Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Hello, Church! Here is the reading that we went through this Sunday at the end of our May 3rd Service. We hope it is useful and provides some "soul food" this week. This reading came out of my time with the Lord a few years ago as I thought on the lyrics of the 200 year-old song, Jesus I My Cross Have Taken, and imagined what each verse would sound like in today's language. We have enjoyed singing the Enfield arrangement at HBC, and I hope that today it encourages you in a fresh way! The powerful truths that have been packed into this song remind us of the treasure we have in Christ and the hope of heaven.
Adapted from Jesus I My Cross Have Taken
Jesus I have left everything and taken up my cross to follow you. You are going to be my all in all, even if I'm destitute, despised and forsaken.
Even while every worldly, familiar thing I've wrongly sought after is eliminated, my condition is so rich, because I have all of God and Heaven.
The world can go ahead and despise and leave me - they've left my Savior too. Even when human hearts and looks deceive me, you are always what you say you are - honest and true.
While friends may disown me and others hate me, oh God of wisdom, love and might - your favor brings joy to my heart.
Other people can distress me or trouble me, but I will let that drive me to seek comfort in You. Life may press me hard with trials, but Heaven will bring me peace and rest that is exceedingly greater. When I am the recipient of all of your love, grief cannot destroy me. It's because of You in my life that the word JOY truly means something.
If my earthly treasures and fame are lost and I experience disaster or scorn or pain, somehow you turn that pain into great reward when I serve you and I end up gaining.
I've called you Father, and I've rested my heart on You. Even when storms howl around me, you work all things together for my good.
O my soul, choose to dwell in the knowledge of what you have been given through Christ, and rise up over sin and fear and worry. You can find joy and peace in every situation and circumstance because of this. When you remember that you have Christ's very own Spirit, and that God himself deeply loves you and died for you so that you would love him - you can think about your status as a child of Heaven, and not dwell in these earthly, temporary hardships.
Let's think about how quickly we will go from living in God's grace in a sinful world, to enjoying God in Heaven itself. When we stand in our faith and are faithful in prayer, we don't so easily lose sight of the fact that all of Heaven is before us. Our time here on earth will go so quickly, and then faith will be confirmed by sight, and our concerned prayers will turn to eternal praise.
(adapted by Carla Anderson)