Tell Me the Old, Old Story
We are prone to wander and stray from God, Pastor Eugene exhorts us to keep our eyes on God by singing and meditating on hymns and songs that speak of His gracious salvation and love. Check out the hymns that he recommends too!
Tell me the story slowly,
That I may take it in -
That wonderful redemption,
God's remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often,
For I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning
Has passed away at noon.
Tell me the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.
With Good Friday a little more than a week away, it is especially timely to consider Christ Jesus and to reflect on his work on the cross. As the old hymn goes, we should never tire of hearing the “old, old story of Jesus and His love”. Our Christian lives are to be centred on Christ. But how prone are we to gloss over the glorious truths of the gospel, and to so soon forget the wondrous cross! Distracted by life’s desires and demands, we so easily lose sight of our Lord and Saviour.
Our spiritual shortsightedness reveals itself in a number of ways: fear, anxiety, impatience, greed, self-centredness, pride, unforgiveness, apathy or despair. As Peter puts it, we become “ineffective and unfruitful” when we forget that we have been cleansed from our former sins (2 Pet 1:8-9). We must remember. So how can we exhort ourselves to keep our eyes on Christ?
In Psalms 42 and 43, the psalmist senses his descent into despair amid his trouble and trials. But in the middle of his perplexity, he takes himself in hand by repeatedly speaking truth to himself: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
The fact that all this is written in the form of a song highlights the importance of speaking of Jesus by singing of Jesus. Church historian Carl Trueman wrote: “That which we say and sing as a congregation will over time subtly and imperceptibly inform our thinking about the Christian faith and thus about life in general in a powerful way.” God has given us the great gift of song to help us recall that He is our hope and salvation. God’s people are to sing to fortify our hearts. So as we draw nearer to Good Friday and Easter, why not sing and meditate on hymns and songs like these:
Alas, and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread his praise from shore to shore
How he loves us, ever loves us,
Changes never, nevermore
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory
But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth
But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.
This Sunday, we will hear from John 18 about how our Saviour steps up in order to save. May God make our hearts soft to His word! In the meantime, may songs of God’s gracious salvation fill us with joy in the Lord!