Hymn of the Week

by Jeff Mowery

Only Trust Him

ONLY TRUST HIM

 

Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord,

And He will surely give you rest

By trusting in His Word.
Chorus
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;

He will save you, He will save you,

He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;

Plunge now into the crimson flood

That washes white as snow.

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;

Believe in Him without delay

And you are fully blessed.
Come, then, and join this holy band,
And on to glory go

To dwell 
in that celestial land
Where joys immortal flow.
O Jesus, blessèd Jesus, dear,
I’m coming now to Thee;

Since Thou hast made the way so clear

And full salvation free.

 

  •  I was reminded of this great hymn recently at the His Hands Extended Devotion. This song was written by John Stockton in the 1800’s. Mr. Stockton was a Methodist Episcopal church minister who worked with D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey in their revival meetings in the 1800’s. This particular hymn was an invitational hymn sung at the end of powerful revival services led by Reverend Moody. The goal of these invitational songs was to have a simple, clear message in song that would stir a response in the listener to heed the Gospel call and respond in believing faith. I can see why they liked this song so much because it certainly fulfills that goal.Within a week or so of being reminded of this song, I came across a passage of Scripture in I Samuel that tied in so well to this hymn. Here’s what I found in that passage:

    “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

    So what was the tendency of the people in Samuel’s day? To mix their worship of God with the worship of foreign gods. That is what I call “buffet style” religion. The kind of worship that allows you to pick what you like, but avoid the stuff you don’t. But Samuel spoke truth. He said that you must “serve Him only.” God is a jealous God (Exodus 20). Not willing to share the worship that is due Him with any others. It is the same truth as the words found in this song to Only Trust Him. Don’t trust in yourself. Your family. Your government. But to only trust in Him. All others will fail you. In our world filled with lots of little “gods,” the tendency is to serve them and give them our worship. Fame, fortune, leisure, sports, personal wisdom, and self, all desire to have our worship and devotion. We can very easily begin to worship other gods, but from the beginning of the Bible, God’s response remains “Serve Me Only.”

    Couple of comments on the lyrics:

  • “His” – Verse one of this song reminds us about where we find rest for our souls – by trusting in His word. Not in our strength. Not in our wisdom. Not in our wallets. But trusting in His Word. Isn’t it amazing how the Word of God can speak to our hearts like nothing else can do? It is His word, but it speaks to us individually. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word is true. God’s Word is reliable. God’s word is encouraging. It is His Word for you and for me today.
  • “Him” – The chorus tells us clearly who we have to trust in – Him, Jesus. John 1:12 tells us ” But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” How can one receive salvation? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
  • “He” – Finally, I want to focus on the word – He. In Psalm 100, the Psalmist gives us clear direction on how to think right. He says “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” He is in control. He is in charge. He is God.If you are a sports nut like me, when you saw the name “John Stockton” earlier in the email, you probably thought of the great Utah Jazz point guard. John Stockton was a small man in a big man’s world. He was 6 foot one playing in a league with guys, 6′ 10, 6′ 11, or even 7 foot tall. Yet despite his comparably small stature, he accomplished great things in his career. He was a great “assist” man. Not the man who scored a ton of points. But the man who dished the ball to his fellow teammates at just the right time so they could score a ton of points. Being a great assist man requires humility on the court because you are giving up your own chance to score while allowing someone else to get the glory. John Stockton remains to this day the all-time NBA leader in assists.

    You, too, have someone to assist you. Someone that is your helper – The Holy Spirit. One will lead you and guide you and direct you. One who will illumine the Scriptures for you as you study them. So, remember what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit in John 14:

    “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” Only Trust Him!!!

Where We’ll Never Grow Old

WHERE WE’LL NEVER GROW OLD

I have heard of a land on the faraway strand,

’Tis a beautiful home of the soul;

Built by Jesus on high, where we never shall die,

’Tis a land where we never grow old.

Refrain:

Never grow old, never grow old,

In a land where we’ll never grow old;

Never grow old, never grow old,

In a land where we’ll never grow old.

In that beautiful home where we’ll never more roam,

We shall be in the sweet by and by;

Happy praise to the King through eternity sing,

’Tis a land where we never shall die.

When our work here is done and the life-crown is won,

And our troubles and trials are o’er;

All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend,

With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.

