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Keeping My Eyes On Things Above

April 15, 2015

Today’s Word
Bits of Information & Inspiration

Today in History

The clear April night sky was filled with sparkling stars as the largest and finest steamship in the world sped through the calm seas of the icy North Atlantic. Ignoring iceberg warnings, the Titanic had been steaming full speed ahead. Suddenly she struck a large iceberg which ripped her side. Within fifteen minutes the captain realized the danger of the situation, and the wireless operator put out a call for assistance.

Sailors made lifeboats ready and ordered women and children to get into them first. The captain ordered the band to play to keep up the spirits of the passengers. It began playing a rag-time tune, but soon was playing hymns.

There were only twenty lifeboats on the huge ocean liner and not all of them could be lowered. All 85 engineers continued to work to keep the ship afloat as long as possible. At the end many people knelt together in prayer until the waters covered them.

Throughout the mournful, evacuation, with loved ones being tearfully separated, the band continued to play. There is some dispute about what was played that night. Several people in the life boats heard “Nearer My God to Thee.”

One of the passengers traveling on the ship was evangelist John Harper. He put his six-year old daughter into a life boat and then ran through the ship warning others of the danger and talking to them about the eternal destiny of their souls. When he was finally forced to jump into the icy water, he clung to a piece of wreckage and asked another man “Are you saved?” When the man answered no, John said to him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

When the Titanic sank early in the morning on this day, April 15, 1912, John Harper was among the 1,522 people who died. The band went down with the ship. The last hymn they played was “Autumn,” which concludes with the prayer

Hold me up in mighty waters
Keep my eyes on things above,
Righteousness, divine Atonement,
Peace, and everlasting Love.

Inspirational Words

“Accustom yourself gradually to carry Prayer into all your daily occupation — speak, act, work in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be.”
– François Fénelon

Today’s Word

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
– Romans 8:14

Thoughts on the Word

Parents lead their children till they are ready for life on their own. As we cry out to God as our Abba Father (Rom. 8:15), God leads us. We are his young children and he leads and guides us through the influence and work of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus told his closest followers that he would not leave them as orphans when he went back to the Father. Instead, he would send them the Comforter — the Counselor, the Intercessor, the Advocate — whom we know as the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18). So as God’s dearly loved children, we can choose to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, or we can rebel and live on our own. But life and peace are found in living in step with the Spirit’s lead (Rom. 8:6), while rebellion and death are the result of living on our own without the Father’s help (Rom. 6:23; Rom. 8:6-7). Because the Father has demonstrated his love for us through the gift of his Son, let’s listen for our Father’s voice and follow our Father’s heart by responding to the lead of the Holy Spirit!

Prayer for Today

O Father, you are righteous and holy, gracious and merciful. Thank you for claiming me as your child. Thank you for not leaving me alone, left only to my own power, as I try to live for you. I intentionally submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, knowing that the Spirit’s presence in my life is a gift from your love to help me live as your beloved child. I thank you, in the name of Jesus my Lord. Amen.

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