Devotion on Hymns (May the Mind of Christ, My Savior), 27 October 2015 Anno Domini
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
I consider this beautiful little hymn to be a surprise gift from a dear friend in California – Dru Arnold. I had never before heard this hymn and, therefore, if I have not heard of it, it must be of no account; however, as it turns out, I was wrong and it is poignant and wonderful in both lyrics and melody. So my friends in California have given me a gift that edifies my soul, and draws me nearer to my Lord and Majesty, Jesus Christ!
The lyrics, by Miss Kate B. Wilkinson, were composed sometime before 1913, and were first published in Golden Bells (London: Children’s Special Service Mission, 1925). The tune (St. Leonard’s) was composed by Arthur C. Barham-Gould in 1925.
It so happens that the meaning of this hymn has been a matter of discussion between myself and Bible teachers of my church of late, so I welcome the opportunity to study this hymn together with our good readers.
MAY THE MIND OF CHRIST, MY SAVIOR
1 May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
live in me from day to day,
by his love and power controlling
all I do and say.
2 May the word of God dwell richly
in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph
only through his power.
3 May the peace of God, my Father,
rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.
4 May the love of Jesus fill me
as the waters fill the sea.
Him exalting, self abasing:
this is victory.
5 May we run the race before us,
strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus
as we onward go.
“1 May the mind of Christ, my Savior, live in me from day to day, by his love and power controlling all I do and say.” First of all, the salient point of this hymn is the Mind of Christ which Mind must possess and rule in the hearts of all who are the believing elect of God. Having surrendered unconditionally on the field of battle, and having surrendered our worldly weapons of sin and malice, and taken upon us the full armor of God and His sword of spiritual warfare, we are no longer ours, but HIS. We have, along with the terms of surrender, given up our self-wills (that which the moderns call free wills) and taken into our hearts and minds His Constitutional Mind for the governance of our souls. We have become naturalized citizens of the Kingdom of God renouncing all allegiance to the old order and ancient regime of Egypt (sin) that governed in our members. Secondly, He has not become some general ruler of unspecified subjects, but rather MY Savior! I can speak for none others, but as for me, He is Mine and I am His! “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.” (Song 2:16-17 KJV) Thirdly, our obedience to His Law and Governance is compelled, compelled not by legalistic force, but by His love (echoed in our hearts in return) and His power controlling our thoughts and actions based on that love. My Lord feeds in beautiful fields, and as the light increases in my aging heart, I know Him better and better.
“2 May the word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour, so that all may see I triumph only through his power.” Who personifies that Word of God? Our Lord Jesus Christ does so. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 KJV) The same was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Lord does not come into our hearts to sojourn, but rather to ABIDE forever! A Temple is not a Tabernacle to be taken down and moved about in the wilderness of this world. A Temple is a PERMANENT structure. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor 3:16-17 KJV) Those of true faith are the walking, talking images of God. Though they fall short time and again, they are constant in their hope and love to do His will and not their own. In fact, they have no will any longer for they have exchanged it for His. In your walk of faith, even though you may not go about proclaiming it verbally, you do so by your actions and compassion for others – so much so that many will be driven to ask, “Whence cometh this joy of yours under every adverse circumstance?” It is the power of God (not ours) that works in and through us.
“3 May the peace of God, my Father, rule my life in everything, that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.” Knowing of the lonely cross that loomed just beyond on a hill called Calvary; our Lord did not relent to comfort and bestow his peace upon all comers to the Throne of Mercy. He knew His coming passion in only days when He called forth Lazarus from the stone-cold tomb. His Father’s Will ruled in the heart of Christ because Christ was One with the Father as we are One with Christ, and we together in the Father.. “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:22-23 KJV) We may be a comfort to the sick and sorrowing if we have, even in prison or battle, that peace of God in our hearts.
“4 May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea. Him exalting, self abasing: this is victory.” What is the source of our love for Jesus? Did we one clear, sunny day decide, “Well, I have decided to love Jesus.”? No, it was not your prerogative to be the initiator of that love – it was HIS! “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) It is for this reason that I call the love we bear for Christ an ECHO!. An echo is a response, not a first cause. It is, as well, diminished from the sound which it answers to. No one can possess the strong and immeasurable love that Christ bears in His heart for us. If waters (love) did not fill the sea, the seas would be barren basins. But they are filled by the waters of heaven just as our hearts are filled with the love of Christ from on high. Yes, victory is removing the weak and frail fleshly heart of man and replacing it with a model of His glorious and love-filled heart.
5 May we run the race before us, strong and brave to face the foe, looking only unto Jesus as we onward go.” Each of us does have a race to run, and its course is laid out by Almighty God. There are no shortcuts, or head-starts. The Holy Ghost bears witness in our hearts and illumines all that is written in the Book concerning our Lord. We assemble on the line of battle knowing that the Captain of our Soul has already defeated the enemy. He knows the terrain, He communicates with us, He goes before us in order of battle, and He has given us the armor of faith and the sword of His Word against which no belligerent can stand. The battle Ensign is before our line of battle, and it is Christ. The Ensign is firmly set in the advance of the line and will not falter or fall back – so it is ever onward and upward in our engaging the enemy to retake his ill-gotten territory of souls. We do not lose courage in the battle, because it is Christ and His glory upon which the army surges forth. The upward beam of the cross is forward, and the cross beams are the echelons of our faith shining forth to others. Our victory will be to save the souls of the enemy, not to destroy them. Isn’t it a great honor to be accounted a soldier of Christ!