Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I WILL PRAISE HIM


          "With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; and in the midst of many I will praise Him." Psalm 109:30 NASB.  It is easy for most of us to get excited about so many things - our favorite athletic teams, our children and grandchildren, our newest possessions, our achievements, our vacations.  And we generally enjoy sharing these things with anyone who will listen.  But shouldn't we get more excited about what the Lord has done for us?  Shouldn't His praise continually be part of our conversations?   Today few people remember Margaret Jenkins Harris (1865-1919).  No great biographies have been written about her.  Mrs. Harris and her husband John were both active in the American revival and camp meeting scene of their day. Both were able speakers, and both were musicians and song writers as well. Margaret Harris frequently played the organ to accompany herself and her husband as they sang duets in meetings. But millions of people have been impacted by a hymn she wrote in 1898.   In this hymn, "I Will Praise Him," she recalled the moment when she realized the presence of sin in her life. This truly was a horrible realization, but it drove her to seek God's forgiveness.  She wrote, "When I saw the cleansing fountain open wide for all my sin, I obeyed the Spirit's wooing, when He said, 'Wilt thou be clean?'"   She recognized that sin had burdened and bogged her down. "Though the way seems straight and narrow, all I claimed was swept away; my ambitions, plans and wishes, at my feet in ashes lay."   But God sent the fire of His Spirit to change her life. She described how "the altar of my heart was set aflame."   We can feel how she overflowed with gratitude: "I shall never cease to praise Him, glory, glory to His name! Blessed be the Name of Jesus! I'm so glad He took me in; He's forgiven my transgressions, He has cleansed my heart from sin."  The chorus of this hymn is a powerful call  and reminder to us to praise God: "I will praise Him! I will praise Him! Praise the Lamb for sinners slain; give Him glory, all ye people, for His blood can wash away each stain."  Her hymn originally had five stanzas, but many hymn books only use the first four. The original fifth stanza said:
In the crowning day soon coming,
May I see my glorious King;
Join the mighty swelling chorus,
Make His highest praises ring.
But early on this verse was replaced with a Trinitarian closing, perhaps by the author herself. This new verse seems to be a fitting conclusion to the song which refers to the Holy Spirit in verse one, to Christ in verse four, and perhaps to God the Father in verse three.   Today, there are many things that can occupy our time and conversation, but nothing is more important than praising God. If you have experienced the same life changing experience as Mrs. Harris, then do not be silent or take it for granted. Continually thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done for you.     "The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him" (Exodus. 15:2).

1.     When I saw the cleansing fountain
Open wide for all my sin,
I obeyed the Spirit's wooing,
When He said, "Wilt thou be clean?"
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.

2.     Though the way seems straight and narrow,
All I claimed was swept away;
My ambitions, plans and wishes,
At my feet in ashes lay.
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.

3.     Then God's fire upon the altar
Of my heart was set aflame;
I shall never cease to praise Him
Glory, glory to His Name!
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.

4.     Blessed be the Name of Jesus!
I'm so glad He took me in;
He's forgiven my transgressions,
He has cleansed my heart from sin.
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.

5.     Glory, glory to the Father!
Glory, glory to the Son!
Glory, glory to the Spirit!
Glory to the Three in One!
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.

Listen to a congregation singing it here.  LISTEN1
or to a Gaither group singing it.  LISTEN2

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