By Hymn Stories
James Montgomery, 1771-1854
"Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting." (Nehemiah 9:5)
Many excellent opportunities to witness for the Lord are lost each day simply because of our timidity. Or perhaps we are with a group of colleagues when the Lord's name is blasphemed, the gospel derided, the church's hypocrites ridiculed ... and we remain silent. How tragic that our noble words of praise on Sunday often leave us during the week when they are needed most.
"Ye call Me Master and obey not, Ye call Me Light and see Me not, Ye call Me Way and walk not, Ye call Me Life and desire Me not, Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not, Ye call Me Fair and love Me not, Ye call Me rich and ask Me not, Ye call Me Eternal and see Me not, Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not, Ye call Me Mighty and honor Me not, Ye call Me just and fear Me not." --Found on an old slab in the Cathedral of Lubeck, Germany
"Stand Up and Bless the Lord" was written by James Montgomery in 1824 especially for a Sunday school anniversary in Sheffield, England. It was based on Nehemiah 9:5. Montgomery was the editor of a newspaper in Sheffield and was known as an outspoken advocate for many humanitarian causes, especially abolition of slavery. His ideas for social reform were considered so radical that he was imprisoned two times. Other causes he championed included hymn singing in the Anglican church services, foreign missions, and the British Bible Society. James Montgomery wrote more than 400 hymns, earning him a lasting place as one of England's finest hymn writers. May this challenge help you today.
"Stand up and bless the Lord, ye people of His choice; stand up and bless the Lord your God with heart and soul and voice.
"Though high above all praise, above all blessing high, who would not fear His holy name and laud and magnify?
"O for the living flame, from His own altar brought, to touch our lips, our minds inspire, and wing to heav'n our thought!
"God is our strength and song, and His salvation ours; then be His love in Christ proclaimed with all our ransomed pow'rs.
"Stand up and bless the Lord-- the Lord your God adore; stand up and bless His glorious name henceforth forevermore."
For Today: 1 Chronicles 23:30; Psalm 51:15; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 12:28
Refuse to be intimidated by those who seem hostile or indifferent to our Lord. Speak His praise graciously but boldly.