Hymn Devotions Day 18 – When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

DAY 18 – WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS

               Of all of Isaac Watts’ hymns, this one is probably my favorite. Great words of truth mixed with a fantastic melody, this hymn is well worth singing regularly.

I particularly love the second stanza. There is nothing any of us have to boast about except our Lord. Are we brilliant? God gave us our intellect. Are we strong? God fashioned our body. Are we successful? God has blessed us.

All we are we owe to our Creator, especially our salvation. In God’s plan, in God’s time, in God’s power, He redeemed us to Himself through His Son. Salvation, as Jonah stated, is from the Lord.

Everything this world has to charm us with is nothing compared to what awaits us in glory. Why should I take my eyes off eternal perfection for temporal things? Truly, no offering I can give is enough. If I had, as the fourth verse states, everything in the world, it still would not be too great an offering to give. But what I do have, my life, I give freely to the One who is worthy of worship, the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Lord, reading again of Your Son’s death on the cross to pay the price for my sins, brings me both great sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow that I, like all other humans, failed to live up to Your holy standards; gratitude that You took it upon Yourself to pay my penalty. I can never repay You. I can only say, “Thank You.” Take my life. You created me, You bought me, take what is rightfully Yours.

 WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS – Isaac Watts

 

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of Glory died

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride

 

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ my God

All the vain things that charm me most

I sacrifice them to His blood

 

See, from His head, His hands, His feet

Sorrow and love flow mingled down

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

Were the whole realm of nature mine

That were an offering far too small

Love so amazing, so divine

Demands my soul, my life, my all

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 17 – Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated

DAY 17  – TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE

                This hymn is a great daily prayer. What a way to start off each morning – asking God to help us consecrate our life to Him. Let us praise Him each day for He is worthy.

               It is a great privilege, a noble request for us, to ask Him to use all of our being in His service. From my hands and feet, my speech, my financial resources, my mind, love and will; all that I am and have. Nothing less will do for my King of Glory than my all.

I need the Holy Spirit’s power to constantly, consistently yield myself to God. I need His power to submit my unruly will to His. I need His might to break my stubborn, selfish heart. With all that is within me, I desire to praise His holy name. I long for Him to fully transform me into His image.

One of the phrases I appreciate from this song is found in verse one. The prayer is for God to take both our moments and our days and have them  become a seamless flow of praise. Another phrase really jumps out too, probably because I am a minister – Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages from Thee. Oh, yes, let us all bring to a lost and dying world a message from God. To use our mouth in this method is a great way of praising and honoring our God.  Right now seems a good moment to start.

 

            Lord, take all that I am and let me praise You. Take every part of my life because You alone are worthy to be praised. You gave me life and breath – let me use that breath and life to glorify Your name. Accept my offer of praise for Your greatness, majesty and power.

 

TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE – Francis Ridley Havergal

 

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord to Thee

Take my moments and my days

Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Let them flow in ceaseless praise

 

Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee

Swift and beautiful for Thee

 

Take my voice and let me sing

Always, only for my King

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee

Filled with messages from Thee

 

Take my silver and my gold

Not a mite would I withhold

Take my intellect and use

Every power as Thou shalt choose

Every power as Thou shalt choose

 

Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee

Ever, only, all for Thee

 

Take my will and make it Thine

It shall be no longer mine

Take my heart, it is Thy own

It shall be Thy royal throne

It shall be Thy royal throne

Hymn Devotions Day 16 – Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

DAY 16 – LO, HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING

               There are many great hymns about the second coming of Christ. The words of this one, by Charles Wesley and Martin Madan, keep coming back to my mind.

The story it tells, contrasting the joyful anticipation of those who believe with the agonizing wailing of those who reject Christ, is very compelling. We forget, sometimes, that while we eagerly await the return of our Lord, that His coming seals the doom of those who are not Christians. He comes with us, His saints, to rule the world with a rod of iron. We long to see our King of Glory enthroned, remaking this earth into a paradise.

