Nailed to the Cross

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:13-14).

Nailed to the Cross is a hymn classic though in modern churches the hymn is rarely used in worship.  I love to listen to the words and message which tells the story of Christ’s love and sacrifice for sinners.  Rather than present more of my thoughts on this song I will present words of God for you to dwell on.

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand (Isaiah 53:2-10).

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil 2:5-8).

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

Nailed to the Cross was written as a poem by Carrie Elizabeth Ellis Breck in 1899.  Carrie Breck was wife and mother to 5 daughters but she was weak for most of her life.  She would often need to sit; when she did she wrote poetry. Carrie Breck did not have musical talent, but wrote more than over 2000 poems, many of them set to music.  Another of her popular hymns still sang today is Face to Face with Christ my Savior. Music for Nailed to the Cross was written by Grant C. Tullar.

There was One Who was willing to die in my stead,
That a soul so unworthy might live
And the path to the cross He was willing to tread,
All the sins of my life to forgive.breck_cee_lg

Chorus: They are nailed to the cross,
They are nailed to the cross,
O how much He was willing to bear!
With what anguish and loss Jesus went to the cross!
But He carried my sins with Him there.

He is tender and loving and patient with me,
While He cleanses my heart of the dross;
But “there’s no condemnation”—I know I am free,
For my sins are all nailed to the cross.

I will cling to my Savior and never depart—
I will joyfully journey each day,
With a song on my lips and a song in my heart,
That my sins have been taken away.

Sources: King James Version of the Bible, Cyberhymnal 

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How Great Our Joy

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10)

How Great Our Joy is possibly one of the most majestic Christmas songs, ever written, and yet it is simple in its message. I first the song performed around 1997 in a cantata at Liberty Baptist Church in my hometown.

Christ is the joy of all. In Him is peace that no one else can give. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalms 16:11). Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

The words for How Great Our Joy originated in a Ger­man car­ol; the first two verses were trans­lat­ed to Eng­lish by The­o­dore Bak­er (1851-1934). The melody is also a Ger­man mel­o­dy. It was arranged by Hu­go Jüngst (1853-1923).

While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

Chorus: How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

There shall be born, so He did say,
In Bethlehem a Child today.

There shall the Child lie in a stall,
This Child who shall redeem us all.

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
That ever joy our hearts shall fill.

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He’s All I Need

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

He’s All I Need is a song or praise, a song of worship but it’s also a song of comfort. I first was acquainted with He’s All I Need in the last few years, at Liberty Baptist Church. The song means so much to me and reminds me of a one of my favorites Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me.

I feel sad for those that do not believe in God and who have not called on His son; going through this life in their own weakness and without hope in time of trouble. If you are tired of struggling, why not trust in Christ? Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28).

Psalms 23 describes the Lord’s provisions for me, for His own, during life, at death and beyond.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

He’s All I Need was written by Sammy Easom and published by Chestnut Mound Music/BMI. The Kingsmen southern gospel music quartet has recorded the song.

He’s all I need when I just
Need someone to talk to.
He’s always there to hear
My prayer prayer each time I call Him.
All my needs He supplies
My thirsty soul He satisfies.
For He’s The Lord of all,
He’s all I need.

Chorus: He comforts me when I’m weary.
He eases every pain.
He fills my deepest longing,
time and time again.
He’s my soul’s inspiration,
My heart’s consolation.
He’s my everything,
He’s all I need.

He’s all I need;
I need not turn to any other.
For He’s a friend
A friend closer than a brother.
On this friend I can reply
To be my strength as life goes by.
For He’s The Lord of all,
He’s all I need.

Chorus

He is all I need.
He is all I need,
all, all I need.
He is all I need.
He is all I need,
Christ is all I need.
He’s my everything.
He’s all I need.

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My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Dwell on the title of this classic hymn, My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me. How great is it that we, you and I, are children of God and He loves us with a fatherly love. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1).

I could write more but the Bible proclaims His provision for us perfectly. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matt 6:26-34).

There are many, numerous scripture about God’s provisions. I leave you one more. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor</em (Psalms 68-9:10).

I first heard My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me as a child in church but I also remember hearing it sang by the Old Fashioned Revival Hour Quartet sing it on a Sunday morning radio broadcast. While I have not heard this wonderful hymn sang in church in years, if occasionally rises from my heart, such as today, reminding me of God’s love and provision.

My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me was written by William Martin in 1910. Charles Gabriel wrote the music.

I trust in God wherever I may be,
Upon the land, or on the rolling sea,
For come what may, from day to day,
My heav’nly Father watches over me
.

Chorus: I trust in God, I know He cares for me;
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul;
My heav’nly Father watches over me.

He makes the rose an object of His care,
He guides the eagle through the pathless air,
And surely He remembers me;
My heav’nly Father watches over me.

