Tag Archives: saved

Good Christian Men Rejoice

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door, and man is blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Words by Heinrich Suso, 14th Century
Music is a 14th Century German Melody

 


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8- 10

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:56


 

A couple of years ago my son was working on his Eagle project for Boy Scouts. Now while it was his project, meaning he did the planning and overseeing, there were a lot of us who did the physical work. Part of the job involved landscaping. Well, after a day of digging in the dirt and putting in new plants, I looked at my hands and had an alarming realization. I no longer had my wedding ring on. Needless to say, I was more than a little panicked .

I began retracing my steps to everywhere I had been. The problem is, I had been everywhere.  One of the scouts called his dad who had a metal detector.  He brought the detector and we continued to search to no avail.  I was becoming greatly worried.  I decided to run to the rental  store and pick-up a stronger metal detector for one last shot.  Finally after a total of about three hours of searching, we struck gold (literally). My son located the ring buried under a hasta I had planted. I was overjoyed with relief.  I had reason to rejoice because we had located something of great value, both financially and more importantly personally.  This feeling of rejoicing that comes from receiving something so important is a theme found in the old Christmas hymn, “Good Christian Men Rejoice.”

The hymn begins by calling us to “rejoice with heart and soul, and voice.” In other words, we need to rejoice with our whole being, rejoice in all we do, or as Paul puts it in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it always!”   Yes, we are to rejoice, but lest we wonder, why is it that we are to rejoice, the author answers immediately with, “Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today.”  Our rejoicing is in the birth of Jesus.

It was Jesus’s entry into the world that is the source of joy that drives us to rejoice. As the hymn continues, “He has opened the heavenly door.” It is through His birth that we can have what we could never find on our own . . . Salvation (Matthew 1:21).  It is through His birth that we may enter into God’s very presence. So the hymn continues, “Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!”

We rejoice not that a baby was born, but because God gave us the only means of knowing him.  The only means of salvation.  A precious unmatched gift. This is the rejoicing found in Luke 15:8 – 10 were we read, ““Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Our call to rejoice is not simply within us, but it is a reflection of the rejoicing in heaven itself.  For it is through this babe in the manger, that salvation came to earth. It is through Him that we have victory over sin (1 Corinthians 15:56). In light of this great truth, it is us who should truly “rejoice, with heart and soul and voice.”

 

 

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To God Be The Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Words by Fanny J. Crosby, 1870
Music by W. Howard Doane, 1870

 

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Galatians 1:3 – 5

I have worked with youth for the better part of 20 years. Some of these have been as a supervisor at work. Some of these have been as a youth group leader in the church. Some of these have been as a Chaplain and an Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America. And most recently it has been as a Trail Master with Trail Life USA. What I have seen in each of these is that youth like to be recognized for their accomplishments. They like to have the nod of a head, the pat on the back or the word of congratulations.

Now this of course this is youth, but as adults we are no different. While we may not do things for the recognition, it is always nice to have a pat on the back or a “well done.” After all we have put all this work into something, it is reasonable that we should get some recognition. When we do not get the recognition, then we start to feel under appreciated. We feel as though no one cares. In fact, the only thing worse that not getting recognized is when we do all the work and someone else gets the recognition. Any of us who have ever been an employee have probably found times when our supervisor or a coworker gets the credit for all we have done. How frustrating this can be.

Now if we think we deserve to get that recognition how much more does God deserve recognition for what He has done. This is what Fanny Crosby lays before us in her hymn, “To God Be The Glory.” Here she worships and praise God not simply because He is God (which is a valid enough reason in and of itself) but because of what He has done. In this case she draws us to God’s greatest accomplishment.

She writes, “So loved He the world that he gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life gate that all may go in.” John chapter three verse sixteen tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believed in Him would not die, but have eternal life.” Surely this is the greatest thing God has done. But no, Crosby tells us further that” The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

This gift is not simply for those who are “good” people, those who give an appearance of righteousness. It is for everyone. You see, those of us who now follow Christ at one time were no different than that “vilest offender” , and without Christ would be there today. A point Paul drives home 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 when he writes, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

In Christ we have been made new. In Christ we may come before the Father no matter what we have done. So I join with the words of Fanny Crosby, “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He has done.”

 

 

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