Tag Archives: lead

Lead On, Oh King Eternal

156234_572903450925_1750536026_nLead on, O King eternal, The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King eternal, We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal, Till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing, Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy The heavenly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal, We follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks like morning Where’er Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted over us, We journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might.

Words by Ernest W. Shurtleff, 1888
Music by Henry T. Smart, 1836

 


For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
Ephesians 6:2

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.
Hebrews 4:15

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

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
Zechariah 4:6

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Titus 3:5

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
1 Timothy 4:7 – 8


 

Remember when you were a kid, all the games you used to play. Duck, Duck Goose, Red Rover and of course, Follow the Leader.  My son used to play a version of follow the leader that he loved when he was little.  I would say, “Hey, do the dance.” He would jump up and proceed to walk me through the steps. He would call out the move and do it, then wait for me to repeat it.  Every time it was done, it varied slightly but had the same basic moves.  It was loads of fun and he would be so excited to lead. And why not? Everyone likes to be the leader.  The catch is that not everyone can be the leader.  Someone has to follow.

It really doesn’t change that much when we grow up. Yes, many of us will have the opportunities to be a leader, but all of us are followers at some point in time.  Now we really should not look down upon following, because that is how we learn and grown in our skills and roles in life. So it is to with our walk with Christ.  Christ is the leader that we have been given the opportunity to follow and learn from so that we can grow to be more like Him.  This is the theme found in Ernest W. Shurtleff’s “Lead On, Oh King Eternal.”

The hymn begins by presenting us with what appears to be a theme of war.  “The day of march”, fields of conquest” and “our battle song.” Is this really a song of war? Well to begin with the concept of a battle is not foreign to the Christian faith but we do need to see it in context.  Ephesians 6:1 says, “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” As followers of Christ we are in a battle, a spiritual battle.  As Paul states in this passage, there are indeed evil spiritual forces that come against us.  But we are not alone, Christ himself faced these battles as described most clearly in Matthew 4.  Hebrews 4:15 tells us that He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” Christ is our example in the battle that we face each day against temptation, again the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” By following His lead, we can find the strength and guidance to stand strong in the face of these battles.

No the message of this hymn is not war, but that we can stand strong in the face of attacks that come our way when we follow the lead of our King.  So the hymn continues by not focusing on the battle, but the victory that we can have in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) So we read, “Lead on, O King eternal, Till sin’s fierce war shall cease, And holiness shall whisper The sweet amen of peace.” While we may be in a battle, we can look forward to the day when peace shall reign. We can look forward to the day when the struggles are gone and we can rest in God’s presence.  It is a victory we can not achieve through our own strength in battle.  As Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

No the victory does not come through our strength, but through God’s Spirit which he bestows on all those who believe. So we do not set out looking for a fight, but to live by Christ example, to follow his lead “with deeds of love and mercy.” For Christ Jesus has saved us through His love (John 3:16) and mercy (Titus 3:5).

Yes, God leads us through the struggles and battles of this life.  He leads on to a day when we will can rest in the peace of His presence. And we can know that if we follow Him, “there is in store . . . the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award . . . on that day.” (1 Timothy 4:8) So as we look toward that day, we continue to call out, “Lead on, O God of might.”

 

 

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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.

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God Leads His Dear Children Along

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Words and Music by George Young, 1903

 


For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:14 – 17

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.
2 Corinthians 2:14


 

I have worked with the Boy Scouts for several years. In the scouts, our goal is to develop leadership among boys as they grow into men. The key method for reaching this goal is the boy led model in which the boys serve as the primary leaders of the troop and the adults serve as advisers. This is great experience for the boys, but can sometimes lead to a less than fluid execution. And while they learn from their failures as much as their successes, they also learn the need for good, clear leadership.

Thankfully, those of us who follow Christ, have not been left to lead ourselves. This is the overarching theme of George Young’s “God Leads Us Along.”

In his words we see that it does not matter the situation we find ourselves in, for those who trust in God he will Seek his will “show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6). When we have put their faith in Christ and are led be Him, we become Children of God. This is why Paul writes in Romans 8:14, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”

Yes, we can know that God leads us as he has promised. In Isaiah 48:17 God tells us, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.” When we follow His leadership we can rest with confidence for the God who has told us that he will lead us, has also promised that he will never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

So whatever our trial or our situation, we need not fear that we will become lost if we keep our eyes on the one who leads. Our Heavenly Father leads us not simply as an adviser for our lives, but as leader who takes along the way if we will submit and follow.

When we submit our lives to God’s leadership, we will see first hand the meaning of the words, “God leads his dear children along.”

 

 

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Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Words by Dorothy A. Thrupp, 1836
William B. Bradbury, 1859

 

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:1 – 18

 

One of the many things I miss about my childhood is growing up on a farm. To have wide open spaces and animals all around. We had dairy cattle, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, a pony, a couple of miniature mules and three or four sheep.

I love working with animals. But, as anyone with a pet, let alone a who farm knows, animals are a great responsibility. You have to feed them, clean up after them and watch over them. You not only want to meet their needs, but you are seeking to keep them safe as well. You lead them to food and along safe routes. You care for them when they are sick and you keep away dangers.

Historically this is the role that a Shepherd fulfilled, and this is the image that Dorothy Thrupp draws upon in her hymn, “Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us.” The theme is found through out scripture and is an incredible picture of Christ relationship to us.

Thrupp writes, “Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care; In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.” The message reminds us of the fact that in and of ourselves, we will not do what is best for us. We need Jesus care to watch over us, protect us and to meet our needs.

She continues with the imagery as she writes, “Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.” For the sheep, it was the wolf that was a danger and the shepherd stood guard, ready to fight off any that came. For us, it is sin that is the danger we must beware of. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 12 verse 1 that we need to rid ourselves of “the sin that so easily entangles.” Yes, sin is the danger we face, and it is Christ who stands guard. It is Christ who gives us the strength to stand against sin.

Even so, at times we still wander from the path that Christ our shepherd has laid out for us. When this happens he comes to find us as the shepherd in Luke 15:4 who leaves the 99 to find the one who has become lost.

Thrupp now sets aside her imagery of the Shepherd to speak straight to our situations. She writes, “Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be; Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.” None of us is perfect. More accurately, we are anything but good people. But as sinful and lost as we are, Christ is willing to accept us. But beyond his willingness to accept us, he is able to make us clean and to forgive us for our sins. He is able to make us new, to set us free.

Isaiah 53:6 tells us, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.” This is who we are. When we are left to our own devices, we wander away. But God placed our failings on Christ. He took our place. The rest of Isaiah 53:6 tells us, “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Christ is our Shepherd and our Savior. He alone can make us new. It is out of thankfulness for Christ loving sacrifice that I sing the final words of this hymn, “Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.”

 

 

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