I believe that we have forgotten that for many of those we know, our friends, family members, neighbors, Jesus is not their King, nor their Savior. They will not inherit His Kingdom, only His wrath. In one sense, I do want Him to come quickly. I am ready, My immediate family is ready. In another sense, there are those I love who are not. I want a little more time, another opportunity to share with them, before He returns.

            Lord, I am eager for Your return. I long to see You. I desire to see the glories of heaven. I also have people that I love who are not ready for Your return. They do not know You. Please, Lord, let me have another opportunity to witness to them of You.

  

LO, HE COME WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING – Charles Wesley

 

Lo, He comes with clouds descending

Once for favored sinners slain

Thousand, thousand saints attending

Swell the triumph of His train

Alleluia, alleluia, God appears on Earth to reign

 

Every eye shall now behold Him

Robed in dreadful majesty

Those who set at naught and sold Him

Pierced and nailed Him to the tree

Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see

 

Now the Savior long expected

See in solemn pomp appear

All His saints by man rejected

Now shall meet Him in the air

Alleluia, alleluia, See the day of God appear

 

Yes, Amen! Let all adore Thee

High on Thine eternal throne

Savior take the power and glory

Claim the kingdom for Thine own

O come quickly, O come quickly, Everlasting God come down

 

Hymn Devotions Day 15 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

DAY 15  – A MIGHTY FORTRESS

               This song has brought comfort to me many times. Whenever I go through trials, whenever I have been faced with persecution because of my faith in Christ, I lean on God to be both my unassailable place of refuge and my defender. Whenever, like the apostle Paul, I am so hard pressed that I despair even of life, my hope rests in the never failing strength and mercy of my God.

It is so easy to look at the evil in the world and despair. Often, it seems as if goodness is failing and the darkness is winning. It is then that God’s Word provides the ultimate comfort by revealing the final result – God wins. Good triumphs. Evil is banished. Our ancient enemy is forever defeated by the might of our Savior and God.

As a mere human, I am no match for the Prince of Darkness. As a son of the Living God, a prince of the Kingdom of Light, co-heir with Jesus Christ and temple of the Holy Spirit, I have nothing to fear. My life is hidden in Christ and all I have to do is call on His name. He is my refuge and my strength, an ever present help in times of danger.

 

            Lord, help me to remember that You are my place of safety, my refuge, my fortress. Help me not to become overwhelmed at the amount of evil in the world but to overcome it by shining Your light. Let me rest in the assurance that You will return, set up Your kingdom, and banish sin and evil forever. Lord, let me also run to You and You alone for safety.

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD – Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing

Our helper He amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing

For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe

His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate

On earth is not His equal

 

Did we in our own strength abide, our striving would be losing

Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing

Doth ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He

Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same

And He must win the battle

 

And though this world with devil’s filled, should threaten to undo us

We will not fear for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him

His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure

One little word shall fell him

 

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth

The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through Him who with us sideth

Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also

The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still

His kingdom is forever

Hymn Devotions Day 14 – Holy, Holy, Holy!

DAY 14 – HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

               What a magnificent, majestic song to sing in praise to God! Yes, all the saints do adore Him, the God of our Salvation. When we stand before the throne we will cast down our crowns at His feet, acknowledging that He and He alone is worthy of any honor. The great angels and other heavenly creatures also will bow in reverence, honor and awe before our great God.

We cannot see Him now. To witness His holy glory would destroy us. Our sinful bodies are simply not capable of withstanding His perfect presence. One day, we will have a new body and be cleansed from all sin but for now, He is hidden from our sight. Now, we see as through a glass darkly, but then we will see clearly.

At the coming of the Lord Jesus, when this present heaven and earth pass away and everything is made new, only those who belong to the Lord will inhabit the universe. All His works will praise His name. All will give Him the glory He deserves.

