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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Blog Posts

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adul…

Read more

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a…

Read more

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with thr…

Read more

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realize…

Read more

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelati…

Read more

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious bloo…

Read more

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do go…

Read more

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told…

Read more

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianit…

Read more

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen …

Read more

View older posts »


Blog Posts

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adul…

Read more

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a…

Read more

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with thr…

Read more

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realize…

Read more

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelati…

Read more

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious bloo…

Read more

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do go…

Read more

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told…

Read more

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianit…

Read more

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen …

Read more

View older posts »

Blog Posts

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adul…

Read more

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a…

Read more

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with thr…

Read more

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realize…

Read more

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelati…

Read more

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious bloo…

Read more

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do go…

Read more

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told…

Read more

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianit…

Read more

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen …

Read more

View older posts »

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adul…

Read more

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a…

Read more

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with thr…

Read more

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realize…

Read more

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelati…

Read more

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious bloo…

Read more

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do go…

Read more

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told…

Read more

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianit…

Read more

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen …

Read more

View older posts »

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adul…

Read more

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a…

Read more

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with thr…

Read more

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realize…

Read more

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelati…

Read more

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious bloo…

Read more

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡🎢🎡

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do go…

Read more

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told…

Read more

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianit…

Read more

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen …

Read more

View older posts »

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

§§§§§§§§§§§

The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adult life. This song openly and shamelessly expresses a desire to be closer to her Savior. She did not allow her malady to stand between her and the Lord. She was a Christian in love with her God.

 In Philippians 3:10, Paul says,” That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” 
 
This should be our passion, our pursuit in life. To know the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Savior, and our God, is our highest aspiration. To know Him more is to Love Him more. To love Him is to serve Him. “More of His grace to others show.” 
 
That is our true purpose in life as Christians. 
§§§§§§§§§§§
Father, teach me more about Jesus. Show me Your Son as You see Him. I want to be more like Him as I go through life. Help me to hear His voice in every line of Your Word. Amen.
__________________
This is an excerpt from BJ's book series, "Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith." © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.
 

 

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a

§§§§§§§§§

When I was a small child, my family lived in the country. We were surrounded on three sides by woods and on the north there was a dirt road. Daddy showed me a path through the woods leading to my friend’s house. He taught me, that if I ever got lost in the woods, to sit down, be quiet, and listen. Soon a car would drive by the woods. If I listened, I would know which way it was to the road.

One evening I stayed too long at my friend’s house. As I walked through the woods in the dark, I became disoriented. I started to panic. Then I heard my father’s voice saying, “Sit still and listen.” Sure enough, before long a car drove by the woods, and I knew which way to go home. Even though Daddy was not in the woods with me, I heard his words of wisdom.

§§§§§§§§§

Father, thank You for leading me with Your words of comfort. Thank You for always being with me. I will trust you and listen to Your voice. Amen.

 

This is an excerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
§§§§§§§§§§§§
It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with three children at the time he wrote the lyrics of this wonderful hymn. If you or I were in this situation what would be our first thought? Would we think of Jesus, first of all? Would we think of His crucifixion and the blood applied to our sinful nature? Would we recognize that through that sacrifice Jesus took us into His family? Would our thoughts be about the precious fountain that saves us from sin? Would we rejoice for the one who saves us and keeps us clean?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the first thing that captured our thoughts in a life filled with new challenges as a single parent was to give praise to our Savior and invite others to have the same relationship with Him as we have? We should invite others to cast their souls at the Savior’s feet. O the joy that could fill our hearts if we saw new believers come to faith in Him. Glory to His Name.
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Father, as I think about the Cross of Christ and the price He paid for my sin, I give glory, and honor, and praise to You. I will plead for the lost to come to You. I will give all the glory to You. Amen.
 
This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Hymns of Praise V4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realized that the Canadian growing season is short. 
 
In the first stanza we consider the morning hours of our youth and how vital it is that we remember to serve the Lord. Then our attention is turned to the midday hours in the second stanza. We must remember to work in the middle-age of our lives. Keeping aware of the distractions of the cares of life.
 
