Thursday, December 30, 2021

Daily Devotion: He Leadeth Me

Bible Reading:  Psalm 23

Key Verse: Verse 2 –“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."

Key Words: he leadeth me beside the still waters

Through the years, Philadelphia has been the birthplace of many church hymns and Gospel songs.  But perhaps the one for which it is best known, is the great assurance hymn, “He Leadeth Me.

Joseph Henry Gilmore was born in Boston in 1834.  In 1861 he was supply pastor at First Baptist Church in Philadelphia.  After a mid-week praise and prayer service in which he had been speaking on the 23rd Psalm, he visited the home of Deacon Watson, where there was further discussion on this beautiful portion of Scripture.  It was during the discussion that he jotted down this hymn, as he said, and handed it to his wife.  She in turn, without his knowledge, sent it off to a Baptist publication.  Some years after its publication in that paper, and when visiting a church in Rochester, New York, he happened to pick up a new little hymnal they were using.  As he turned its pages, his eyes fell upon his hymn.  You see, William Bradbury, often called the “Father of the Gospel Song,” had found the words in the Baptist magazine and had composed a tune which exactly caught the tone and spirit of the text.  Such is the story of Joseph H. Gilmore’s great hymn.

On a bronze tablet, on the side of the UGI Building in Philadelphia are found these words: “He Leadeth Me”, sung throughout the world, was written by Reverend Doctor Joseph H. Gilmore, a son of a governor of New Hampshire, in the home of Deacon Watson, immediately after preaching in the First Baptist Church, northwest corner Broad and Arch Streets, on the 26th day of March 1862.  The church and Deacon Watson’s home stood on the ground upon which this building was erected.” 

He leadeth me, He leadeth me;
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

What to do:
✞ Being successful requires being a good follower – follow Him.

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