Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

HELP SOMEBODY TODAY



        The story of the Good Samaritan is one that we should study and reflect upon quite often.  Bruised, beaten and in need of help, the injured traveler was passed up by several "good" men, a priest and a Levite, who could have provided him with the help that he needed but chose instead to travel on  But, fortunately there was one who cared and took time to help.  "He had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." Luke 10:34.  Now it is so easy for us to be critical of the two who passed him by, but are we really any different?  All around us there are folks who are lonely and hurting and in need of somebody who cares. Oh how they would be helped by a visit, a phone call, a letter, a meal, a helping hand or a word of encouragement.  But what do we do?   Sometimes all we feel and see are our own problems and needs and not those of others, and as it were, we pass them by.  How much better we might feel if we took the time to help others who are in need.  Recently I featured another hymn by Carrie Breck (1855-1934), a homemaker who wrote poetry in her spare moments.  Mrs. Breck must have been very aware of the need to help others and it may have been her own experiences that led her in 1904 to pen the words of this week's hymn choice .  In Matthew 25:35-36 we read, "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'  Then a few verses later we read, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  Let me encourage you this week to look around, along life's way, and find someone in need that you can encourage and help.  Not only will they be helped but you will as well. God uses our hands, our feet and our mouths to do His work. Being able to help others is one of our many blessings for which we should be thankful! 


1     Look all around you, find someone in need,
Help somebody today!
Tho' it be little--a neighborly deed--
Help somebody today! 
Chorus:
Help somebody today,
Somebody along life's way;
Let sorrow be ended, the friendless befriended,
Oh, help somebody today! 

2    Many are 'waiting a kind, loving word,
Help somebody today!
You have a message, O let it be heard,
Help somebody today! (Chorus)

3    Many have burdens too heavy to bear,
Help somebody today!
Grief is the portion of some everywhere,
Help somebody today! (Chorus)

4    Some are discouraged and weary in heart,
Help somebody today!
Someone the journey to heaven should start,
Help somebody today! (Chorus)

Because this song is not familiar to many, I was only able to find one good link for it.  And while this link is not a great rendition, it will give you a chance to hear this song if you have never sung it yourself.   LISTEN

Sunday, October 7, 2018

I SING THE ALMIGHTY GOD (TH#23)


TIMELESS HYMN  - A special feature where I highlight some of my favorite hymns that have been featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for your encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared on April 19, 2009.


          In 1715 Isaac Watts (1674-1748) put together a songbook that was a collection of gospel songs for children.  It was one of the most popular collections published in its day and was used with English children for decades.  Watts's Divine Songs is thought to be the first ever hymnal for children.  The only song from his hymnal that remains in common use today is "Praise for Creation and Providence", known today as "I Sing the Almighty Power of God".  When our family used to lead week-long rally Bible schools we always taught a hymn which coordinated with our theme for the week.  We thought then, as we still do today, that there are many great hymns which can teach children, and adults as well, many great Biblical truths.  And kids do remember these hymns as they grow older.  This week's hymn was always one of my favorites of those that we taught.  I especially enjoyed it when we would teach this hymn to the children at Pinebrook, in the middle of the Pocono Mountains.  Singing there about the power that made the mountains rise and the power that built the lofty skies was especially meaningful in that beautiful setting.  The visuals that we used ended with a picture of a satellite to illustrate the last phrase, "and everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there".  Each time that we looked at that visual and sang that phrase I would remember the first Russian cosmonaut who, upon his return from space, said that he had looked everywhere in space and didn't see God.  Poor guy.  Someday he will see God and it most likely won't be an enjoyable experience for him. What a mighty God we serve - Creator and Sustainer of creation.  All powerful and present everywhere.   But even greater than His creation is His gift to is of eternal life with Him. So worship our almighty God today by singing these great words penned many years ago by Isaac Watts..

(1)   I sing the mighty power of God,
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad,
and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God's command,
and all the stars obey.

(2)     I sing the goodness of the Lord,
who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word,
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed,
wherever I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread,
or gaze upon the sky.