The final stanza reminds us of the sunset years. We must continue to work, not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the young as an example of our spiritual maturity. To guide and encourage them.
 
Jesus’ instruction to the disciples in John 9 stands today. There is coming a day when we will no longer labor. But this is not that day. These are the days when we bring in the harvest. 
§§§§§§§§§§§§
Father, send forth laborers into the harvest. Help me to continue the work of the Kingdom, laboring while I still have breath within me, so that others may find strength for their labor. Amen.
 
_________________________________
This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-published "HYMNS OF PRAISE Vol 4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelation 7:14

§§§§§§§§§§§§

This hymn is about more than a call to salvation. It is a call to cleansing for Christians as well. It is about trusting fully in His Grace. It is about walking each day with the Lord. As believers, we are to rest in Him.

It is clear in the scriptures that believers are not exempt from the impact of sin in their lives. 1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” We sin daily. We need daily cleansing.

§§§§§§§§§§§§

Father, Thank You for the Blood of the Lamb that cleanses me so that I can have a right relationship with You. I will rest each moment in You. Amen.

 

An exerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith. © Copyright 2023 Passages Ministries.

 

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18–19
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Jesus Paid It All has been sung in the Christian family for over 150 years. It celebrates the total sufficiency of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross of Calvary. It is an outpouring of praise to Him who paid a debt He did not owe, for us, who could not pay.
In 1865 Elvina Hall was sitting in the choir as her pastor preached a message about the crucifixion. She recounted that she didn’t hear the whole sermon, but that God had given her the words during that sermon. The choir director John Grape had written a tune the previous week which he had titled “All to Christ I owe.” Their pastor recognized that God had moved in their hearts and the hymn was the result.
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Father, Thank You for the price paid by Your Son on Calvary. Help me to always bring praise to You. Amen.

This is an exerpt from the book "HYMNS OF PRAISE VOL 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries.

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵

We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) James, the brother of our Lord, wrote, “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:18–19)

Our Lord did not save us so that we could rest on our laurels. He clearly wants us to be about His business. Matthew 28:18-20 is His final command to all who would follow Him. Our task is to carry the Gospel to the whole world.

In John 9:4, Jesus said to His disciples, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”

🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵

Father, You have called me to serve You. You have also promised that You would enable me to do the work of the Kingdom. Lord, give me the strength and wisdom I need to tell the world about Your great love and sacrifice. Show me where You want me to go and give me the words that I need to do Your work. Amen.

This post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall. 
© Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries
. All rights reserved.

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told the whole story of the Gospel. It resulted in two songs, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” which came from the first eight stanzas, and This hymn which comes from the remaining 50 stanzas. The missing verses speak of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and commission. The poem was written during a time of personal illness while she was a missionary nurse in Africa.
As believers in Christ, we should be passionate about telling the story of salvation, as Miss Hankey wrote, “It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.” Each time we tell the story of Jesus and His love it should remind us of the day of our own salvation and the hope and joy it brought to us.
How long has it been since you told “the story of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love?” As the old chili commercial used to say, “Well, that’s too long.”
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Father, thank You for giving us the story of Jesus’ glory and love. Remind me of the joy of Your salvation so that I will remember to tell it to others. Show me open doors that You give for me to tell the story. Amen.
 
This blog post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall, which will soon be available on Amazon.com.

 

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianity freely shared among the members of God’s family. 

At the heart of fellowship, there must be love and acceptance Jesus said in John 13:34-35 (NASB) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Romans 12:9-10 (NASB) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

We are now considering what the Scriptures teach about love and acceptance, using the first seven verses of 1 Corinthians 13 as our guide.

I.     THE PRIORITY OF LOVE (v. 1-3)

       1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB) 1  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

       If . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . but do not have love . . . nothing.

II.   THE MEANING OF LOVE (v. 4-7)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) 4  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Here we see what Love is . . . is not . . . What it does . . . does not do . . . . .