I trust in God, for, in the lion’s den,
On battlefield, or in the prison pen,
Through praise or blame, through flood or flame,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.

The valley may be dark, the shadows deep,
But, oh, the Shepherd guards His lonely sheep;
And through the gloom He’ll lead me home,
My heav’nly Father watches over me
.

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Love Lifted Me

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (Psalms 40:2).

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Love Lifted Me is another hymn stored deep in heart since youth. It is a great song of the faith and sang often in Baptist traditional worship services. To me, the hymn never gets old.

The theme of Love Lifted Me is that we are lost in our own trespasses, without hope, sinking in eternal abyss but Christ loved us so much that He paid the price for our sin and is there to save us from destruction. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

I was hopeless, sinking in a miry pit. Christ saw me. I called out to Him. He saved me. He was the only one that could lift me out and sit me on the solid rock. How about you? Are you sinking in sin, bound for eternal misery? Why not call on Christ! Ask Him, He will. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13).

The lyrics of Love Lifted Me were penned by James Rowe in 1912. The music was composed by How­ard E. Smith. The song was written in Saug­a­tuck, Con­nec­ti­cut. It was copyrighted in 1939 by John T. Benson in 1939.

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Chorus: Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

Sources: Cyberhymnal, Holy Bible, King James Version

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O Sacred Head Now Wounded

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7).

Perhaps never a more somber hymn has been written or translated to the English language. O Sacred Head Now Wounded captures the passion of Christ and presents it in personal terms of you and me; it was for you and for me that Christ willingly suffered agony and death on the cross. “… was all for sinner’s gain; Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.” The second verse does not stop there, and then presents our hope. “Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place; Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.” We see in this version what grace is: unmerited favor from God; favor of which we could never earn, not in past ages or future ones to come, favor we could never purchase. Even the suggestion that God’s grace could be earned (with good works) or purchased (through indulgences, tithes or offerings) is a very insult to Christ. Consider the reverse. If there is nothing one can do the earth His favor is there anything one can do, or not do, to lose His favor?

O Sacred Head Now Wounded turns to a joyous tone in closing, a theme of thankfulness by the author and we are presented with the notion not only is Christ our savior but our friend, our dearest friend! “What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend?” Think about it. We all have close friends but have any of them took your place in punishment; and are any of them able to keep you from eternal damnation? The modern hymn arrangement closes with the line: “Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.” We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19)? O reader, do you love Him, He that took your place, took your agony, bore your sin, and gave you life? Do you love Him?

O Sacred Head Now Wounded was adapted from a medieval Latin poem by Paul Gerhardt in German and to English by James W. Alexander in 1830 and Robert Bridges in 1899. The Waddell version is widely used today in America. The Latin poem was written by Arnulf of Louvain in the 13th century. The original Latin poem detailed sufferings by seven different parts of Christ’s body. The translated hymn has 11 verses modern hymnals I have seen publish only three or four. Music used in both the modern English and German translations of O Sacred Head Now Wounded was written by Hans Leo Hassler circa 1600 which was later simplified by Johann Cruger and later by J. S. Bach. The hymn has been recorded by several artists. I highly recommend the version by Fernando Ortega.

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.

May I ask you if you have called on Christ to accept His grace? Are you trying to earn it, or buy it? You can never do either, but no need to worry, His saving grace is free. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). He is waiting.

Sources: CyberHymnal,Holy Bible, King James Version, Wikipedia

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My Mother’s Bible

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13).

I can still see my mother reading to my brother and I at very young ages the Twenty-third Psalm. I can visualize it as if it were happening right now. The hymn My Mother’s Bible means so much to me. While written in 1893, the hymn could have easily been written about my mother. She taught us from God’s holy word. I have strayed many times but things she taught us brings me back. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6).

My mother is in Heaven now but I have her last Bible. I use it as my Bible. It is a King James Version. It was good enough for her; I see no need for me to change now. My mother has past but she lives on in my memory and her works are following her. One day, not that long now, we’ll be reunited.

My mother lives on in Heaven yet even more so and better, God’s word lives on and will always. Man, no matter how vile can erase it or stamp it out. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matt 24:35).

Milan Williams wrote the lyrics will Charles D. Tillman wrote the tune for My Mother’s Bible. The copyright is still assigned to Mr. Tilman.

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There’s a dear and precious Book,
Though it’s worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago,
When I stood at mother’s knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.

Chorus: Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear stained leaves I love to look;
Thou art sweeter day by day, as I walk the narrow way
That leads at last to that bright home above.

As she read the stories o’er
Of those mighty men of old,
Of Joseph and of Daniel and their trials,
Of little David bold,
Who became a king at last,
Of Satan and his many wicked wiles.

Then she read of Jesus’ love,
As He blessed the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care,
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me.

Well, those days are past and gone,
But their memory lingers still
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His Words abide
.

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