(Lord) Everything remains today in keeping with Your laws, for all things exist to serve You. ~ Psalm 119:91 (The Voice Bible)
The Story of the Song “Oh Holy Night”
Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure (1808 to 1877) was a wine merchant who lived in a small French town in the 19th century.
He enjoyed writing poetry and had developed a local reputation for his poems.
In the year 1847, the local Parish priest asked Placide if he would write a Christmas poem for the Church’s Midnight Mass Celebration of Christ’s Birth.
Although not known as a god fearing man, or as one who attended church regularly, Placide must have been honored by such a request, for he agreed to write the poem.
Once he’d finished “Contique Noel” he asked his friend, the composer Adolphe Charles Adams, who was well known for composing ballets, to create music for it so that it could be sung by the congregation.
Although neither Placide nor Adolphe were Christians (Adolphe was of Jewish ancestry), these two men somehow created and composed one of the most beautiful Christmas Carols of the Christian Faith; one that especially brings great glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ…
*To Read the rest of this fascinating story, please follow the link to my music website.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” ~St. John writing in his vision
The Book of Life
God cherishes each one of us. The bible says that “God our Savior…wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4) Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, a religious leader who came to Him one night, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ~(John 3:16-17)
The Lake of Fire mentioned by St. John in the book of Revelation was prepared by God as an eternal punishment for the devil and the angels that rebelled against Him.
It was never intended for man whom God made in His own image.
Yet, the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, fell away from God when they rebelled against His command. The result was spiritual death and a loss of divine fellowship.
All of their children would, like them, be sinners or rebels against God. They would never be able to enjoy perfect fellowship with God because God is holy and cannot dwell with sin.
God’s word says that sin must be paid for with a sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 says: “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
The only One worthy to pay for our sins, to redeem our souls from eternal destruction and to bring us back into fellowship with God, was God Himself, for He alone is perfect among all His creation. He is sinless, spotless, without blemish.
God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth clothed in flesh so that He could become a living sacrifice and shed His holy blood to pay for our sins. He loved us that much.
God could not die unless He became human. That is why He had to be made like us. He suffered a horrible death on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and so that we could live in Paradise with Him forever.
Not only did He want us to enjoy eternity with Him, He wanted us to be able to enjoy fellowship with Him now.
Once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we become God’s own children. The Father sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts to seal our salvation as a sure sign that we belong to Him. We will never be alone again from that point because He will never leave or forsake us. His love will keep us firmly in His strong grip. He will help us weather every storm. He will meet our every need. He does not promise freedom from trials-for “many are the afflictions of the righteous,“ God’s word says, “but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
The moment I invited the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart I felt a beautiful peace envelop me and a warm glowing presence filled the room. I heard the Lord speak to my heart. “All will be well, You are going to be all right.” I was only 16 years old.
As I lay in my bed that night filled with Christ’s peace I saw an image in my heart of an angel writing my name in a huge book. Though I had gone to Catholic school, I had never heard about the Book of Life. I wondered what the vision meant.
Not until I began to read the bible on my own through the discipleship of our neighbor did I learn about the Book of Life and what that vision meant.
God was showing me that He had recorded my name in His book of life that night when I had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart.
It comforted me to know that my name was written up in Heaven.
When I grew up and my children were in Sunday school I created a picture of an Angel writing in the Book of Life. I made it into a Sunday school book cover for the children in the church we were attending. I wanted it to comfort them to know that after they had accepted the Lord as their Savior, their names were written in Heaven, and when the Last Day comes, and the books are read, they will be judged “Not Guilty,” because they are wearing the righteous robes that Jesus has given them. Their sins have been washed away by the blood of the spotless Lamb of God.
How do our names get into God’s Book of Life? The Book of Romans says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ~Romans 10:9-13
That night when I was 16 years old I simply called upon the name of the Lord and He came to me. God is no respecter of persons. The Lord Jesus said He would never reject anyone who called upon His name. (John 6:37) And once a person receives Him into their heart, He will write their names in His Book of Life.