Love is defined as:  Seeking the highest good for someone else.

Paul Amplifies the definition beginning with the first seven of fifteen characteristics of agape love.

  1. Love is Patient.  The opposite of being short-tempered.  Real, agape love is slow to anger, long-tempered.  “Our patience will achieve more than our force.” --Edmund Burke
  2. Love is Kind.  From the word that means to be “helpful” and friendly toward others--free from a critical spirit.  “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” --Joseph Joubert
  3. Love is Not jealous.  When love sees another prosperous and gifted, it is pleased and glad of his advantages. William Shakespeare said “And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.” Love never detracts from the praise that is due another nor tries to make him seem less, and self seem more by comparison.
  4. Love does not brag.  The idea here is ostentatiousness or “intellectual pride.”  “Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.” -- Edwin Hubbel Chapin  Love simply won’t tolerate it.
  5. Love is not arrogant.  This ties in with the previous characteristic.  Bragging is something we do; arrogant is something we are.  Love is not inflated, proud, or haughty, but is fully convinced that in everything God is to be praised . . . never self.
  6. Love does not act unbecomingly.  This refers to actions that are tactless, rude, sharp and even crude -- lacking courtesy, charm and graciousness. --Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”  Love does not behave tactlessly.  An ancient proverb says, “To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue.”
  7. Love does not seek its own.  Love isn’t selfish.  It does not seek its own rights, its own way, its own interests.  It is possible “To do a perfectly unselfish act for selfish motives.” --Elbert Hubbard

So, I ask… Where are you in the Fellowship of Love?  Are you standing on the outside looking in?  Or are you spreading Love around to those you meet?

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen a bright light and come back from the dead. Are the stories true? That is yet to be decided.

The Bible has some information for us. Paul wrote of what most scholars believe to be his own personal testimony. He said, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB) We also have the testimony of the Apostle John chronicled in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

But what about Hell. Is it real? Is it really a place of eternal torture? Is it a place to be avoided at all cost? Jesus had something to say about that. In Luke chapter sixteen He told of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus was a poor beggar, who had nothing. I’m sure that the people around town were familiar with Lazarus. His name means “assistance of God.” God was his only benefactor.

The rich man, on the other hand, had everything a man could want in this world. But he was bereft of the most basic human compassion. He did nothing about the poor beggar at his door. What he desperately needed was peace with God.

The day came when both men died. Lazarus was in Abraham’s Bosom. The Jews believed that the righteous went to the Bosom of Abraham when they died. This was a euphemism for paradise, a place of peace and rest. It is the place to which the poor man, Lazarus, was carried by the angels when he died. At meals to recline in the bosom of the host was considered the highest honor. The poor man was comforted after death by being given the place of closest fellowship with the father of the whole Hebrew nation.

The rich man, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” Luke 16:23a (KJV) He further describes it as a place with flames, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:24 (KJV) 

Now the most important thing that you should know. God does not want anyone to die and go to Hell. In fact, He gave himself as propitiation, sacrifice to pay our penalty, so that we would not have to spend even one minute in Hell. The Apostle Peter wrote, in 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In short, Hell Is for Real. But so is Heaven. And God want’s you to be with Him there. As Joshua of old said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

View older posts »

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

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The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adult life. This song openly and shamelessly expresses a desire to be closer to her Savior. She did not allow her malady to stand between her and the Lord. She was a Christian in love with her God.

 In Philippians 3:10, Paul says,” That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” 
 
This should be our passion, our pursuit in life. To know the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Savior, and our God, is our highest aspiration. To know Him more is to Love Him more. To love Him is to serve Him. “More of His grace to others show.” 
 
That is our true purpose in life as Christians. 
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Father, teach me more about Jesus. Show me Your Son as You see Him. I want to be more like Him as I go through life. Help me to hear His voice in every line of Your Word. Amen.
__________________
This is an excerpt from BJ's book series, "Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith." © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.
 

