John Newton, 1725-1807

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
Psalm 73:25

The gospel of Jesus Christ revolves around the first and second coming of the Saviour: The first when He came as the humble baby in Bethlehem's manger (Philippians 2:6-8); the second when He one day returns as King of kings with power and great glory to establish His eternal kingdom (Luke 21:27). Christ's first coming assures us that we now have a God Who identified Himself with us in every aspect of life from birth to death. The anticipation of His Second Coming assures us that we will live and reign with Him forever! Such a hope keeps this life from becoming "tedious and tasteless"--regardless of the seasons or situations.

The ultimate source of inner joy is God Himself, not our circumstances. Without an intimate sense of His daily presence, however, our lives can easily become wintry and frigid.


"How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours" is another of the fine hymns by John Newton. It first appeared in his 1779 collection titled The Olney Hymns. The hymn was originally titled "Fellowship with Christ", based on Psalm 73:25. These words still speak vividly to us of the importance of maintaining a close personal relationship with our Lord.

How tedious and tasteless the hours
When Jesus I no longer see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers,
Have all lost their sweetness to me;
The midsummer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay.
But when I am happy in Him,
Decemberís as pleasant as May!

His Name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice.
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal as happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of season or place
Would make any change in my mind:
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
All prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Dear Lord, since indeed I am Thine,
since Thou art my sun and my song,
Say, why do I languish and pine?
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from the sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me to Thee up on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more!

*For Today*: Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 9:2, 70:4; Romans 14:17 & 18

God has made you a steward of this day, regardless of the weather or circumstances. May it count for Him. Consciously live in His presence.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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