Furthermore He died for you and me and every other human being born into this world, including that little baby who gripped my finger. (1John 2v2)

As we grow from infants into childhood, at some point we begin to have a spiritual awareness and with that age of understanding we are faced with a choice. Sometimes, in His mercy, the Lord will continue to speak to souls for many years, confronting them with this choice, time after time. Billy Bray had the choice – either to continue in his sin, or let the Saviour deal with it. John Wesley had the choice – either to proudly hold to his good works as a means of salvation, or come humbly to the foot of the cross.  When he did so, what a transformation! Now all his good works (and these are essential in the Christian’s life) were the evidence of a new life begun in faith, and he was able to move on to an even deeper experience. Each of the aforementioned individuals came to a place where they trusted in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ atCalvary. Charles Wesley (John’s brother, who was the author of over 6,500 hymns) wrote in his final verse of “And Can it be…”

“No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine.

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.”

Can you sincerely say these words with confidence? If so, praise God – for He can lead you into an even deeper walk with Him!

If you cannot say the words of this hymn with confidence, then come to Him now and ask Him into your heart, for you will never regret it. Every day we make minor choices in life and sometimes more important ones, but there can be none more important than that of repenting of our sins and choosing to follow Jesus. He wants to use your life to His glory and although your name may never be recorded by mankind in the annals of history, it will be written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev. 21v27) and this is the only record that truly matters. Some day those who serve Him shall hear those beautiful words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25v21) Why not trust Him to do that work in your heart, even today?”

Today is My Birthday!

August 28, 2010

Today is my birthday; not my ‘earthly’ birthday, but the anniversary of the day on which I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my life. I rejoice in this knowledge and yet this morning I felt convicted that I had initially forgotten that on this day thirty-two years ago, I made a decision which was to change the direction of my life forever. “Would I forget my ‘earthly’ birthday?” I asked myself, although I knew the answer to that question was “most probably not.” As coincidence would have it, this morning my daily reading was in Philippians 3. When I reached verse 19, the words “who mind earthly things” gave me food for thought. I am probably not the best judge on the issue of how my spiritual growth has been for the last thirty-two years and yet I know for sure, that my Lord and Saviour has been my constant companion throughout the ups and downs of life. I love Him with all my heart and my desire is to serve my risen Saviour for all the rest of my life, in the knowledge that whatever happens to me, “I must have the Saviour with me, for I dare not go alone, I must feel His presence near me, and His arm around me thrown.” These words comprise the first verse of Fanny Crosby’s hymn… “I must have the Saviour with Me” and for some reason I have been unable to get the tune out of my head all week!

Throughout the changing seasons of life; through all that I must face, I can lean on Him, my Lord, my Saviour, my Confidant, my Teacher and my Comforter. This morning I also read… “I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Verses 14&15) Therefore I ask Him to reveal to me those things in my life that are displeasing to Him – and I ask Him to assist me, by faith, to put matters right.

Unfortunately my mind on this morning had been pre-occupied with the cares of this life… concerns about my daughter going to college in a different country; concerns about a loved one’s health; other concerns… I was so burdened about so many things – and then He reminded me! “Did you not trust me to be your Guide all those years ago? Was I not with you through it all?” And so…“I must have the Saviour with me, in the onward march of life, thro’ the tempest and the sunshine, thro’ the battle and the strife…” No, I dare not walk alone through this wilderness of life, weighed down with a great backpack of troubles; I must always have His Presence to comfort and sustain.

Perhaps the Christian life can be best summed up in a verse which I read earlier in the week: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1v21) Yes, He has given me yet another gift on my “birthday” – the joy of knowing for certain that I can trust Him to lead me in the right paths, for He has only my best interests at heart. “Then my soul shall fear no ill, Let Him lead me where He will, I will go without a murmur, and His footsteps follow still.”

What sort of person would I be today, had I not trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour thirty-two years ago? Really, I don’t want to think about that but I feel that, had I not, I would be a more materialistic person than I am today. I am surrounded by many who have great possessions in this life, but I thank God that He can give us a heart to count the material things of this world “as dung” that we may win Christ. (Phil. 3v7&8)

My sister gave me a gift when we moved to this home, many years ago now. It was a little wooden plaque inscribed with these words: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4v19) To those who trust Him, all our needs will be provided – physically but most of all… spiritually. Surely “our sufficiency is of God.” (2Cor. 3v5) So, whatever the rest of my life holds for me in terms of “tempest or sunshine,”… “I must have the Saviour with me, and His eye the way must guide, till I reach the vale of Jordan, till I cross the rolling tide.” Praise God for the depths of His mercy and love in sending the gift of His Son, my Lord Jesus Christ – and thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Link to this hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/a/v/saviorwm.htm