 

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a

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When I was a small child, my family lived in the country. We were surrounded on three sides by woods and on the north there was a dirt road. Daddy showed me a path through the woods leading to my friend’s house. He taught me, that if I ever got lost in the woods, to sit down, be quiet, and listen. Soon a car would drive by the woods. If I listened, I would know which way it was to the road.

One evening I stayed too long at my friend’s house. As I walked through the woods in the dark, I became disoriented. I started to panic. Then I heard my father’s voice saying, “Sit still and listen.” Sure enough, before long a car drove by the woods, and I knew which way to go home. Even though Daddy was not in the woods with me, I heard his words of wisdom.

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Father, thank You for leading me with Your words of comfort. Thank You for always being with me. I will trust you and listen to Your voice. Amen.

 

This is an excerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
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It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with three children at the time he wrote the lyrics of this wonderful hymn. If you or I were in this situation what would be our first thought? Would we think of Jesus, first of all? Would we think of His crucifixion and the blood applied to our sinful nature? Would we recognize that through that sacrifice Jesus took us into His family? Would our thoughts be about the precious fountain that saves us from sin? Would we rejoice for the one who saves us and keeps us clean?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the first thing that captured our thoughts in a life filled with new challenges as a single parent was to give praise to our Savior and invite others to have the same relationship with Him as we have? We should invite others to cast their souls at the Savior’s feet. O the joy that could fill our hearts if we saw new believers come to faith in Him. Glory to His Name.
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Father, as I think about the Cross of Christ and the price He paid for my sin, I give glory, and honor, and praise to You. I will plead for the lost to come to You. I will give all the glory to You. Amen.
 
This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Hymns of Praise V4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
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Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realized that the Canadian growing season is short. 
 
In the first stanza we consider the morning hours of our youth and how vital it is that we remember to serve the Lord. Then our attention is turned to the midday hours in the second stanza. We must remember to work in the middle-age of our lives. Keeping aware of the distractions of the cares of life.
 
The final stanza reminds us of the sunset years. We must continue to work, not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the young as an example of our spiritual maturity. To guide and encourage them.
 
Jesus’ instruction to the disciples in John 9 stands today. There is coming a day when we will no longer labor. But this is not that day. These are the days when we bring in the harvest. 
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Father, send forth laborers into the harvest. Help me to continue the work of the Kingdom, laboring while I still have breath within me, so that others may find strength for their labor. Amen.
 
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This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-published "HYMNS OF PRAISE Vol 4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelation 7:14

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This hymn is about more than a call to salvation. It is a call to cleansing for Christians as well. It is about trusting fully in His Grace. It is about walking each day with the Lord. As believers, we are to rest in Him.

It is clear in the scriptures that believers are not exempt from the impact of sin in their lives. 1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” We sin daily. We need daily cleansing.

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Father, Thank You for the Blood of the Lamb that cleanses me so that I can have a right relationship with You. I will rest each moment in You. Amen.

 

An exerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith. © Copyright 2023 Passages Ministries.

 

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18–19
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Jesus Paid It All has been sung in the Christian family for over 150 years. It celebrates the total sufficiency of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross of Calvary. It is an outpouring of praise to Him who paid a debt He did not owe, for us, who could not pay.
In 1865 Elvina Hall was sitting in the choir as her pastor preached a message about the crucifixion. She recounted that she didn’t hear the whole sermon, but that God had given her the words during that sermon. The choir director John Grape had written a tune the previous week which he had titled “All to Christ I owe.” Their pastor recognized that God had moved in their hearts and the hymn was the result.
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Father, Thank You for the price paid by Your Son on Calvary. Help me to always bring praise to You. Amen.

This is an exerpt from the book "HYMNS OF PRAISE VOL 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries.

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

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We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) James, the brother of our Lord, wrote, “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:18–19)

Our Lord did not save us so that we could rest on our laurels. He clearly wants us to be about His business. Matthew 28:18-20 is His final command to all who would follow Him. Our task is to carry the Gospel to the whole world.

