Posted by: rcottrill | June 6, 2019

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

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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: Henry Francis Lyte (b. June 1, 1793; d. Nov. 20, 1847)
Music: Hyfrydol, by Rowland Huw Prichard (b. Jan. 14, 1811; d. Jan. 25, 1887)

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The original version of this hymn apparently had six stanzas. Most hymn books today use four. Usually it’s 1, 2, 4, and 6. But Living Hymns takes a different approach with 1, 2, 4, and 3. As to the tune, Hyfrydol works well, but the most commonly used melody seems to be Ellesdie. This has sometimes been attributed to Mozart, but no concrete evidence has yet been found. The arranger of the tune was Hubert Platt Main (1839-1925) of the gospel publishing house Biglow and Main.

Persecution, sometimes violent, other times subtle, occurs around the globe. To persecute someone may include any or all of the following: ridicule, persistent harassment, oppression, mistreatment, exclusion or exile, imprisonment, torture or even death. The reasons for such abuses are most commonly either political or religious.

The freedom of speech protected by democracies says individuals have the right to express opinions without censorship or restraint–though there are limitations. The freedom is not absolute. Excluded are the incitement of violence, or a bogus threat to public danger (for example, by yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, or “I’ve got a bomb!” on an airplane).

Freedom of speech should include the right to speak publicly about to one’s beliefs, or have a spirited debate or discussion with someone who disagrees, as long as there is respect for the other individual on both sides. In theory, that is possible in North America.

But having said that, an anti-Christian bias is often observable in society, and especially in the media. The educator, the economist, the scientist, the sociologist, and the psychologist may be listened to with respect, while the follower of Christ is said to be biased and out of touch–as though those in the other fields mentioned have no biases of their own. Believe what you want, but keep it private seems to be the prevailing attitude.

The other way people of faith are frequently dealt with is to appeal to what’s sometimes called the new tolerance. This goes beyond the idea that all views are to be considered respectfully to proclaim all views to be are equally valid. But it won’t do to say, “My beliefs are true for me, and your beliefs are true for you. It’s all the same.” No, it isn’t. You may believe the contents of a bottle labeled “Poison” are safe to drink, but that does not make it so.

And the Bible simply will not allow that approach to the Christian faith. The Lord Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6). And Peter preached, soon after Pentecost, “Nor is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). The gospel of grace is inclusive, in that it welcomes all to receive God’s gift of salvation. But it’s exclusive, in the sense that it offers no alternative way to be saved eternally.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God….He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:18, 36).

Sometimes it’s not so much for personal faith in Christ that an individual is persecuted. Rather, it is his insistence that there is no other way to be saved. Hostility rises when those who adhere to other religions or creeds are said to be wrong, and in eternal danger. And Christ told His followers: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 15:18, 20).

Those who claim Jesus preached a message of peace and love must be very selective in texts they use to prove it. He also said, ““Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matt. 10:34-35).

Identifying ourselves with Christ is going to be divisive, even dangerous. But he said:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself [rejecting selfishness and self will], and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).

Scotland born pastor Henry Francis Lyte, who gave us the familiar hymn Abide with Me, also wrote Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken, expressing his willingness to surrender all to follow Christ, as the above text challenges believers to do.

CH-1) Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shalt be.
Perish, every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought, and hoped, and known.
Yet how rich is my condition–
God and heav’n are still mine own!

CH-2) Let the world despise and leave me–
They have left my Saviour, too–
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue;
And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me:
Show Thy face, and all is bright.

CH-6) Haste then on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heaven’s eternal day’s before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission;
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

1) What does “deny himself” mean to you, practically, day be day?

2) What is involved in “take up his [or her] cross,” in practical terms?

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


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