And Can It Be - by Charles Wesley
In a very real sense, this song is my testimony. I think of the words of Titus 3:4-5...when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. When I ponder the reality that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, to provide for my salvation, like Wesley, I marvel...Died He for me, who caused his pain. I remember the night, my chains fell off, my heart was free -- amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
My Savior's Love - Charles H. Gabriel
In the same vein as Wesley's great hymn -- Gabriel begins with words that resonate deeply with me: I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how you could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean. With the Apostle Paul, I am humbled to know that Jesus loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
Be Thou My Vision - Mary E. Bryne
Each time we sing this song, there is a deep sense of gratitude within as I reflect on the realization that there is a High King of Heaven who is the Ruler of all, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:22).
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God - Martin Luther
I appreciate the history and depth of theology in Luther's great hymn, that speaks of the triumph of the Truth.
Rooted in the words of Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, the picture of God as a fortress brings courage to my heart.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Thomas O Chisholm
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 2:22-23) Whenever I sing this song, I think of the time when Janice's dad passed away. The words of the last verse sustained me then and continue to speak to me when the hard times come...strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!
Amazing Grace - John Newton
Unbounded Grace - John Walvrood
What list of favourites hymns would not include Newton's Amazing Grace. The words of second verse take me back to the night I surrender my heart to the Lord Jesus. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed. It is by grace you have been saved, through faith (Ephesians 2:8). In the words of Walvrood, Grace was for me the only way my guilt could find relief; my destiny was changed that day I reached out in belief. 40+ years later, I'm still amazed by His grace!
Holy, Holy, Holy - Reginald Heber
The pure majesty of this hymn draws me into the very presence of our God, who is high and lifted up. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3).
I Sing the Mighty Power of God - Issac Watts
This hymn from the pen of one our the greatest hymn writers in history -- remind me that, The Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. (Exodus 20:11) He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life, including mine. The words of the last line of this hymn are both humbling and awe-inspiring: While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care, and everywhere that man can be, Thou God, are present there.
The Longer I Serve Him - William J. Gaither
As one who has been called and privileged to serve in pastoral ministry, I echo the word of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:12: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. This song strengthens my resolve to be a life-long worshipper and servant of God, my Savior.
I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 146:2)