(3)      There's not a plant or flower below,
but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee
is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that man can be,
Thou, God art present there.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN1
Here is another choice dine by one of my favorite groups, Greater Vision   LISTEN2
And a third choice, this by the Hoppers   LISTEN3

Sunday, September 30, 2018

IT IS GLORY JUST TO WALK WITH HIM


          Years ago when physically I was still able to walk, I loved to start the day by walking early in the morning.  Things were so quiet and peaceful at that hour and I used to spend the time while I walked talking to the Lord.  It was often just as if He were actually walking with me.  I often thought about what it might have been like to be a disciple and have walked physically with Him.  What would it have been like to be with the couple who walked with Him on the road to Emmaus? What a revealing remark they made about that experience. "They said to one another, 'Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?'" (Luke 24 32)..Wow!  Early on in the Bible "walking" with the Lord is used to describe one who lives according to the will of God, and lives in fellowship with Him, day by day. It is a life of consistent faith and obedience toward God. Obviously today we can't actually walk with Him physically   Instead, we walk by faith, not by sight (II Corinthians. 5:7). Through faith we are able to fellowship with the Lord, in His Word, and by prayer. "Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory" (I Pet. 1:8).  It is glory just to walk with Him.  As the hymn writer wrote "It is joy divine to feel Him near where'er my path may be.... Thro' the vale and o'er the height ... when the shadows fall ...  when skies above are clear.... and when I walk with Him on heaven's golden shore.."  This text was written by Avis B. Christensen (1895-1985) who was encouraged by her grandmother to write poetry. She wrote her first poem at the age of ten. It is said that she actually wrote thousands of them during her lifetime. Then one Sunday morning in Moody Church she listened to a new song by Harry Loes.  The Lord reminded her that the talent entrusted to her belonged to Him.  Her immediate longing to express His love and blessing resulted in 19 gospel songs being written.  Throughout her life she must have experienced the glory of walking daily with the Lord.  She most likely knew how He would guide our steps aright.  And it must have been her hope and assurance that one day she would walk with Him on heaven's shore  She knew,  as David declared, "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11)..  Are you walking daily with the Lord?  Are you experiencing His presence in your daily walk ... "through the vale and o'er the height" ?  If not, He is waiting for you to begin that walk.


1      It is glory just to walk with Him 
whose blood has ransomed me;
It is rapture for my soul each day.
It is joy divine to feel Him near 
where'er my path may be. 
Bless the Lord, it's glory all the way!
It is glory just to walk with Him.
It is glory just to walk with Him.
He will guide my steps aright,
Thro' the vale and o'er the height.
It is glory just to walk with Him.

2      It is glory when the shadows fall, 
to know that He is near.
Oh, what joy to simply trust and pray!
It is glory to abide in Him 
when skies above are clear.
Yes, with Him, it's glory all the way! 
t is glory just to walk with Him.
It is glory just to walk with Him.
He will guide my steps aright,
Thro' the vale and o'er the height.
It is glory just to walk with Him.

3      Twill be glory when I walk with Him 
on heaven's golden shore,
Never from His side again to stray.
Twill be glory, wondrous glory 
with the Savior evermore,
Everlasting glory all the way!
It is glory just to walk with Him.
It is glory just to walk with Him.
He will guide my steps aright,
Thro' the vale and o'er the height.
It is glory just to walk with Him.