In John 9:4, Jesus said to His disciples, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”

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Father, You have called me to serve You. You have also promised that You would enable me to do the work of the Kingdom. Lord, give me the strength and wisdom I need to tell the world about Your great love and sacrifice. Show me where You want me to go and give me the words that I need to do Your work. Amen.

This post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall. 
© Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries
. All rights reserved.

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
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Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told the whole story of the Gospel. It resulted in two songs, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” which came from the first eight stanzas, and This hymn which comes from the remaining 50 stanzas. The missing verses speak of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and commission. The poem was written during a time of personal illness while she was a missionary nurse in Africa.
As believers in Christ, we should be passionate about telling the story of salvation, as Miss Hankey wrote, “It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.” Each time we tell the story of Jesus and His love it should remind us of the day of our own salvation and the hope and joy it brought to us.
How long has it been since you told “the story of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love?” As the old chili commercial used to say, “Well, that’s too long.”
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Father, thank You for giving us the story of Jesus’ glory and love. Remind me of the joy of Your salvation so that I will remember to tell it to others. Show me open doors that You give for me to tell the story. Amen.
 
This blog post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall, which will soon be available on Amazon.com.

 

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianity freely shared among the members of God’s family. 

At the heart of fellowship, there must be love and acceptance Jesus said in John 13:34-35 (NASB) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Romans 12:9-10 (NASB) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

We are now considering what the Scriptures teach about love and acceptance, using the first seven verses of 1 Corinthians 13 as our guide.

I.     THE PRIORITY OF LOVE (v. 1-3)

       1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB) 1  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

       If . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . but do not have love . . . nothing.

II.   THE MEANING OF LOVE (v. 4-7)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) 4  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Here we see what Love is . . . is not . . . What it does . . . does not do . . . . .

Love is defined as:  Seeking the highest good for someone else.

Paul Amplifies the definition beginning with the first seven of fifteen characteristics of agape love.

  1. Love is Patient.  The opposite of being short-tempered.  Real, agape love is slow to anger, long-tempered.  “Our patience will achieve more than our force.” --Edmund Burke
  2. Love is Kind.  From the word that means to be “helpful” and friendly toward others--free from a critical spirit.  “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” --Joseph Joubert
  3. Love is Not jealous.  When love sees another prosperous and gifted, it is pleased and glad of his advantages. William Shakespeare said “And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.” Love never detracts from the praise that is due another nor tries to make him seem less, and self seem more by comparison.
  4. Love does not brag.  The idea here is ostentatiousness or “intellectual pride.”  “Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.” -- Edwin Hubbel Chapin  Love simply won’t tolerate it.
  5. Love is not arrogant.  This ties in with the previous characteristic.  Bragging is something we do; arrogant is something we are.  Love is not inflated, proud, or haughty, but is fully convinced that in everything God is to be praised . . . never self.
  6. Love does not act unbecomingly.  This refers to actions that are tactless, rude, sharp and even crude -- lacking courtesy, charm and graciousness. --Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”  Love does not behave tactlessly.  An ancient proverb says, “To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue.”
  7. Love does not seek its own.  Love isn’t selfish.  It does not seek its own rights, its own way, its own interests.  It is possible “To do a perfectly unselfish act for selfish motives.” --Elbert Hubbard

So, I ask… Where are you in the Fellowship of Love?  Are you standing on the outside looking in?  Or are you spreading Love around to those you meet?

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen a bright light and come back from the dead. Are the stories true? That is yet to be decided.

The Bible has some information for us. Paul wrote of what most scholars believe to be his own personal testimony. He said, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB) We also have the testimony of the Apostle John chronicled in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

But what about Hell. Is it real? Is it really a place of eternal torture? Is it a place to be avoided at all cost? Jesus had something to say about that. In Luke chapter sixteen He told of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus was a poor beggar, who had nothing. I’m sure that the people around town were familiar with Lazarus. His name means “assistance of God.” God was his only benefactor.