Every time I sing this song, I am swept up in emotion as I reflect on how wonderful and amazing God is. I sing this with all my heart and mind, praying that He takes joy in my offering to Him. Early in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, late in the evening, all are appropriate times to ring out praise to our most holy God.

 

               Most high and holy God, I offer to You everything I have. Nothing I am or will be is in any way a worthy gift to such a magnificent God, but all I have I give to You. You alone are worthy of praise and glory and majesty. I bow before Your glorious throne.

HOLY, HOLY HOLY by Reginald Heber

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty

God in three persons, blessed Trinity

 

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea

Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee

Who wert and art and evermore shall be

 

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see

Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee

Perfect in power, in love and purity

 

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty

All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty

God in three persons, blessed Trinity

Hymn Devotions Day 11 – Come Thou Fount

DAY 11 – COME THOU FOUNT

Prone to wander – yes, that is me. Prone to leave the God I love. Why? That is the question, isn’t it. Why do we leave the place where we are safest? Why do we leave the One who has given us everything we need to live a godly life?

O, the depths the human soul has sunk to! Even when brought into a transforming relationship with the God of the Universe we still seek to go our own way. Yes, I will raise my Ebenezer, knowing full well it is only by His help, His grace and power that I have come as far as I have. Only by His help, grace and power will I arrive at the destination He has planned for me. I need to pray for Him to daily bind me to Him. Not to keep me from experiencing a wonderful life, but to keep me from danger and harm. To keep me close to Him, the Savior of Life and every good blessing.

If I cannot keep myself close to Him, and I have proven over and over that I cannot, I can ask Him to keep close to me.

Bend my heart to Thee Lord, I pray. Fetter my wandering feet so they do not leave Your path. You have said you will never leave me nor forsake me and I appreciate that very much. Forgive my sins, I pray, and draw me close to your side.

 

COME THOU FOUNT by Robert Robinson

Come, thou fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise mine Ebenezer

Hither by Thy help I’m come

And I hope by Thy good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God

He to rescue me from danger

Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

Hymn Devotions Day 6 – I Am Resolved

DAY 6 – I AM RESOLVED

 

This upbeat, quick-tempo hymn inspires and challenges me to live for Christ daily. All too often I find myself being charmed by the delights of this world. Like Abram’s nephew Lot, looking at the lush valley towards Sodom, I find myself dazzled by the shiny façade of material things.

Oh, how I long to discipline myself to pursue those things which are higher and nobler, godly things that deserve my single-minded devotion. The author of the song, Palmer Hartsough, makes a great observation that “friends may oppose me, foes may beset me.” Not only will Satan try to distract me from my resolve to follow Jesus but even Christian friends, who have succumbed to worldly temptations, will also oppose me. Radical, fanatic and other appellations will be hurled at the one who pursues hard after God.

Still, even though friends may not understand my desire, I want them to join with me. This hymn urges me to invite them on the journey into complete discipleship. By leaning on and learning from God’s Word, by seeking guidance from His Spirit in prayer, we can journey together in spiritual growth.

How resolved are you to let go of the things of this world and follow after Jesus?

 

Lord, give me the discipline to instill Christ-like habits in my life. Help me to look beyond the things of this world and pursue hard after those things which will make me be an asset to Your kingdom. Fill my eyes with glimpses of You.

 

I AM RESOLVED by Palmer Hartsough

 

I am resolved no longer to linger

Charmed by the world’s delights

Things that are higher, things that are nobler

These have allured my sight

 

I am resolved to go to the Savior

Leaving my sin and strife

He is the True One, He is the Just One

He hath the words of life

 

I am resolved to follow the Savior

Faithful and true each day

Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth

He is the living way

 

I am resolved to enter the Kingdom

Leaving the paths of sin

Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me

Still will I enter in

 

I am resolved and who will go with me?

Come, friends, without delay

Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit

We’ll walk the heavenly way

 

REFRAIN

 

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free

Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to thee