to understand what I write (I think that’s important, and I’m quite sure you’ll agree!).
Finally, I know that you’ve already looked at the DDT Rating, so you already know
the conclusion: this is a great resource for everyone, regardless of doctrine and
denomination. Now, let us commence with the Review!
366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Would you like to see what makes for the foundation of an excellent devotional work?
This is from Osbeck’s Preface in his daily devotional work Amazing Grace:
Even a casual visit to a bookstore will impress a viewer with the many “how-to” or
self-improvement books that are available today. How to be happy, be healthy, be
successful, be a good parent … and the list goes on.
But what are the “how-to’s” for an effective spiritual life? Are there daily practices
that Christians should pursue?
First and foremost, there needs to be an appreciative awareness of God’s amazing
grace in our lives: grace that adopted us as sinners and made us members of the heavenly
kingdom; grace that sustains and directs our daily steps; and the grace that will
ultimately usher us to our eternal home.
Secondly, let me suggest these key words that also need to be a vital part of every
believer’s daily experience:
A daily life of praise, thanksgiving, and the adoration of God.
A daily life of prayer, fellowship, and a communion with God.
A daily life of love, a delight in the personal assurance of God’s love and a desire
to share His love with others.
Two basic resource books are available to help us in this spiritual well-being: the
Bible, and the church hymnal. Regular study of the Bible, God’s infallible rule of
faith and practice, is an absolute essential for Christian living. Nothing ever replaces
our daily need for His trustworthy Word. Through the ages, however, devout believers
from every Christian community have responded to God and His inspired revelation
with their own expressions. The church hymnal, a most important heritage of the Christian
church, is one of the finest collections of man’s thoughts and feelings about God.
When these choice responses are further enhanced with appropriate melodies, harmonies,
and rhythms, there exists a reservoir of unusual spiritual strength and encouragement.
As an old fashioned conservative, let me say “Amen!” Osbeck gets it like few contemporary
authors do. The two most important books to just about any Christian ought to be
The Bible and their church hymnal. Osbeck’s Amazing Grace bring them both together.
The best part of this book is that it is formatted for a daily reading every day
of the year. So, while it is a book that many people could sit down and simply read
straight through, it will be much better taken in small increments - every day throughout
So - this is a Daily devotional book. I think the subtitle helps the reader to understand
that there are 366 (one day for leap year, too) readings, one for each day of the
year. But it is not just a haphazzard collection. Each month focuses on two or more
devotional topics. Example: January focuses on hymns relating to Guidance, Aspiration,
Prayer & World Evangelism. Some of January’s hymns are: “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,”
“What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “Jesus Saves.” A treasury of the familiar makes
these devotional readings exciting indeed!
These pages are power packed! Not only will each day’s reading give you “the rest
of the story” as to the background of the hymn, but Osbeck skillfully - and rapidly
- moves to powerful devotional application. Each day’s reading also includes relevant
scriptures, and hymn lyrics with music. Oh yeah - and each day is one page. One.
Are you going to tell me you don’t have time to read that?
The hymn selection is clearly traditional, and not contemporary. Those looking for
a CCM style of music will be disappointed; those looking for “Holy, Holy, Holy” and
“Leaning On the Everlasting Arms” will be delighted!
With Osbeck’s many other titles, you might think, “What’s the point of this one?
Hasn’t he already said all there is to say about these hymns?” Glad you asked!
Amazing Grace keeps its focus on Daily Devotionals. It is not a history book; it
is a devotional book first. While it does reference the back stories of our beloved
hymns, he is writing to draw you closer to God; not to give you a history lesson
on hymnology. And he does this very well.
Here is a sample from December 22 - “Good Christian Men Rejoice”
As this sprightly carol reminds us, Christmas should be the most joyous season of
the year for all true Christians. Our lives should be filled with gratitude to God
for the immeasurable love shown to us in the gift of His Son. Out of joyous hearts
we should be exuberant in “heart and soul and voice!” This ancient hymn uses frequent
repetition to impress upon us that the birth of Christ won for us “endless bliss”
by opening the way to heaven and conquering our fear of death through His assurance
of eternal life.
The festive spirit of Christmas, however, should not fade away as the holiday passes.
The joy and peace that Christ brings to our lives should enable us to be continually
rejoicing Christians, regardless of the circumstances. The blessings that came to
us on Christmas morn have illuminated our lives forever!
Osbeck closes this day’s reading with these vital words:
Determine by God’s help to maintain the joy of Christmas in your life. Seek to minister
an encouraging word to some lonely person. Share this musical message....
I give this book a “Great Resource for Everyone Rating” - which is basically my top
rating for a book like this. It’s hard to imagine it being any better. It truly is
inspiring in it’s daily readings.
Click Here for information other titles in this series
This is a real treat for all hymn lovers. It focuses on a daily devotional thought
tied to the background of famous hymns. Complete with Scripture verses and lyrics,
this is sure to be a real blessing to your walk with God.