The rich man, on the other hand, had everything a man could want in this world. But he was bereft of the most basic human compassion. He did nothing about the poor beggar at his door. What he desperately needed was peace with God.

The day came when both men died. Lazarus was in Abraham’s Bosom. The Jews believed that the righteous went to the Bosom of Abraham when they died. This was a euphemism for paradise, a place of peace and rest. It is the place to which the poor man, Lazarus, was carried by the angels when he died. At meals to recline in the bosom of the host was considered the highest honor. The poor man was comforted after death by being given the place of closest fellowship with the father of the whole Hebrew nation.

The rich man, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” Luke 16:23a (KJV) He further describes it as a place with flames, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:24 (KJV) 

Now the most important thing that you should know. God does not want anyone to die and go to Hell. In fact, He gave himself as propitiation, sacrifice to pay our penalty, so that we would not have to spend even one minute in Hell. The Apostle Peter wrote, in 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In short, Hell Is for Real. But so is Heaven. And God want’s you to be with Him there. As Joshua of old said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

View older posts »

More About Jesus Would I Know

By John BJ Hall

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

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The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, had a spinal condition that put her in a body cast for most of her adult life. This song openly and shamelessly expresses a desire to be closer to her Savior. She did not allow her malady to stand between her and the Lord. She was a Christian in love with her God.

 In Philippians 3:10, Paul says,” That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” 
 
This should be our passion, our pursuit in life. To know the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Savior, and our God, is our highest aspiration. To know Him more is to Love Him more. To love Him is to serve Him. “More of His grace to others show.” 
 
That is our true purpose in life as Christians. 
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Father, teach me more about Jesus. Show me Your Son as You see Him. I want to be more like Him as I go through life. Help me to hear His voice in every line of Your Word. Amen.
__________________
This is an excerpt from BJ's book series, "Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith." © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.
 

 

He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Tho't!

By John BJ Hall

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.                         Isaiah 43:5

In Thy lovingkindness Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed….                       Exodus 15:13a

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When I was a small child, my family lived in the country. We were surrounded on three sides by woods and on the north there was a dirt road. Daddy showed me a path through the woods leading to my friend’s house. He taught me, that if I ever got lost in the woods, to sit down, be quiet, and listen. Soon a car would drive by the woods. If I listened, I would know which way it was to the road.

One evening I stayed too long at my friend’s house. As I walked through the woods in the dark, I became disoriented. I started to panic. Then I heard my father’s voice saying, “Sit still and listen.” Sure enough, before long a car drove by the woods, and I knew which way to go home. Even though Daddy was not in the woods with me, I heard his words of wisdom.

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Father, thank You for leading me with Your words of comfort. Thank You for always being with me. I will trust you and listen to Your voice. Amen.

 

This is an excerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2023 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Glory to His Name

By John BJ Hall
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20
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It is believed that Elisha Hoffman was a new widower with three children at the time he wrote the lyrics of this wonderful hymn. If you or I were in this situation what would be our first thought? Would we think of Jesus, first of all? Would we think of His crucifixion and the blood applied to our sinful nature? Would we recognize that through that sacrifice Jesus took us into His family? Would our thoughts be about the precious fountain that saves us from sin? Would we rejoice for the one who saves us and keeps us clean?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the first thing that captured our thoughts in a life filled with new challenges as a single parent was to give praise to our Savior and invite others to have the same relationship with Him as we have? We should invite others to cast their souls at the Savior’s feet. O the joy that could fill our hearts if we saw new believers come to faith in Him. Glory to His Name.
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Father, as I think about the Cross of Christ and the price He paid for my sin, I give glory, and honor, and praise to You. I will plead for the lost to come to You. I will give all the glory to You. Amen.
 
This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Hymns of Praise V4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries

Work for the Night Is Coming

By John BJ Hall

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4
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Annie Louise Walker-Coghill was from England. Her brothers immigrated to Canada. She went to visit them. During her time there she realized that the Canadian growing season is short. 
 
