‘One of those listening was a woman
from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth.
She was a worshiper of God.
The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”
Acts 16:14 (NIV)
When the Bible tells us that God is the author of our salvation, it means what our verse today illustrates. It is the Lord Who awakens the heart to respond to the invitation in the Gospel. (Psalm 37:39; 68:20).
Augustus Toplady (1740-1778) was a remarkable writer whose short life was filled with correspondence, writing hymns and preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. He gave God all the glory for his conversion and hope of eternal life.
We all have heard of his most famous hymn, Rock of Ages. The events surrounding his composing this hymn are not known. One thing is reasonably certain, he did not write the verse when caught in a great storm and took shelter in a cleft in a rock. That is the popular story but most historians debunk that myth.
One of his lesser known hymns—which is full of Gospel truth—is the one given below. Slowly read the lines and ponder the many wonderful, yes, glorious truths contained in the verse. Oh, that we had hymn writers of this calibre in the church today.
A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with thy righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do;
My Saviour’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heav’n.
May you have the same confidence in Jesus Christ as Toplady had in his day. Surely our confidence cannot be in anything of our own making but all resides in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To Him be all the glory.