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 9 – Jesus Paid It All

DAY 9 – Jesus paid it all 

Regrettably, I usually hear this hymn only during the response or invitation time at church. The words are so true, so biblical, it should be sung much more often. I especially love the words of verse 5. I want to shout those words as I ascend to heaven, “Jesus died my soul to save.”

Jesus accomplished everything necessary for our salvation. No more sacrifice to pay the penalty for sin is needed. There are no works we can do to pay for our salvation as it is already paid for. Only His power can replace a heart of stone, cold and indifferent to spiritual realities, with a heart open and responsive to the Holy Spirit.

Only Jesus can bring new life to one who is spiritually dead. Only Jesus can bring sight to one who is spiritually blind. Only He can cleanse our sin-stained soul and make it holy and bright.

In Jesus and Jesus alone is salvation found. There is no other name, no other system, no other achievement, no other religious teaching than His atoning death that can bring about salvation. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.

 

Lord, thank you for purchasing my salvation. Thank you for caring enough to redeem my sin-stained and sickened soul. I praise you for cleansing with and making me whole. Thank you for shedding Your holy blood for the remission of my sins.

 

JESUS PAID IT ALL by Elvina Hall

 

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”

For nothing good have I, Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white, In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him, My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side, I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots  And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed, My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,” Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down, All down at Jesus’ feet.

Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Hymn Devotions Day 8 – Be Thou My Vision

DAY 8 – BE THOU MY VISION

 

A melodious tune does nothing to soften the impact of the words of this hymn. I cannot honestly say that I don’t heed riches or the praise of man as the hymn writer pens.

Each time I think that I am making progress in those areas, something happens that makes me realize they have far more of a hold on me than I imagined. For every step forward in these areas, I seem to slip back into bad practices and habits far too often.

I pray that like David, in Psalm 46, that God would grant to me an undivided heart. I understand all too well that while I love God, I also still love the things of this world way too much. I understand what Paul was struggling with when he talked about doing things he knew were wrong and not doing the things he knew was right. Only God can help us become a consistent Christian through the power of His Spirit.

If I could capture the vision of God so clearly that His light would outshine everything else, it would help me to lead a life pleasing to Him. I can capture this vision by spending more and more time in His presence. My prayer is to see Him more clearly each day.

What a joy it would be to have a single-minded devotion to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lord, please become my vision. Help me to see you clearly in this muddled world. Grant to me an undivided heart so I may serve you with all of it. 

 

Be Thou My Vision by Mary Byrne

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me save that Thou art

Thou my best thought by day or by night

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true Word

I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord

Thou my great Father, I thy true son

Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not nor man’s empty praise

Thou mine inheritance now and always

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart

High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

High King of Heaven my victory won

May I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun

Head of my own heart, whatever befall

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all

Hymn Devotions Day 7 – Standing on the Promises

DAY 7  – STANDING ON THE PROMISES

The second verse of this hymn strikes me profoundly. God’s promises cannot fail. The omnipotent, all-knowing Creator God is able to keep every promise He makes. He is trustworthy, He is true. Whenever the storms of doubt and fear howl at me, whenever I am assailed by the knowledge of my own inadequacy, I can stand on God’s promises because He never fails.

There are over 3,000 promises in the Bible. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says this about those precious promises:

“God’s divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of His divine nature”

Oh, what a great passage. God gave us these promises of His so that we can partake of His divine nature. He gave them to us so we can live a godly life through our relationship with His perfect Son!

Truly, I am bound to Him eternally and can overcome each day the doubts and fears Satan throws at me by using the Spirit’s Sword, the Holy Word of God. I will resolve to know these promises and to stand on Him. Will you?

 

Lord, help me to study Your Word and find your promises. Help me to hide Your Word in my heart so I will live a godly life and not sin against you. Help me to stand on Your Word.   Amen.

 

STANDING ON THE PROMISES by R. Kelso Carter

 

Standing on the promises of Christ my king

Through eternal ages let His praises ring

Glory in the highest I will shout and sing

Standing on the promises of God

 

Standing on the promises that cannot fail

When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail

By the living Word of God I shall prevail

Standing on the promises of God

 

Standing on the promises I now can see

Perfect present cleansing in the blood for me

Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free

Standing on the promises of God

 

Standing on the promises of Christ, the Lord

Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord

Overcoming daily by the Spirit’s sword

Standing on the promises of God

 

Standing on the promises I cannot fall

Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call

Resting in my Savior as my all in all

Standing on the promises of God

 

REFRAIN

 

Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior

Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God