2005-05-26 - Deep Roots
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever
is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever
is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things. (NASB)
There is currently a resurgence of hymns in Christian circles today. Some
say that hymns are old and outdated. But to others like myself, these are
old friends with amazing depth and tremendous power to inspire and revive
a weary soul. It's not just the rumbling pipe organ, or the four part harmonies
of the choir. I appreciate the efforts and contributions of those players.
But the lyrics are the thing. Bear with me for just a minute and let me try
to explain what I love about these phrases. This is short song is actually
snippets from three choruses of three different great hymns.
||What A Friend We Have In Jesus /
Old Rugged Cross / How Great Thou Art
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
And I'll cherish the old rugged cross
Til' my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou Art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou Art!
Written by Stuart K. Hine
Amy Grant - Legacy
Hymns & Faith
© 2002 Word/A&M Records
What a Friend we have in Jesus: This is a very simple statement that
I imagine we can all agree on. But close your eyes and think for a minute
about the hundreds of reasons He is this greatest of friends. All our sins
and griefs to bear: Jesus took on the sin of the world at Calvary and destroyed
the power of death and Hell. Without that unfathomable sacrifice, we would
all be doomed to an eternity separated from the love of God. That alone would
be torment enough. As if that were not enough to be grateful for, believers
have the privilege of bringing and lay open whatever sins, failures, joys,
sorrows, dreams and successes to Jesus in prayer. To have the honor of bowing,
as a son or daughter, before the Creator of the Universe and know that He
wants to hear what we have to say. To have Him tell us how much He loves
us, is a privilege indeed. Prayer is one privilege that we do not exercise
often enough. It is a gift that the riches of the whole world can not buy,
and one that can never be taken away.
The Old Rugged Cross: The cross that Jesus suffered and died on is
almost certainly disintegrated into dust by now. The author is not clinging
to the wooden cross, but to the actions that Jesus took there: sacrifice,
suffering, death, literally taking our place to save each one of us. The
love of God for a fallen, rebellious and sinful race was put on display.
Some might say it was put to the test, but the outcome was never in doubt.
Creation vs. Creator. The enemy of our souls was dealt a devastating defeat
as Jesus spoke, "It is finished." The work of the ages was completed. One
day, the last of our accomplishments will be laid at the foot of that singular
event of our salvation, and Jesus will place on our heads a crown of that
salvation as He welcomes us into His eternal kingdom.
How Great Thou Art: This is another simple expression of a powerful
thought. From time to time, we will catch a glimpse of the greatness and
majesty of God. It can leave us in quiet awe or in speechless joy. The
proclamation of the greatness of God, "How great Thou art!", coming from
the heart of humility and thanks is often the by-product of the fundamental
knowledge of an understanding of the weight of our own sin and debt owed
that we could have never paid. And yet the debt that would have left us in
the slave market or debtor's prison was freely paid in full with the blood
of Christ. And the power of sin and death were crushed by the resurrection
of the Lord.
Think about what is being said, and the potent truth contained in the lyrics.
These hymns have stood from generation to generation because they have a
timeless message of love, mercy and grace of the Savior for each one of us.
Think on these things.
Grace & Peace,