Recommended Reading: Newton On The Christian Life

One of the best books on Christian living that I’ve read in 2015 is Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (Theologians on the Christian Life) by Tony Reinke.

Reinke does the research to glean Newton’s pastoral letters and his book is full of practical, God-centered, Christ exalting instruction. It will give you those much needed gut punch reminders, while gently pointing you back to Christ and our need for the gospel.

Below are some of my favorite quotes and highlights from the first five chapters. I urge you to pick up a copy and enjoy the combo of Reinke and Newton.

“The Christian life is not comfortable. God makes us no promises to remove difficult circumstances, or alleviate our pains, or protect us from suffering, but he does promise sufficient grace for all our wants and needs.”
~Tony Reinke

“Grace sustains the bruised reed, binds up the broken heart, and cherishes the smoking flax into a flame. Grace restores the soul when wandering, revives it when fainting, heals it when wounded, upholds it when ready to fall, teaches it to fight, goes before it in battle, and at last makes it more than conqueror over all opposition, and then bestows a crown of everlasting life.”
~John Newton

“All scenarios we face in this life are navigated by a Scripture map which always seek to point the Christian soul to the all-sufficient Christ.”
~Tony Reinke

“In ourselves we are all darkness, confusion, and misery; but in him there is a sufficiency of wisdom, grace, and peace suited to all our wants. May we  ever behold his glory in the glass of the Gospel.”
~John Newton

“Sometimes we open the Bible and everything just seems flat and dull. At this point we engage in a fight for joy, a fight for faith to cling to what is true and what is supremely satisfying.”
~Tony Reinke

“Nothing undercuts the Christian life like Christ-amnesia — thinking we can live safely for a moment without Christ, without his atoning blood, and without renewed communion with him. ”
~John Newton

“When we fail to trust God, the difficulties of life loom larger, sting harder, and weigh heavier.”
~Tony Reinke

“The job of the sin-sick Christian is to repent and turn from sin and press into Christ for continued healing. In him we find our Infallible Physician for our sin-sick souls.”
~John Newton

Physician of my sin-sick soul,
To thee I bring my case;
My raging malady control,
And heal me by thy grace.
~John Newton

May you find healing and be strengthened to fight on as you journey through life while clinging to God’s Word and his amazing grace.

 

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Of the many hymns written by John Newton (1725-1807), I think this is one of the sweetest. Listed as Hymn 57 in the Olney Hymns Collection, Newton titled it The Name of Jesus, but as with many hymns most people recognize it by the first line. It was also included at the end of his autobiography, “Out of the Depths”, but it starts with the second verse.

I like a contemporary, Nashville version, performed by Matthew Perryman Jones. He doesn’t sing the complete hymn, but I think you’ll enjoy it more than the classical versions you may find.

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,
In a believer’s ear?
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis Manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary rest.

Dear name! the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place;
My never–failing treas’ry filled,
With boundless stores of grace.

By thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled,
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King;
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

’Till then I would thy love proclaim,
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of thy name,
Refresh my soul in death.

The LORD Will Provide

John Newton (1725-1807) wrote the below and it’s listed as Hymn 7 in the Olney Hymns Collection. He wrote it in 10,10,11,11 meter, and it’s a great reminder and encouragement for us to trust the Great Provider.

Jehovah Jireh – The LORD Will Provide.

Though troubles assail and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail and foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The scripture assures us, the Lord will provide.

The birds without barn or storehouse are fed,
From them let us learn to trust for our bread:
His saints, what is fitting, shall ne’er be denied,
So long as ’tis written, the Lord will provide.

We may, like the ships, by tempest be tossed,
On perilous deeps, but cannot be lost.
Though Satan enrages the wind and the tide,
The promise engages, the Lord will provide.

His call we obey like Abram of old,
Not knowing our way, but faith makes us bold;
For though we are strangers we have a good Guide,
And trust in all dangers, the Lord will provide.

When Satan appears to stop up our path,
And fill us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart–cheering promise, the Lord will provide.

He tells us we’re weak, our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we ne’er shall obtain,
But when such suggestions our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions, the Lord will provide.

No strength of our own, or goodness we claim,
Yet since we have known the Savior’s great name;
In this our strong tower for safety we hide,
The Lord is our power, the Lord will provide.

When life sinks apace and death is in view,
This word of his grace shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, the Lord will provide.

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