“One more song please” begs my son. It’s part of our bedtime routine. Margi and I swap each night which of our kids we put to bed. The last part of the routine is singing. I can faintly hear Margi singing to our daughter as I sing to my son.
What do we sing? Old hymns. Can’t beat ’em for depth of content. I love today’s worship music. I love upbeat praise and worship. Full band. Drums. Guitars. Stuff that makes me move. But I also love the stuff that moves me. Could be because I grew up with it. But it also could be because the lyrics are so dang good. If I had to pick just one for its lyrics, it would be…
|Author:||Norman J. Clayton, 1903-1992|
|Musician:||Norman J. Clayton, 1903-1992|
My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.
For me He died, For me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.
For me He died, For me He lives,
No merit of my own His anger to suppress.
My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.
And now for me He stands Before the Father’s throne.
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.
His grace has planned it all, ‘Tis mine but to believe,
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.
Probably not the most familiar hymn. Here are reasons why I love this hymn:
- It actually mentions Calvary and the wounded hands of Jesus. The death of Christ is the basis of all praise. Without it, God would not hear our praises. Very few praise songs mention Christ’s sacrificial death. They don’t ALL have to, but it’s nice when they do.
- Verse 2 actually points us away from our own merit (spiritual merit badges) to Christ and his righteousness ONLY. My only hope is Christ. We can’t do ANYTHING to suppress God’s anger against our sin. Only Jesus can–and he’s done that at the Cross. He’s my only hope. That is the essence of saving faith. Ray Stedman writes:
“In other words, you do not stand on your own merits. You never did. You never had anything worthwhile in yourself to offer to God. You gave all that up when you came to Christ. You quit trying to be good enough to please God. You came on His merits. You came on the ground of His imputed righteousness—that which He gives to you. You began your Christian life like that, and there is no change now. You are still standing before God on that basis.”
- Verse 3 identifies JESUS AS MY REPRESENTATIVE IN HEAVEN. My advocate. My defense attorney. My mediator. “He names me as his own.” It doesn’t get much better than that.
- The last verse contains my favorite two lines in all of “hymndom.”
His grace has planned it all… from start to finish, salvation is all God’s grace. That’s his job.
‘Tis mine but to believe… that’s my job. Simple faith. No merit in faith, by the way. As the Three Stooges would say, Even a maroon can have faith. The merit is not in the one who believes, but in the one who is BELIEVED.
And recognize his work of love… Either you get it or you don’t.
And Christ receive… “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” John 1:12, NKJV.
Charles Spurgeon preached for over 40 years at London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. If you want to see a really cool church building, click the thumbnail. Imagine preaching in there (it held 6000 people) without a microphone.
“He saw us ruined in the fall,
Yet loved us notwithstanding all.”
“He chose us when we were sinners; he bought us when we were sinners; he loved us when we were dead in trespasses and sins; and if we are as bad as that to-day, he loves us still. If our right to heaven rested on the covenant of works, that unstable tenure, it would soon fail us; but seeing it rests on the covenant of grace, which has no conditions in it, but which is of pure immutable grace from first to last, therefore be it known unto you, O sons of God, that notwithstanding all your faults and failings, wanderings and backslidings, he is your God and you are his children; he will be your God to all eternity, and you shall be his children world without end.”
Okay, so I added the italics. Italics is Italian for AMEN! PREACH IT BROTHER!
Check out how Leadership University uses this hymn in connection with depression and self-esteem. Click here.
So I sing this hymn to my kids at night and hope the message sinks into their souls. I know it has sunk deeply into mine.
What’s your favorite song, hymn, spiritual song, worship/praise song? Wanna go on record? Leave a comment… Thanks for stopping by.