Listen to it here.  IT IS GLORY

Sunday, September 23, 2018

FOR ALL THE SAINTS



       This week's hymn choice is somewhat different than most that I have included here in the past.  I would guess that many of you have never heard it before and its theme probably is a little different than that of most hymns shared here.  First we should clarify who really are saints.  The term saint originates from the Greek word meaning "holy" or "set apart." In Acts 9:13, Simon says, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints [set-apart people] at Jerusalem." Here, saints refers to all the Christians at Jerusalem, not just to a special group of Christians.  The New Testament uses the word saint or saints 67 times. In every instance, the reference is to all believers  Never is the word used for a special group of believers who serve God better than others. Scripture is clear that all Christians are saints. If you have a living relationship with God through His mercy and grace, expressed in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are a saint  This hymn was written by Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897) as a processional hymn.  Originally it was written for All Saints' Day and  had the heading  "A Cloud of Witnesses," a reference to Hebrews 12:1: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us . . ."   The original text had eleven stanzas but today it is usually edited to six or fewer stanzas in most hymnals.  In the first verses of How's hymn we see the purpose of the hymn. We sing to and praise God for all those saints over the years who have finished their course here and have entered into the rest of the Lord. Like the Lord they can say, "It is finished." And like the Apostle Paul they can say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day." (2 Tim 4:7-8)  Only in Christ and by his power could they have had the strength for the battle.  The Victor's Crown awaits all who remain faithful.  I am so very thankful for many believers who have influenced my life over the decades and are now part of the saints in heaven. We who still live and "feebly struggle" here on earth are told to be like courageous soldiers holding firm and loyal to the true faith to the end.  We, like all the departed saints, must often fight bravely in a world that is hostile to Christ and His truth. But the victory will one day be ours, even if It doesn't always look that way now. Christ has already won the victory. And soon a more glorious day will break forth, and God's saints will all one day be together with Him. As the hymn shares, then the saints will be clothed in bright array and the heavenly liturgy, beautifully captured in verse five, sees the saints in worshipful praise as the King of Glory, Jesus Christ, passes by in triumphal procession. What a glorious vision.  What a hope and future for all saints.  Personally, I am so thankful for all those believers - pastors, teachers, friends and family members - who have influenced my walk with the Lord over the years.  These saints have been a blessing to me. And some glorious day we will join together in praising the Lord in our new home.  Are you a saint?  Will you be there?  Alleluia!  Alleluia!


1     For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who Thee by faith before the world confessed;
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2     Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3     O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

4     And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

5      But when there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

6      From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
in praise of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

You can listen to it here.   FOR ALL

Sunday, September 16, 2018

ARE YE ABLE SAYS THE MASTER


           Marlatt (1892 - 19767) was a professor of religion at the Boston University Theological Seminary School of Religious Education when he was asked in 1925 to write an original hymn for a consecration service.  The text he wrote was based on Christ's pointed question to His disciples.  Just before Jesus went to the cross, the mother of James and John came to Him to ask if her sons could be given a prominent place in His coming kingdom. In response, the Lord asked them, "Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?",  a reference to His suffering and death. And the men answered, "We are able" (Matt. 20:22).  Knowing now what was about to happen to them in coming days, we can see their self confidence as somewhat naive. In truth, when the time of testing came, "all the disciples forsook Him and fled" (Matt. 26:56). But we also know that in later years, strengthened by the Spirit of God, one after another faced persecution and even death with holy boldness.  And it is only in the strength of the Spirit that we today are able to put on the whole armor of God and stand with the Master in difficult times. The hymn was originally titled "Challenge."  It is said to have inspired many young people to Christian service in the early to mid 20th century. A Bishop Hardt confirms this, "Mere words cannot begin to recapture the power and abiding love which the familiar words 'Are Ye Able' brought to generations of Methodist young people. Perhaps young persons in generations yet to come may again find the eternal spirit of Christ speaking to them through these inspiring words."  Being a Child of God has many special blessings, such as peace, love, guidance, hope, companionship, strength, joy and His presence.  But we are also involved in a spiritual war.  And while we are on the victory side, we must learn to rely on our Master and His strength.  May our prayer be, ""Lord, we are able, our spirits are Thine, Remold them, make us like Thee, divine. Thy guiding radiance above us shall be a beacon to God, to love and loyalty."


1      "Are ye able," said the Master,
"To be crucified with me?"
"Yea," the sturdy dreamers answered,
"To the death we follow Thee."
Refrain:
Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.

