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1 Bible 2Matthew 1:21, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”

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John W. Peterson one of the most prolific gospel composers of the 20th century.  Born November 1, 1921, in Lindsborg, Kansas, he served as an Air Force transport pilot during World War II, flying the notorious “China Hump” route over the Himalayas. Upon returning from duty he enrolled at the Moody Bible Institute, also serving on its radio staff. In 1953 Peterson graduated from Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music, soon after settling in Pennsylvania and launching his songwriting career.

Peterson published in excess of 1,000 contemporary hymns and spirituals, as well as 35 cantatas and musicals. His most beloved efforts also include “Heaven Came Down,” “Jesus Is Coming Again,” and “Surely Goodness and Mercy.” While at the peak of his compositional prowess, he spent over a decade as president and editor-in-chief of Grand Rapids, Michigan based sacred music publisher Singspiration before relocating to Scottsdale, Arizona, and founding his own Good Life Productions.

The recipient of the National Evangelical Film Foundation’s 1967 Sacred Music Award, Peterson published his autobiography, The Miracle Goes On, a decade later. In 1986, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. After battling cancer, Peterson died in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 20, 2006. I trust you will enjoy this great hymn, and one of my favorites, which speaks about the joy of becoming a child of the King, when heaven came down and glory filled my soul:

Oh what a wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget;

After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.

O what a tender, compassionate friend – He met the need of my heart;

Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Chorus:

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,

When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;

My sins were washed away –

And my night was turned to day –

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s fam’ly divine,

Justified fully thru Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!

And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,

Took of the offer of grace He did proffer – He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Chorus:

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,

When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;

My sins were washed away –

And my night was turned to day –

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;

I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.

And it’s because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;

Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.

Chorus 

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,

When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;

My sins were washed away –

And my night was turned to day –

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

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Further reflection:

If you were to select some of the most influential figures throughout the ages, men and women, who have affected millions of lives, what names would be on your list? I think one name that would appear on all our lists, without exception, would be the name of Jesus Christ. Reynolds Price, writing about “Jesus of Nazareth” in Time magazine (December 1999), declared that “a serious argument can be made that no one else’s life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus.” So, when this Man, born in an obscure village two millennia ago, declared, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) and “My words will be no means pass away” (Luke 21:33), He was making predictions that history has verified.

Jesus has undeniably been the world’s most influential Person, but has He impacted your life personally? Do you put Him in the same class as other influential figures, or has He transformed your life as stated in the song “Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled my Soul”? Unlike all other notable people who eventually died, Jesus is still very much alive. So, my friend is:

(1) Jesus Christ your Savior and constant companion? If He isn’t, He can be!

(2) Call on His name in faith and invite Him into your life.

(3) Then the name of Jesus will become to you the most precious of all names.

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Please keep in mind that what you decide about Jesus Christ will determine your future destiny

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