Tag Archives: believe

I Heard

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t
To me the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

Words and Music by Eugene Bartlett, 1939

 


But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:13 – 15


 

I have always enjoyed learning the details around historic events. One of the most compelling is learning about the events of WW II. One of the reasons is that it is still recent history, having occurred in my parents lifetime. This means that I can actually hear from people who were there and remember the events.

To hear people recount where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked. They tell the stories of what they were doing, and how it impacted everyone. To hear from those who served their country with honor as they fought in the war.  Hearing about the celebration in the streets as the news traveled of the victory in Europe on May 8, 1945.

It was a hard earned and long awaited victory, but ss great a victory as this was to celebrate, it is a pale shadow of the victory that those who believe in Jesus find. This is the subject of Eugene Bartlett’s” Victory In Jesus.”

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:57 , “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  A victory over sin and death that we can not achieve on our own.  Yes we know that the victory is found in Christ, but as I sing through this hymn one recurring phrase jumps out at me.

We read “I heard an old, old story, How a Savior came from glory.” After this we find “I   heard about His groaning, Of His precious blood’s atoning.” The theme is beginning to form and continues as we sing, “I heard about His healing, Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.” Finally we conclude with “I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory”, “And I heard about the streets of gold Beyond the crystal sea.” Over and over again, the phrase “I heard” jumps out at us.  Why is this important? Because while victory is found in Jesus alone, that victory is impossible if we have not heard.

And so I am reminded of Paul’s statement in Romans 10:14 – 15 where we read, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  To believe in Christ, to claim the victory, you have to hear the story of Jesus.  But in order to hear, someone has to be sent to tell the story.

This is the call on the lives of those who have claimed the victory.  In Isaiah 6:8 we read, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”  Those of us who have heard the story and claimed the victory that comes from believing can not simply rest in that victory, but must in turn tell the story to others.  Only if we are willing to tell, can other hear and believe.

There is victory to be found in Jesus.  A victory that can redeem us from the our sins and plunge us beneath the cleansing flood.  A victory that must be told to other. May those of us who have experience this victory not keep it to ourselves, but share it for other to hear.  Then, and only then, can they have the opportunity to join together with each of us and those believers who came before singing “O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.”

 

 

Read more about “Victory In Jesus.”

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‘Tis So Sweet, To Trust In Jesus

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Words by Louisa M. R. Stead, 1882
Music by William J. Kirkpatrick

 


Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.
John 14:1

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11 – 14

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20


 

Why? This is a favorite question of little children. They want to learn. They want to understand things. But, there is something else that goes right along with their question, why. Little children seem willing to accept what they are told without further question. It does not cross their mind that the person giving them the answer may not be telling the truth. They simply trust.

Somewhere along the line, we loose this ability. Our default is no longer to trust, but to question. We view trust as something that is earned, not simply given. This is exemplified in the Russian proverb, “Trust, but verify.” It is commonly tied to President Ronald Reagan in association with his dealings with the Soviet Union. Simply put, it means that we want to trust what somebody tells us, but we need to have proof before we do.

The question is then, do we really trust? When we truly trust, there is a peace that comes from knowing we do not have to worry if we are being told the truth. This is the theme of Louisa Stead’s hymn, “ ‘Tis So Sweet, To Trust In Jesus.”

Stead writes, “just to take Him at His word..” Think about, what peace there really is when you do not have the need to question. I am not talking about questions of understanding, but of truth. The simple reality that you do not need to doubt that what you are being told is the truth.

For this reason Stead goes on the right, “And in simple faith.” That’s what trust boils down to, simple faith. But do we have faith because we trust, or do we trust because we have faith? If we do not have faith in the person, then we can not trust them, but how can we trust someone, if we do not have faith in them. These things seem to go hand in hand. Faith and trust are two sides of the same coin. This is why John 14:1 read, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” in some translations and “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” in others.

So trust and faith (or belief) walk hand in hand. It is this trust that allows us to place faith in Jesus sacrifice for us. Because of this trust, I can turn my life over to Christ. I can rest in Him “Just from sin and self to cease.” So that I can get from Jesus, “Life and rest, and joy and peace.”

The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 1:13 – 14, “ When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.”

We can trust in Jesus. So we are able to sing the final verse of this hymn.

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.”

 

 

Read more about, ” ‘Tis So Sweet, To Trust In Jesus.”

Are We To Be Pitied?

 

1 Corinthians 15:16-19 NASB

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

On this past Easter Sunday, as I took time to reflect on those events some 2000 years ago, I began to wonder if we truly believe.  Christians all over the world for the previous week spent time remembering the triumphant entry of a man into Jerusalem.  A man that people were ready to declare King.  They remember a man who challenged the traditions of the people.  They remember a man who spent a last meal with his closest friend.  They remember a man who was betrayed by one of those friends.  They remember a man who was tried for treason and blasphemy.  They remember a man who was tortured and beaten.  They remember a man who was killed in one of the most excruciating ways ever devised.  They remember a man who was laid in a tomb.

And if this is where the story ends they remember a fool who died for nothing.

But the story does not end here, because they remember a man who did not stay in the grave.  They remember a man whom God raised from the dead.  You see Jesus was not simply a man.  He is the Son of God.  Jesus did not simply die and rot in a grave.  He was raised again to life and is alive today.  A life that is offered to everyone who will believe.  This is what Christians remember.   This is why we celebrate Easter, Good Friday, Maunday Thursday, Holy Week and Palm Sunday. Praise God for this truth.

But far too often, as I look at churches and Christians I have to ask, “Do we really believe?”  Does this truth really permeate our lives or is it just a nice story? Do we live like Jesus is alive? Do we really believe in the ressurection? Or is Jesus still in the tomb to us?

Maybe we go to church on Sunday (or Saturday or possibly a different day depending on your tradition and circumstance) to sing songs, pray and listen to the pastor. Maybe we teach a Sunday school class or lead a small group. Maybe we preach from the Bible.

Some of us may read the Bible throughout the week. Some pray each night before we go to bed.

We are friendly with our neighbors and strangers. We are generous with those in need. We do the right thing at work and in business even if it will make our life more difficult.

In any of these cases we are living the Christian life, aren’t we. After all doesn’t the Bible tell us that we show our faith by our deeds. From the time we are children we are told that actions speak louder than words. So these actions show that we truly believe. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

Far too often we do these deeds for the wrong reasons. We go to Church on Sunday not to worship, but because it is what is expected or because it feels comfortable. We teach or preach because we want to feel that we have a place we fit in or we want other to look up to us.

We are friendly with neighbors and strangers because it is our personality or we were taught it when we were young. We do the right thing in business because we want others to see us as virtuous or we are afraid of being caught doing otherwise.

It’s not as simple as actions speak louder than words. In the sermon on the mount Jesus declares “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:22 – 23)

Yes, our actions are important, but no matter how great they are, they are meaningless without the right backing. If we do not believe the foundation of the Christian faith, If we do not believe Jesus is the Son of the Living God, If we do not believe Jesus rose from the grave, and if we do not believe that forgiveness and eternal life can be found in him alone then our actions are meaningless and we are truly to be pitied.

My friends, if you are doing good I am certainly not saying to stop. Continue doing so and always look for more opportunities, but don’t let that be the end. Look behind the action. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Are you doing it because Jesus gave us an example for this life or because you truly believe Jesus was who he said he was and your actions are a response to His incredible gift which reaches beyond this life.

 

Brian Olson is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ having worked with both youth and adults.