2      Are ye able to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a place in paradise? [Refrain]

3      Are ye able when the shadows
Close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God? [Refrain]

4      Are ye able? Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee. [Refrain]

Listen to it here.  ARE YE ABLE

Sunday, September 9, 2018

WHEN LOVE SHINES IN


          After days of gloomy weather and storms, there is something very exciting that happens when you wake up to beams of beautiful sunlight streaming through your windows. What a change this can make in your spirit and attitude.  It gives you fresh motivation and enthusiasm to get up and go out to face the day.  But there is even a greater and more important impact to our lives when the love of Christ breaks through and floods your soul.  Then we gain a new appreciation for His love and what He has done for us.  Our hearts come alive with praise and thanksgiving and we gain a new perspective about our challenges and concerns.  Things appear so different to us in the light of His love and presence. We also gain an attitude of love and concern for our fellowmen.  How important it is to allow God's love to shine into our lives which will never remain the same once we experience His love and learn to share God's love in word and deed each day. Believers are not known simply because they do good deeds. They do good works because they have experienced the supernatural love of Christ.  Carrie Breck (1855-1934) conveyed these truths in this week's hymn which she wrote in 1874.  The mother of five children, Mrs. Breck was a homemaker who wrote poetry in her spare moments. She was not at all musical, but she had a clear sense of rhythm and is believed to have written about 375 hymns.  She said "It was a great joy to me, and, as opportunity offered, I penciled verse under all sorts of conditions - over a mending basket, with a baby in arms, and sometimes even when sweeping or washing dishes, my mind moved to meter",  This week's song provides a joyful testimony to the transforming power of the love of God. When we turn to the Word of God, we find God's love - both in us and through us - to be a subject that is referred to again and again.  Meditate on these words this week and thank God for what He did to you when His love shone in and filled your soul.


1      Jesus comes with pow'r to gladden,
When love shines in,
Every life that woe can sadden,
When love shines in.
Love will teach us how to pray,
Love will drive the gloom away,
Turn our darkness into day--
When love shines in. 
Chorus:
When love shines in,
When love shines in,
How the heart is tuned to singing,
When love shines in,
When love shines in,
Joy and peace to others bringing--
When love shines in! 

2      How the world will grow with beauty,
When love shines in,
And the heart rejoice in duty,
When love shines in.
Trials may be sanctified,
And the soul in peace abide,
Life will all be glorified--
When love shines in.  Chorus


3      Darkest sorrow will grow brighter,
When love shines in,
And the heaviest burden lighter,
When love shines in.
'Tis the glory that will throw
Light to show us where to go;
O the heart shall blessing know--
When love shines in.
When love shines in,
When love shines in,
How the heart is tuned to singing,
When love shines in,
When love shines in,
Joy and peace to others bringing--
When love shines in!

4      We may have unfading splendor,
When love shines in,
And a friendship true and tender,
When love shines in.
When earth's vict'ries shall be won,
And our life in heav'n begun,
There will be no need of sun--
When love shines in.  Chorus

Listen to it here.  LISTEN

Sunday, September 2, 2018

ALL YOUR ANXIETY (TH #22)


TIMELESS HYMN #22- Another revised and repeated blog of one of the great hymns of the faith - ALL YOUR ANXIETY - originally shared on February 8, 2008.