 

For me, it is a dangerous thing to flip through old hymnals.  I come across so many songs that I know, and then, like last night, I come across a song in the Redback hymnal that seemed vaguely familiar.  I typically will scan the chorus and if I can’t come up with the tune in my head, it drives me crazy.  I can’t read music and can’t figure out the tune on my own, and so I have to go to Youtube and see if the Gaither’s have done a version of it.  I was not disappointed.  I found the attached video of this great old song, and somehow, some way, it seemed very familiar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqekNqVfRgM

I don’t know why, but there is something really appealing about this kind of place – a place where we never grow old.  Maybe it is that I am getting older myself.  More gray hair.  More aches and pains.  More longing to do what I used to could do.  It’s not that growing old is all bad.  The Bible says some great things about the old.  Proverbs 16:31 says “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.”  The Bible says Zacharias and Elizabeth were “advanced in years” but they were used by God in their old age.  Simeon and Anna, who was “great in age,” saw great things in their old age.  Old age typically brings wisdom and experience.  During our older years, we have more time to fellowship, to pray, and to study God’s word.  But old age comes with it’s challenges too.  Sickness, pain, loneliness, and the death of family and friends.  I get the sense, from this song, that the author has had some struggles in his older years.  Maybe physical struggles.  Maybe emotional struggles.  And he longed for that place where he would never grow old.  I, too, am longing for that place.  Not just because I don’t want to grow old.  But because I know that Heaven is so much better than what we have here on earth. Yes, the Lord blesses us with joys on this earth.  But these temporary joys will pale in comparison to the eternal joy we will have in Heaven.  That place where there is no more crying.  No more death.  No more sickness and disease.  How beautiful Heaven must be!!!!

Couple of comments on the lyrics:

  • “Built by Jesus on high” – Jesus said in John 14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  What kind of house do you think Jesus would build?  Shoddy?  Thrown-together?  Cheapest grade wood, and carpet, and cabinets?  Not at all.  The house that is built by Jesus on high will be perfect.  Without spot or blemish.  No cutting corners.  No hidden problems behind the walls.  A place that He has prepared for His children.  A place built by the Master Carpenter.
  • “We’ll never more roam” – I hate to think of my journey through this life as roaming or wandering.  I like to think I have a plan. I like to think I am expertly executing my plans – day by day, week by week, and month by month.  But Peter calls us “pilgrims.”  Ones who haven’t found their final resting place.  The writer of Hebrews says we are more than pilgrims.  We are strangers.  We are sojourners.  We are roamers.  But there is a time and place where the roaming will cease.  No more wilderness wanderings.  No more dark valleys to walk.  We will never more roam.  Hallelujah!!
  • “Our voices will blend” – As a person who loves good singing, there is just something beautiful about a congregation singing a song a capella.  It is awesome to hear all the parts and voices sing in harmony. I think it is even more beautiful when our hearts are in unison along with our voices.  A time of worship when God is exalted with worship that comes from clean hands and pure hearts.  But this lyric reminds me that I will also one day get to blend my voice with loved ones that have gone before.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and loved ones.  We will sing together again one day.  Our hearts and our voices will join in song in praise to the King.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”   “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  I Corinthians 15.

Surrender All

Surrender All

Take all I am, Lord, and all that I cling to 
You are my Savior I owe everything to 
Take all the treasures that lie in my storehouse 
They cannot follow when I enter Your house 

CHORUS 
So I surrender all to You 
I surrender all 

VERSE 2 
Take all my cravings for vain recognition 
Fleshly indulgence and worldly ambition 
I want so much Lord to make You the focus 
To serve You in secret and never be noticed 

VERSE 3 
Take all my hunger for all that’s forbidden 
Every desire and sin I keep hidden 
Search me and know me I want to bring to You 
A life that is holy and sanctified through You 


This particular song is a modern hymn written by Rich Dalmas who is part of Sovereign Grace ministries – a wonderful Christian ministry that is producing great modern hymns of faith.   If you have never heard this song before, here’s a youtube link to it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6_oUbGhYtQ

In my opinion, Mr. Dalmas wonderfully merges the themes of two great hymns of the faith – “I surrender all” and “Take my life and let it be.”  The theme of surrendering all that we are, laying these things at the Lord’s feet, and living a life that is sold out and surrendered to him.  The Lord is looking for that kind of sacrifice from His people.  As He did with Abraham, He is looking for our all – for the most important things in our life to be committed to Him.  He asked Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son.  He is also looking for the type of surrender like Hannah did in I Samuel.  The Lord answered her prayer for a son, and He gave her Samuel.  With a heart of thanksgiving and commitment, she then gave that treasured possession back to the Lord for use in His kingdom.

