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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

He Will Hold me Fast

"A Vice For The Soul"

Message summary: Today let us consider God's power to hold us and keep us in the firm grip of His care.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 139:10). "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" (Jude 24,25).

Bench vice and vice grips on my work benchAmong the most frequently used tools on my work bench are the vices. They're tools I recall seeing on my dad's workbench as well and I suppose many of the men reading this have a vice (some women as well!). Vices are used to clamp and hold a part securely that is being worked on.

I use both my bench vice and vice grips, which are essentially hand-held vices, part of a collection of tools my dad passed on to me before he died. Some of these tools are probably over 50 years old. Some are Craftsman so they are still guaranteed!

Note: Vice is one those words that can have entirely different meanings depending on context. Vice also means "moral depravity or corruption, wickedness" (Merriam-Webster). To be clear the title of this message, "A Vice For The Soul", is not referring to this sense of the word. After all, we sure don't need any encouragement to sin!

In this message a "A vice for the soul" is a comforting sense of considering God's power to hold us and keep us in the firm grip of His care.

Since early this year we have both been blessed by an old hymn recently revitalized titled, "He Will Hold Me Fast". It has blessed us all year and we have referred to it numerous times in these messages. It means a lot when we consider uncertainties in our own lives, in our nation and world. It's a great song to learn and sing to yourself since the pronouns are conducive to that.

"He Will Hold Me Fast" was originally written in the early 1900's.

"While in Toronto in 1906, songwriter Robert Harkness had a conversation with a new believer who was struggling with the idea of staying faithful to Christ throughout his life. Later that day, Harkness wrote a letter to lyricist Ada Habershon about the 'the need for a song which would give definite assurance of success in the Christian life'.

A short time later, she sent back lyrics to seven different songs. One of them was “He Will Hold Me Fast.” Harkness wrote music for the hymn during church one morning, and four thousand people sang it that same evening.

Matt Merker, a pastoral assistant and writer at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, first learned of the hymn when someone at his church recommended it for congregational singing. He didn’t think much of it until he entered a difficult time in his life. He returned to the hymn and rewrote the melody, and his local church took to it immediately and sang it out with passion." (from FaithLife blog see below)

Spoken BenedictionsToday's second text is Jude's benediction in the one chapter book that bears his name. A benediction is a short prayer for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually spoken at the end of a letter or worship service. The word comes from the Latin “bene”, well and “dicere”, to speak.

Through the years when I had a pastoral role I used a variety of Biblical benedictions when I concluded a worship service. In fact I have them adhered to the back flyleaf on my pulpit Bible. (I also have invocations to use at the beginning of a worship service on the front flyleaf.)

The first part of Jude’s benediction expresses what God will do for us using the glorious phrase, "He is able".

1)  He is able to keep us from falling.
2)  He is able to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

Today we encourage you to focus on those timeless words, "He is able" and faithful to hold us fast in His firm grip through this life and into the next, to "keep us from falling" and prepare us for the life to come; "to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, what great joy and peace comes when we realize that You will always hold us fast and keep us in Your firm grip. Give us the rich assurance of sufficient strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Only You are able to keep us from falling and to receive us before Your glorious presence without fault and with great joy. You are the only wise God our Savior in whom we can truly ascribe glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord in all generations both now and forevermore. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Christ Will Hold Me Fast
"He Will Hold Me Fast"  Video  Keith and Krystyn Getty. This version has a long intro but we use it because we believe the words will bless you.

Christ Will Hold Me Fast
"He Will Hold Me Fast" Video  As part of the Sing! conference last year, Selah led this stirring rendition at the historic Grand Ole Opry House.

"He Will Hold Me Fast"  Video  Shane & Shane

"Faithful To The End"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

A Song of Assurance: "He Will Hold Me Fast" from FaithLife blog

Finally today:

Vice on truck
This message was prompted in part by a work truck we followed last week with a vice mounted to the back. That sure must be handy!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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