Tag Archives: light

Rise Up

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

Words by William P. Merrill, 1911
Music by William H. Walter, 1872

 


“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13 – 16

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Luke 10:27


 

It’s an old idiom, “rise up.” To rise up means to come to the surface. It is what happens in a bucket of water when the water has been stirred. As the water comes to a stop, the lighter debris floats to the top. It separates to become evident. The phrase can also be applied to people. It describes the underlying thoughts of people coming to the surface. It is used to describe, taking part in a rebellion or to take a stance in support. The people rose up against the tyranny of the King, They stood up for what was right seeking to change the status quo. It is the meaning behind this idiom that we find presented in Wiliam P. Merrill’s “Rise up, O Men of God.”

The hymn begins, “Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength, To serve the King of Kings.” Here we find the phrase “rise up” applied to the people of God.  But what is it to which we are taking a stance of support and what in the world does,  “have done with lesser things mean”? The answer to both of these questions is found in the remainder of the this stanza.

Our stance of support is “to serve the King of Kings.”  This is not always an easy stance.  It is a stance that we take in the face of a culture that does not stand for God, but for its own selfish interest. We are called to rise up, to make a difference.  Matthew 5:13 – 16 tells us, “You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . . let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We are to rise up and impact the world around for God, that He might be glorified.

So what about, “have done with lesser things.” It is an odd phraseology, but the key to understanding it is found in the statement, “Give heart and mind and soul and strength.” You see, we might understand our call to “rise up” but how much do we put into it. Too often we find ourselves giving an  insufficient effort.  We split our energies between several things.  We go through the actions, with out the commitment.  We have not risen up, we have done with lesser things.  But we are to give our all in standing for Christ. This is the greatest commandment that Jesus gave us.  In Luke 10:27 we read, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.'”

Rising up to stand for God is not something for the timid or the faint of heart.  It for those who are willing to put themselves out on a limb. Those who are willing to risk everything for Him. For those who will give every last bit of their being to see the world changed for God. When we rise up we each serve our part to “bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong.”

 

 

Read more about “Rise Up O Men of God.”

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Words and Music by Helen H. Lemmuel, 1922

 


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1 – 2

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28 – 30

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5

For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24 – 25


 

I always hate showing up to the movie theater after things have started. First, because it means I missed the previews, and sometimes those are the best part of the movie. Of course, when this is the case, I feel like I wasted my money on the movie.

The other reason is trying to find somewhere to sit. This problem doesn’t necessarily have to do with how full the theater is, but trying to see in the darkness. I’m sure you know what I am talking about. You come in from the lights of the hallway, and can’t see anything in the room. You then have to stand there a couple of minutes while your eyes adjust and you can see where there are seats available.

The longer you remain in the room, your eyes continue to adjust until you can see around the room without any problems. But if you step back into the hallway your eyes focus on the light and again everything else fades into darkness. This is the image that Helen Lemmuel draws upon in her hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

Lemmuel writes, “O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see?” The words draw our minds to Jesus words in Matthew 11:28 where He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

“All you who are weary and burdened”. If we are completely honest, we have to admit, that anyone who has spent time in the world, is weary and worn down.

But there is hope in this weary world. The hymn goes on, “There’s a light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free!” When we turn our eyes on Christ there is hope that can free us from the weariness of this world. This is why John writes, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

And thank God that He has not abandoned to be on our own. Yes, He has given us a light in the darkness. And the light is found in his Word, which is a lamp for our feet. (Psalm 119:105)

We can then rest in the truth that “His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well.” As 1 Peter 1:25 has told us, “But the Word of the Lord endures forever.”

Yes, as weary as we are, as alone as we may feel, there is hope in the darkness that surrounds us. So when we turn our eyes on Jesus and “look full in His wonderful face,” then we will see that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

 

 

Read more about “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”