In the first stanza we consider the morning hours of our youth and how vital it is that we remember to serve the Lord. Then our attention is turned to the midday hours in the second stanza. We must remember to work in the middle-age of our lives. Keeping aware of the distractions of the cares of life.
 
The final stanza reminds us of the sunset years. We must continue to work, not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the young as an example of our spiritual maturity. To guide and encourage them.
 
Jesus’ instruction to the disciples in John 9 stands today. There is coming a day when we will no longer labor. But this is not that day. These are the days when we bring in the harvest. 
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Father, send forth laborers into the harvest. Help me to continue the work of the Kingdom, laboring while I still have breath within me, so that others may find strength for their labor. Amen.
 
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This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-published "HYMNS OF PRAISE Vol 4: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries Publishing.

Are You Washed in the Blood?

By John BJ Hall 

And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                                                                   Revelation 7:14

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This hymn is about more than a call to salvation. It is a call to cleansing for Christians as well. It is about trusting fully in His Grace. It is about walking each day with the Lord. As believers, we are to rest in Him.

It is clear in the scriptures that believers are not exempt from the impact of sin in their lives. 1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” We sin daily. We need daily cleansing.

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Father, Thank You for the Blood of the Lamb that cleanses me so that I can have a right relationship with You. I will rest each moment in You. Amen.

 

An exerpt from Hymns of Praise Vol 2: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of our Faith. © Copyright 2023 Passages Ministries.

 

Jesus Paid It All

By John BJ Hall
 
Even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:15
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18–19
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Jesus Paid It All has been sung in the Christian family for over 150 years. It celebrates the total sufficiency of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross of Calvary. It is an outpouring of praise to Him who paid a debt He did not owe, for us, who could not pay.
In 1865 Elvina Hall was sitting in the choir as her pastor preached a message about the crucifixion. She recounted that she didn’t hear the whole sermon, but that God had given her the words during that sermon. The choir director John Grape had written a tune the previous week which he had titled “All to Christ I owe.” Their pastor recognized that God had moved in their hearts and the hymn was the result.
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Father, Thank You for the price paid by Your Son on Calvary. Help me to always bring praise to You. Amen.

This is an exerpt from the book "HYMNS OF PRAISE VOL 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall © Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries.

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.          Hebrews 4:11

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We know that we are not saved by works. (Ephesians 2:8) But we also know that we were saved in order to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) James, the brother of our Lord, wrote, “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:18–19)

Our Lord did not save us so that we could rest on our laurels. He clearly wants us to be about His business. Matthew 28:18-20 is His final command to all who would follow Him. Our task is to carry the Gospel to the whole world.

In John 9:4, Jesus said to His disciples, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”

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Father, You have called me to serve You. You have also promised that You would enable me to do the work of the Kingdom. Lord, give me the strength and wisdom I need to tell the world about Your great love and sacrifice. Show me where You want me to go and give me the words that I need to do Your work. Amen.

This post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall. 
© Copyright 2024 by Passages Ministries
. All rights reserved.

I Love to Tell the Story

By John BJ Hall
 
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
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Katherine Hankey’s original poem included 58 stanzas. It told the whole story of the Gospel. It resulted in two songs, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” which came from the first eight stanzas, and This hymn which comes from the remaining 50 stanzas. The missing verses speak of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and commission. The poem was written during a time of personal illness while she was a missionary nurse in Africa.
As believers in Christ, we should be passionate about telling the story of salvation, as Miss Hankey wrote, “It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.” Each time we tell the story of Jesus and His love it should remind us of the day of our own salvation and the hope and joy it brought to us.
How long has it been since you told “the story of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love?” As the old chili commercial used to say, “Well, that’s too long.”
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Father, thank You for giving us the story of Jesus’ glory and love. Remind me of the joy of Your salvation so that I will remember to tell it to others. Show me open doors that You give for me to tell the story. Amen.
 
This blog post is an excerpt from the book "Hymns of Praise Vol 3: A Devotional Guide to the Hymns of Our Faith" by John BJ Hall, which will soon be available on Amazon.com.