Heavenly Father, may You bless all those who call upon the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ and write their names in Thy Book of Life. May they live with You forever. Thank You, Lord, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
A few weeks ago I posted a blog and music video based on Psalm 51:10, the Psalm King David wrote after he’d committed adultery with Bathsheba, gotten her pregnant, and then murdered her husband to cover up his sin.
God sent Nathan the prophet to confront the king and David repented, praying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” ~ (Psalm 51:10-11)
For those readers who did not have an opportunity to read my original post about this beautiful psalm and how David repented of his sin, I encourage you to take a moment to do so.
I took down my music video a few days after posting it with the promise that I would repost it again for you soon.
I created my original music video for my prayer song “Create in Me a Clean Heart” as a worship aid for a special prayer night at our church. The Lord gave me the song the day of the prayer service!
Our Lord is very generous with His gifts! I had not asked Him for the song; in fact the worship leader and I were planning to do a different music video I had already created. But the Holy Spirit had a different plan so I got busy preparing the song and video the Lord gave me. I had only 3 hours in which to record the song and create the video that day.
I am not a trained videographer. All my training is in art and writing. I never sought to be a musician, a singer, or to create videos. One day a few years ago, I went to the altar at church to pray about some burden I had. The Lord spoke to my heart and asked me if I would sing for Him. “My Suzy, will you sing for Me?”
This request had nothing to do with my issue I was praying about. And besides that, to sing for anyone was the LAST thing I wanted to do, having a terrible phobia of public performance of any sort.
I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the Almighty, but I couldn’t help but think He HAD to be joking. I like to draw cute little dressed up animals. If I were to draw myself as an animal I would be a shy little, timid mole hiding behind her little art desk painting and writing and drawing. Never singing.
“Lord,” I said, to Him, “not to be disrespectful, but I don’t think You are remembering who I am…I can’t sing, I’m an artist.”
He only said, “My Suzy, won’t you sing for Me?”
I peeped around as I knelt at the altar wondering if anyone could see how exasperated I was.
“Lord,” I said, “Have You forgotten how bad a singer I am…so bad that when I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to My child when he was 6 years old he HOWLED?!”
I felt like crying because I had once sung praises to The Lord in my quiet times up until that had happened. Many years had passed and I no longer sang to Jesus because of that incident with my little boy. The enemy used it to make me think I had a terrible voice and I kept silent after that.
When Christian grew up he said, “Mama, I only howled because the dog across the street was howling with the wind that night. I was howling with him. I loved your singing.”
But when I was at the altar that day I didn’t know that.
I only knew that I believed I had a terrible voice and that there was no way I wanted to sing for God because I was so ashamed of my voice ever since that day. “My Suzy, will you sing for Me?” Jesus asked me for the third time.
I knew it was God’s voice. And I could not say no if I loved Him.
Then He said, “My Suzy, will you trust Me?”
I knew I had to lay down something. I had to lay down my fear, my pride, and give God my will and allow Him to make me what He wanted me to be.
Singing was the last thing I wanted to do because I never believed I could be good enough.
Though I never trained to be a musician, nor did I ever sing until I became a Christian and then only in my quiet times, yet God has blessed me with many beautiful songs inspired by His word. Whether piano solos or prayer songs, The Lord continues, ever since that day at the altar when I reluctantly said yes, (though I was terrified) He has given me over 350 pieces of music for His glory. I have recorded them all.
My new video includes my worship painting based on Luke 7 that I’ve been working on for the last several months. It was not finished yet when I made the first video. That video made heavy use of a lot of images pulled from the Internet that may have been copyrighted and I did not have time to get permission or check the copyright status of all those images I used.
My new video includes more original content and makes use of some classical works of several great artists from the past and present whose works are in the public domain.
I’ve always believed that God can anoint a rusty old nail if He chooses to use it for His glory. So it does not matter what I have to give Him, as long as I give it by faith in humble obedience to His will, He can bless it and use it to bless others.
My prayer is that this music video will bless and inspire you, and draw you closer to the God who died on the cross for each of us in order to create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us.
Heavenly Father, Help us know that you do not desire perfection from us in what we give You, just trust & obedience. You will supply all the rest. Create in us clean hearts that serve You & worship You in sincerity & truth. Thank You Lord. In Jesus name. Amen