A rich heritage of singing and praising God - James C. Bell

Have faith in God, He's on His throne!

Some of my most cherished memories are the thousands of times I joined in congregational singing of the great songs of the Church, praising God and thanking Him for giving us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

Paging through the Broadman Hymnal, I find many songs that I love to sing and listen to while others sing; great soloists, choirs and congregations sing praises to our God and proclaim His power, mercy and greatness.

What comfort, peace and gladness fills my heart as I recall hearing and singing these great songs of faith, As someone has said: "If music is the universal language, and it is, hymns of confession, of praise, of petition, of hope, of comfort, of adoration, of consecration easily become the mediums through which all devout souls may join in expression to their deepest emotions."

I thank God for His leading in my life, and my rich heritage of singing and praising Him, of worshiping Him and knowing Him through His blessed Son Jesus Christ. I was saved and joined the Church when I was 17 years old. Now, I can look back over 59 years of being a Christian and a member of our Lord's Church.

I can testify to the greatness of God and the blessing He has given me over the years. I hate to think of what my life would be like without my God and my Lord and savior Jesus Christ to love me, to teach me and to guide me.

I was a young man with potential, but without purpose, without proper guidance or any plan to follow except the knowledge of wanting to be successful in life. My immediate goal was to finish high school, get a good job and enjoy life. In our high school annual, we were asked to give our motto, our ambition in life. Mine was, "Like all, love none, stay single and have fun." That is not one of the statements I am proud of, but it does indicate something of where I was at that time.

Praise God that He could love me even as I was, a lost sinner on a road to nowhere. He had a plan for my life, goals for me to achieve, a person He wanted me to be like, even like His son, Jesus Christ!

I don't know where you are in life, if you are a Christian following Christ and rejoicing in your life or one without Christ. But I can tell you from my own experience, God loves you and He has a plan for your life. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

This statement is just one of the many that show me that God, the great and mighty God of our universe, does love each and everyone in this world, even you and me. What better thought or action could He have for us than to love us, to genuinely care for us and to give us opportunity, a plan and hope for our lives.

Listen Christian, love God with all your heart and give Him your very best. Listen to His call, you who are not yet a Christian and come to Jesus today.

He knows your needs and your wants and your deepest desires. Listen as He says to us in Psalms 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." In verse 5, He says, "Commit your way [your life] to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this."

Place your faith (your belief) in the Lord Jesus Christ. Tell Him you are sorry for your sins and ask His forgiveness. Our great and faithful God will forgive your sins and remember them no more.

Have faith in God. He is on His throne and in the business of saving lost souls, of giving us a plan to follow throughout our lives and finally bringing us to the best destination -- Heaven -- to live with Him forever in paradise. Amen!