 

Love and Acceptance

~By BJ Hall~

Fellowship should be an integral and essential part of our Christian experience.
Acts 2:42 (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

By definition it means: Expressions of genuine Christianity freely shared among the members of God’s family. 

At the heart of fellowship, there must be love and acceptance Jesus said in John 13:34-35 (NASB) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Romans 12:9-10 (NASB) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

We are now considering what the Scriptures teach about love and acceptance, using the first seven verses of 1 Corinthians 13 as our guide.

I.     THE PRIORITY OF LOVE (v. 1-3)

       1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB) 1  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

       If . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . if . . . but do not have love . . . nothing.

II.   THE MEANING OF LOVE (v. 4-7)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) 4  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Here we see what Love is . . . is not . . . What it does . . . does not do . . . . .

Love is defined as:  Seeking the highest good for someone else.

Paul Amplifies the definition beginning with the first seven of fifteen characteristics of agape love.

  1. Love is Patient.  The opposite of being short-tempered.  Real, agape love is slow to anger, long-tempered.  “Our patience will achieve more than our force.” --Edmund Burke
  2. Love is Kind.  From the word that means to be “helpful” and friendly toward others--free from a critical spirit.  “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” --Joseph Joubert
  3. Love is Not jealous.  When love sees another prosperous and gifted, it is pleased and glad of his advantages. William Shakespeare said “And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.” Love never detracts from the praise that is due another nor tries to make him seem less, and self seem more by comparison.
  4. Love does not brag.  The idea here is ostentatiousness or “intellectual pride.”  “Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.” -- Edwin Hubbel Chapin  Love simply won’t tolerate it.
  5. Love is not arrogant.  This ties in with the previous characteristic.  Bragging is something we do; arrogant is something we are.  Love is not inflated, proud, or haughty, but is fully convinced that in everything God is to be praised . . . never self.
  6. Love does not act unbecomingly.  This refers to actions that are tactless, rude, sharp and even crude -- lacking courtesy, charm and graciousness. --Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”  Love does not behave tactlessly.  An ancient proverb says, “To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue.”
  7. Love does not seek its own.  Love isn’t selfish.  It does not seek its own rights, its own way, its own interests.  It is possible “To do a perfectly unselfish act for selfish motives.” --Elbert Hubbard

So, I ask… Where are you in the Fellowship of Love?  Are you standing on the outside looking in?  Or are you spreading Love around to those you meet?

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen a bright light and come back from the dead. Are the stories true? That is yet to be decided.

The Bible has some information for us. Paul wrote of what most scholars believe to be his own personal testimony. He said, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB) We also have the testimony of the Apostle John chronicled in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

But what about Hell. Is it real? Is it really a place of eternal torture? Is it a place to be avoided at all cost? Jesus had something to say about that. In Luke chapter sixteen He told of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus was a poor beggar, who had nothing. I’m sure that the people around town were familiar with Lazarus. His name means “assistance of God.” God was his only benefactor.

The rich man, on the other hand, had everything a man could want in this world. But he was bereft of the most basic human compassion. He did nothing about the poor beggar at his door. What he desperately needed was peace with God.

The day came when both men died. Lazarus was in Abraham’s Bosom. The Jews believed that the righteous went to the Bosom of Abraham when they died. This was a euphemism for paradise, a place of peace and rest. It is the place to which the poor man, Lazarus, was carried by the angels when he died. At meals to recline in the bosom of the host was considered the highest honor. The poor man was comforted after death by being given the place of closest fellowship with the father of the whole Hebrew nation.

The rich man, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” Luke 16:23a (KJV) He further describes it as a place with flames, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:24 (KJV) 

Now the most important thing that you should know. God does not want anyone to die and go to Hell. In fact, He gave himself as propitiation, sacrifice to pay our penalty, so that we would not have to spend even one minute in Hell. The Apostle Peter wrote, in 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In short, Hell Is for Real. But so is Heaven. And God want’s you to be with Him there. As Joshua of old said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

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