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Abide With Me!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

1 John 1:28-29

"And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him."

This first week in March, I have decided that I will focus on the stories and words contained in some of our favorite hymns. It is distressing that in the attempt to entertain, we have sacrificed an entire genre of sacred music. It is almost as if hymns are out and hip-hop is in. So here we go!

In the mid-eighteen hundreds, Henry F. Lyte, pastored a seashore church in Lower Brixham, Devonshire England, among the rough sailors and uncultured villagers. He had served faithfully for many years and was dearly loved by his parishioners. He in turn had a deep love for them.

He developed tuberculosis and became increasingly weak. He was sickly and unwell most of the time. As his health continued to decline his doctor advised him to spend time in sunny southern Europe in the hope that the change in weather might improve his condition. It was with a broken heart that he stood before his weeping people and delivered his final sermon as their pastor.

That evening he was watching as the sun began to set in the west. As the light of day began to fade, Mr. Lyte took note and related it to his own life that was slipping away. This beloved hymn of comfort and trust was written by a pastor who knew what it was to have confidence in what lay ahead for him.

The next day, he left for Italy to regain his health. He didn't make it, though he died in Nice, France, three weeks after writing these words. Here is an excerpt from his farewell sermon: "O brethren, I stand here among you today, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress it upon you, and induce you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with the death of Christ."

"ABIDE WITH ME" by Henry F. Lyte

Abide with me, Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."

What more can I say in response to these wonderful words of hope and promise except to earnestly pray: "O Lord, abide with me!"

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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