Cleansing and Freedom

Today’s hymn, Cleanse Me, is a rather slow and somber hymn that has a very important message. I will focus on the first stanza: “Search me O God and know my heart today. Try me O Savior, know my thoughts I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free”. The cry of this first verse is an opening up of ourselves to the piercing, soul searching righteousness of God which can reveal and cleanse us from every sin. One of the great false promises of sin is that it […]

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What’s Your “Greatest Thing”?

The hymn, “The Greatest Thing”, is not really a hymn but more of a contemporary chorus. However, it showed up in my hymn book and the words challenged my heart. The hymn is very simple. Each verse begins with the “greatest thing in all my life is…” The stanzas are completed by “knowing You”, “loving You” and “serving You”. Then each stanza concludes with an expressed desire to know, love and serve Jesus…it’s a very simple little chorus. But the reason it grabbed my attention today is that I was challenged by asking if honestly, as I see it, are […]

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An Hour of Prayer?

An Hour of Prayer? The hymn, Sweet Hour of Prayer, calls us to consider something regarding the amount of time that we spend in prayer. Both stanzas of the short little hymn open with the words, “Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer…” Maybe the reason the hymn is so short is so that we’ll have more time to spend in prayer? I know that there is no biblical time requirement to prayer. We are not told that we should spend this amount of time or that amount of time in prayer. But why not consider an hour? After […]

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How Much Do You “Need” Jesus?

The familiar hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour has me thinking. Each line of the hymn begins with the phrase, “I need Thee every hour…”. The chorus is very simply: “I need Thee, O I need thee. Every hour I need Thee! O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee”. I am pretty convicted about the words to this song. Do I really need Jesus “every hour”? What does that mean? I have more than enough money to pay the bills. I am in good health. I have good friends. I suspect most of you reading this post […]

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Where’s Your “Garden”?

Whenever I am at a place where people are asked to request a hymn that they would like to sing today’s hymn, In the Garden, is almost always requested. It is also a hymn that is frequently sung at funerals. I believe that in the hymn a “garden” is intended to represent a place where we can come and experience intimate fellowship with Jesus. Yesterday’s post talked about the friendship of Jesus. This hymn speaks to the same idea as evidenced by the chorus: “And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am […]

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Is Jesus Your Friend?

Today’s hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, is familiar to many people. I think I might have mentioned in a previous blog post that one of the most interesting and sometimes difficult to comprehend aspects of how Jesus is revealed to us in the Bible is the combination of Jesus being a friend and a Lord. In my life it has not been the case that someone I work for is also a close and dear friend. How do I balance the truth of Jesus as friend and also Jesus as Master and Lord? Do I even need […]

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He’s Watching Me

When a parent takes a child to the playground, her eye is almost always on the child. The child doesn’t know it. The child is on the slide or the swing or in the olden days, the monkey bars. The child is oblivious to the watchful eye of the parent but mom or dad is watching. Mom or dad is watching to make sure that the child is safe. We use the phrase, “to keep an eye on someone” or the phrase, “to watch someone”, to express far more than simply seeing the “someone” but actually to express the ability […]

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Will You Decide to Follow Jesus?

A very familiar hymn to many of us is I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. Let’s talk about this. The first verse is very simple: “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus.” The same sentence repeated three times. I don’t pretend to know the mind of the writer but it’s interesting to me that the hymn begins with a simple declaration. I think we would all agree that life’s battles are first fought in the mind. Our actions follow our thoughts…”believior determines behavior”. If you want to follow Jesus, […]

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Take My Life

A couple of days ago I suggested an alternative title to a favorite hymn if that hymn had been written by a child. I would suggest the same thing with today’s hymn, Take My Life and Let it Be Consecrated to Thee. The title that a selfish child…or adult…might choose is “Take My Life and Let Me Be”. Unfortunately that seems to be the title that best fits the life story of so many; even me in more ways than I’d like to admit. So many seem happy to reap the blessings of living in a place like the United […]

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