When I read the words of this song, I think about my giving the Lord “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:”

  • The Good – Verse 1 reminds us that we have been blessed in many ways here on this earth.  He has given us a storehouse of blessings.  Sometimes this storehouse contains financial blessings.  Other times it is a blessing of family and church, or health or peace or wisdom.  The prayer in verse 1 is for a willing heart to give the Lord the “good” things in our life.  To bless others because we have been so blessed.  Not to give Him our leftovers, but the firstfruits.  The Good.
  • The Bad – Verse 2 reminds me of giving of one’s self.  The secret cravings for recognition that no one may ever see.  Outsiders may think our motives are always pure, but the reality is that there are times we do things out of selfish ambition and vain conceit.  This verse is a prayer for the Lord to take those bad thoughts and wrong motives.  A prayer for a heart that is satisfied serving Him and going unnoticed.
  • The Ugly – Verse 3 is about the sin in our heart.  The sinful desire for things that are forbidden.  The hidden sins that no one sees.  The author is once again praying that the Lord would take these things to exchange the “Ugly” for a life that is holy.  A life that has been surrendered and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

As I have mentioned before, I have always had a far-fetched dream to write a hymn.  How cool it would be to write words that might be sung 50 years or 100 years or 300 years from now.  That would be awesome.

Well, this past Sunday at church, after singing this song “Surrender All,” some words came to my mind.  I am not claiming that they are from the Lord.  I will just share what was going on in my life this past Sunday, and the words that I wrote down quickly before my Pastor started preaching. 

My wife has been struggling with some health issues lately.  Not the kind of issues where I am concerned about her living from day to day, but ongoing, lingering, frustrating, irritating health issues.  She is a prayer warrior.  She prays for healing.  She prays for a touch from the Lord.  But there are some days where she just struggles.  The words that I wrote will probably never be published in a hymnal.  And I am okay with that.  But I hope that these words encourage her, and that they would encourage you if you are struggling physically today.

Take all my sickness
And all my diseases
The pain that I suffer,
And all of my weakness.

This body I give you
To serve you in worship.
In health or in sickness,
My reasonable service.  

So I surrender all to you.  Yes, I surrender all.

 Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

 

When Trials Come

WHEN TRIALS COME

When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in it’s shadow I shall run
Till You complete the work begun
Till You complete the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old

Written by modern day hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty, “When Trials Come” is based upon the theology found in James chapter one.  I prefer the language found in the King James Version of verse 2 which reads My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations..”  James doesn’t take long in his letter to “dive” into some deep theological waters.  He instructs fellow believers to not look upon trials and tribulations, or divers temptations, with a negative light.  But to count them as joy.  This song written by the Getty’s has that same kind of deep water truth.  “When trials come, don’t fear.”  Wait a minute.  Fear is natural, isn’t it?  But having no fear is super-natural.  Trials comes and depression sets in.  That is natural.  But what is supernatural is counting those trials and temptations as joy.  In my opinion, one can’t really read and comprehend the words of James, or sing and understand the words of this song, without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.  We need the Holy Spirit to take the truths of Scripture (what we know in our heads) and apply it to our heart.  We can only live in a state of joy and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Three doctoral degrees in Biblical hermeneutics cannot give us the peace, comfort, and understanding that only comes by the Holy Spirit.  My prayer for you today if you are in the midst of a trial is that the Holy Spirit would visit you, comfort you, and be there during those trying times.

I did want to comment on a couple of the lyrics:

  • “To fire a faith worth more than gold” – The initial picture that may have come to your mind is gold being refined by fire.  But I also want to share another possibly image here.  It is the image of a clay pot being fired in the kiln.  Picture a potter with a lump of clay.  He puts the clay on the potters wheel.  It appears to be spinning out of control.  He pounds the clay.  He punches it.  He shapes it with his hands, and with water, into a beautiful vessel.  But the potter is not done.  He then paints the vessel.  If you have ever seen a clay pot painted prior to being put in the kiln, it is not really that pretty.  The colors aren’t vibrant.  They are rather dull.  At this point in the process, one might even say to the potter “You might want to add a little more color to the pot.  It is not that pretty.”  The potter quietly responds, “Trust me.”  The clay pot is put into the kiln.  It has to be fired to be come useful.  It has to be fired to become beautiful.  A pot that has not been shaped and fired lacks usefulness and worth.  But a pot fashioned by the potter and fired in the kiln is valuable, and beautiful, and useful to the potter.  Jeremiah 18:1-6.
  • “As treasures of the darkness grow” – This line is probably the most challenging to me from this song.  I ask myself “are there really treasures in the darkness?”  We are children of light.  Light has no fellowship with darkness.  Darkness has to flee when light comes.  Right? But I don’t think evil is the kind of darkness the Getty’s are talking about.  I think they are talking about those dark, lonely times.  Those times when you may feel that God has forgotten you.  Maybe it is a time of loss.  Maybe it is a time of suffering.  Maybe it is a time when you feel like no one understands.  Many great hymns were written during difficult times and in my opinion became “treasures of the darkness.”  The end of Psalm 34 also has some real “treasures” for those that are in the darkness too.  “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.  18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.  19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.  20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.  21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

