DYING WITH JESUS, a Hymn Devotion for 15 November 2016
The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. Luke 9:22-26 (KJV)
It is an easy thing to make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ – to follow wherever He leads – and, yet, not mean a word of it, or even know who Jesus is or what it means to follow Him. Such a profession is hollow, but made every day across America and the world. The plead is often simple: “Just come forward and make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ and that the whole end of faith,” is the plea made to audience. But what is a profession if one is not knowledgeable at least in the fundamental character of the One whom they profess? Today’s hymn, Dying with Jesus,’ gives us some idea of the glory and joy of dying with Jesus.
The lyrics were written by Major Daniel W. Whittle, and the tune composed by his daughter May whittle Moody (wife of Will R. Moody). The hymn was published in London and the United States on the same date in 1896. It was an instant success in England and became the favorite of the South African evangelist, Andrew Murray. Murray remarked: “If Sankey only knew a hymn which I found in London, and would sing it, he would find that it embraces my entire creed.” He had made the statement while teaching a men’s Bible study in Northfield, Massachusetts when he led the men in singing. Sankey remarked, in response, “Doctor, that hymn was written within five hundred yards of where we are standing.”
DYING WITH JESUS
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.
Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.
“Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine; Living with Jesus, a new life divine; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.” Please not the simplicity of truth espoused in this first line: “Dying with Jesus.” We do not die FOR Jesus, but WITH Him; for Jesus Died FOR us. But what is meant by “Dying with Jesus?” If we do not take up our cross daily and follow Jesus all of the way, we are not worthy disciples. “All of the way” means on dusty, dry roads; through mountain slopes and rocky valleys; across stormy seas with fearful seaman; through angry crowds; among lepers and adulterous women; to threatening centers of power of belligerent religious leaders; to the hateful halls of the Sanhedrin and before Pontius Pilate; and finally, to the cross at Calvary. That is where the cross leads. But it leads beyond Calvary’s disgraceful brow – it leads to a borrowed grave, and a glorious resurrection. We belong to Christ every moment, and moment by moment.
Refrain: “Moment by moment I’m kept in His love; Moment by moment I’ve life from above; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine; Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.” “3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” Psalms 63:3-8 (KJV) He sustains our lives moment by moment – the next breath, the next heartbeat.
“Never a trial that He is not there, Never a burden that He doth not bear, Never a sorrow that He doth not share, Moment by moment, I’m under His care.” “. . . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt 28:20 (KJV) “ALWAYS” IS A FOREVER PROPOSITION! He is with us in our moments of joy, but also of despair – just as He was right beside the two on the Road to Emmaus. There is no measure for the compassionate heart of Jesus Christ. He always took compassion on the lame, the blind, the leper, and the sinner. He bears our burdens for us. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matt 11:28 (KJV)
“Never a heartache, and never a groan, Never a teardrop and never a moan; Never a danger but there on the throne, Moment by moment He thinks of His own.” No one considers it a great privilege to suffer, but even more ominous is the prospect of either dying, or suffering, alone. The Christian has the assurance of never heading down the Road of Sorrow, or the Valley of the Shadow of Death, alone. Christ is forever with His own. He rules in our victories, but also in our dimly perceived defeats. There is NO defeat in Christ! He even keeps every tear of the saint on safe deposit with Him in Heaven: “8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalms 56:8 (KJV) He even keeps book on every hair of our heads – in some cases, a shifting figure…..
“Never a weakness that He doth not feel, Never a sickness that He cannot heal; Moment by moment, in woe or in weal, Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.” Now here is the crux of the meaning of this wonderful hymn, and of the Gospels: “Moment by moment, in woe or in weal, Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.” The words the Lord spoke to Zacchaeus are the same He speaks to you and me: “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.” Luke 19:5 (KJV) The Lord does not visit us in our walk with Him in bearing our crosses, but rather ABIDES with us which means “to make His home in our hearts.” What an amazing blessing! As the Lord Himself says: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”John 15:4-7 (KJV)
Has your heart made its home with Christ and IN Christ?