Posted by: rcottrill | May 9, 2019

My Redeemer

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Philip Paul Bliss (b. July 9, 1838; d. Dec. 29, 1876)
Music: James McGranahan (b. July 4, 1840; d. July 9, 1907)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Evangelical hymn books contain many songs by this gifted, yet humble, servant of God: Hallelujah, What a Saviour! Whosoever Will; Once for All; The Light of the World Is Jesus; Wonderful Words of Life; Almost Persuaded; More Holiness Give Me; Dare to Be a Daniel; Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, Hold the Fort; Jesus Loves Even Me, and others.

The present song also works well with the tune Hyfrydol, to which we sing Our Great Saviour, and Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.

Various studies of the subject of singing suggest multiple benefits to it, even setting aside, for the moment, the subject of the songs. The following findings are among those reported.

People who sing are more likely to be happy, as singing elevates the levels of neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and well being. Many singers report that singing helps them relax, and control stress. Singing can also give you physical benefits like better breath control and word enunciation. Further, with group singing, there’s the uplifting pleasure of uniting in a common experience and fellowshiping with others.

Singing in a group for just one hour has been found to boost levels of immune proteins in cancer patients, and has a positive overall effect on their health. Singing also has numerous benefits for stroke victims, having to do with relearning the ability to speak and communicate their thoughts. Some who have a severe stuttering condition can communicate smoothly if they sing their words. And Alzheimer patients, at a stage no longer able to converse with others, often can join in singing songs learned long ago.

So far, we’ve talked about some physical and mental benefits of singing. But it can have a practical purpose too. Children can learn their A-B-C’s with a song. And there are love songs that convey affection for another person, and patriotic songs expressing love and loyalty to one’s country.

Then there are wartime songs to inspire the troops, like the Battle Hymn of the Republic, in the America Civil War, and George M. Cohan’s Over There, popular during the First World War. In America, songs of protest abounded during the 1960’s, with its civil rights concerns, and opposition to the Vietnam War. Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, and The Times They Are a Changin’, and Pete Seeger’s If I Had a Hammer, and We Shall Overcome are examples.

When we turn to the Bible, we find words such as singing and songs over 250 times. More than a hundred of these are in Psalms, understandable since it was the hymn book of Israel, and of the early church.

Frequently, the purpose of these songs is the praise and worship of God. The first reference to singing did that. It occurred when the Lord delivered Israel from slavery, giving them a miraculous pathway through the Red Sea.

“Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: ‘I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” (Exod. 15:1-2).

The final reference to singing is found in Revelation, book-ending the frist, when the saints…

“Sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb [Christ], saying: ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!’” (Rev. 15:3).

In the New Testament, Christians are urged to use singing for praise and prayer to God, and teaching and testimony to one another.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace [thanksgiving] in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

In times of suffering, they sang (Acts 15:25), and in happy times too (Jas. 5:13). Such singing engages both the spirit and the mind (I Cor. 14:15).

In 1876, the song My Redeemer, was published. It may have been the last one written by Philip Bliss, before he and his wife were killed in a tragic train wreck. It provides a lasting testimony to the man’s love for the Lord Jesus, and his service for Him.

CH-1) I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

CH-4) I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.

Questions:
1) What other activities of earth, besides singing, do you believe we’ll take part in when we reach heaven?

2) What hymns about the Lord Jesus Christ do you especially love?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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