The Bible is an amazing book.  It is the very word of God.  It is inspired, infallible, and inherent.  It is deep enough for an adult to spend an entire life learning from it, yet simple enough for a child to understand it’s words.  It was written thousand of years ago, yet still relevant today.  Even the simple choosing of words by the author, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, can pack a punch.  James 1:2 would have a completely different impact if James had said “Count it all joy brethern, if ye fall into divers temptations.”   The difference between “if” and “when” is tremendous.  “If” means it might not happen to me.  “If” means it might take me by surprise, but I don’t have to deal with it until I am surprised.  “If” means there’s a chance that if I do all the right things, I might be able to avoid trials and tribulations.  But “When” means it is going to happen.  “When” may not be certain as to an exact time and place, but “when” is certain when it comes to whether or not it will occur.  “Count it all joy when…” So how do we live differently in those “when” times?  By the power of the Holy Spirit. By trusting in His grace.  James says later on in his letter in chapter 4 verse 6  “But He giveth more grace.”  Praise be to God that we can get more grace during these “when” times.  He giveth….and giveth…..and giveth again.

I Gave My Life To Thee

I GAVE MY LIFE TO THEE

I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, and raised up from the dead
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?

 

My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne
I left for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone;
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?

 

I suffered much for thee, more than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitterest agony, to rescue thee from hell.
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

 

And I have brought to thee, down from My home above,
Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?

I am going to do something a little different today.  This is the first time I have included a picture with the Hymn of the week, but to fully understand the background of the hymn and its author, I thought it was important.  The following painting is entitled “Ecce Homo” or “Behold the Man.”  As you can see, it is a picture of Christ with a crown of thorns on His head.  You may also have noticed, there are some Latin words at the bottom of the picture.  Translated they mean “I have done this for you;  what have you done for me?”  The author of this hymn, Frances Havergal, saw this painting at age 17 while in a museum, and the words to this hymn came to her as she studied the picture.

This particular hymn asks some extremely poignant questions of each of us.  So important that the author repeats the question in each of the verses.  I want to emphasize that I do not think the author was indicating a pre-salvation requirement of doing “things” i.e. good works to earn a salvation, but I do think the questions are as pertinent today as they were in the 1860’s when they were written.  There are four key questions the author uses to determine our commitment to Christ.  One of the great things about these questions is that we can find examples of how to or how not to answer them in Scripture.

  • Give – The Bible says to Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Are you giving as it has been given unto you?  Freely, abundantly, running over?
  • Leave – Jesus told the women caught in adultery Go now and leave your life of sin.”  We may not have committed the sins that she did, but we too are commanded to go and leave a life of sin.  Have you become a new creation?  Have old things passed away?  Have you left a life of sin?
  • BearBear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Col. 3:13  Do you put up with people that drive you crazy?  Are you looking to bear someone’s else burdens or do you think that you have too many of your own?  Paul’s instructions here are not recommendations, but commands to bear with each other and forgive one another as Christ forgave us.
  • Bring – I was recently reminded of a difficult passage of Scripture in Malachi Chapter 1.  God is speaking and is admonishing His people for bringing blind animals or crippled animals for sacrifices.  In verse 10 of that chapter, God says “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.”  In verse 13 of that chapter, God asks a hard question “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?”  I am convicted by these verses because I know I am guilty.  I have brought “injured, crippled, and diseased” offerings to the Lord.  No, not animals for sacrifices, but I have given Him my leftovers, my seconds or even my thirds.  I have brought Him “second rate” offerings, and He is saying to me, “I am not pleased.”  Have you been there before?  Are you there now?

 

As a parent of three children, there are times when I have asked my kids to look me in the eye when I am talking to them.  Sometimes I do this to determine if they are really focused on what I am saying, and to make sure they understand what I might be asking them to do.  Other times, I do this to find out if they are telling me the truth.  For those of you that are parents, you will agree that you can tell a lot by looking into the eyes of your children.

The author of this hymn was impacted by gazing into the eyes of Jesus in a painting – the image of Christ wearing a crown of thorns asking a tough question.  So I encourage you to look into the face of Jesus – the Wounded Christ – the Suffering Savior who died for your sins.  Then answer the questions the author asks in this hymn – What have you given to Him?  What you have left for Him?  What have your borne for Him?  What have you brought to Him?

Often times, I don’t have really good answers to those questions.  I am like a child who is too embarrassed to look his father in the eyes because I am ashamed that I have fallen way short and have disappointed him.  My prayer is that my devotion will be stronger, and that my commitment to do the things Christ asks of me will increase.  I pray that I will “give, leave, bear and bring” what He asks me to.  I hope that after you gaze into the eyes of Jesus that this is your personal prayer, too.