          When I was in college I was stunned to hear that my pastor had died of a sudden heart attack while preparing for a VBS closing program  Although that was over 50 years ago, I still vividly remember his funeral service.  One of the things that has remained in my mind is the hymn sung by the Pastor's Quartet  - "All Your Anxiety".  I had never heard this hymn before and I have never since forgotten it.  Years later it was in our new hymnbook, but I don't recall that we sang it very often.  However, over the years the words have often come back to me and have been a comfort to me in times of stress and anxiety.  Recently we were listening to some of our old 33 rpm records - do you remember these?.  One of the albums was by my favorite trombone player, Bill Pierce, and one of the numbers that he played and sang was this hymn.  I immediately thought that I had to include it in my blog.  Hopefully the words will be a help and comfort to many of you.  The hymn was written in 1920 by Edward H. Joy (1871 - 1949) who had a long career serving in the Salvation Army.  He was inspired to pen the words of this hymn by the words from Philippians, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  And also by the words from 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."  Joy described the challenges that we all face at different times - sorrows, cares, burdens and anxieties.  We all encounter these at various times in life.  They often cause us emotional stress, and too often even serious physical problems.  But there is a solution.  It is that we bring our anxieties to the Lord in prayer. For this, the hymn writer uses the imagery of coming to the cross, and of coming to the mercy seat.  How much better our lives would be if only we could claim and apply the words of this hymn and leave all of our anxiety with the Lord. I admit that this is a lesson that I must often still learn. But there is never a burden that He can't bear. And He asks us to leave ALL of this with Him. There is never a friend like Jesus. 
          P.S. - When I originally wrote this blog in 2008, little did I realize that in a few days my father would suddenly be taken home to be with the Lord.  Then three months later the Lord would take my brother home.  And two months earlier He had taken my father-in-law home.  There is no question that we faced anxiety during those times and we found these words so true and timely. The Lord's timing is always amazing and always right.  Hopefully this song will also be a comfort and encouragement to you.



(1)   Is there a heart o'erbound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing—
All your anxiety, leave it there.
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

(2)   No other friend so keen to help you,
No other friend so quick to hear;
No other place to leave your burden,
No other one to hear your prayer.
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

(3)    Come then at once, delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet;
You need not fear a disappointment,
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

You can listen to the music here.      LISTEN

Sunday, August 26, 2018

JESUS LOVES ME


          The very first Christian song that most children learn is "Jesus Loves Me."  If one were to conduct a poll of preschoolers about their favorite Christian songs, this very simple, but precious song would still probably be near the top of their favorites. Yet few people know that this song began life not as a song but as a part of one of 1860's best-selling novels.  Anna Warner (1827–1915) was well aware of the coming of the war between the states. She lived near the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Every Sunday Anna taught Bible classes to the cadets. She fully comprehended the importance of leading each of them to Jesus. With an urgency brought about by a nation on the brink of dividing, sharing Christ's love became her mission in life. With her sister Susan she also wrote several novels, using the pseudonym Amy Lothrop. In 1860 the sisters' Say and Seal' became one of the country's best-selling work of fiction.  But the book quickly passed from the public's fancy.  However, thanks to one very special scene on but a single page, the essence of the book and of Anna's faith would live for decades after 'Say and Seal' and Anna herself would be forgotten. In one chapter a child lay dying. Nothing could be done to ease his pain or give him a second chance at life. As his ultimate fate grew nearer, the novel's focal character, Mr. Linden, attempted to comfort the small boy.  Looking into the child's eyes, he slowly recited a poem that began, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."  It is said that these simple lines also moved thousands of readers to tears. It quickly became one of the most beloved poems of the era.  One of the scores of readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury, a teacher of voice and organ. A lover of children's voices, as well as a proponent of music education in both school and church, Bradbury allowed the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical notes for "Jesus Loves Me." Then, to fully complete the work, he added the now familiar refrain.   Later David Rutherford McGuire added stanzas two and three. Today few know of the writings of Anna Warner or recognize the name of William Bradbury, but almost everyone knows this song. Children and adults of all races and even millions outside the Christian faith can sing "Jesus Loves Me." It  is the foundation on which many children come to know the love and sacrifice of the Lord who inspired it. And this message is often what keeps them singing the gospel throughout their lives.  The song  claims Christ's devotion to me, but how can that be true? As a sinner, wouldn't the holy God despise me? Thankfully, the song is not hopeful delusion but rather sound, biblical theology. While God hated my sin, His love for me compelled Him to give up His beloved Son.  Jesus, God the Son, loved us so much that He died a terrible death to pay the just penalty for our sins (John 3:16).  Meditate on this amazing truth this week and be reminded of the simple but powerful truth that Jesus Loves You.


1.     Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

2.    Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, 'Let them come to Me.'
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

3.   Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

4.    Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

5.    Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, August 19, 2018

WHEN I CAN READ MY TITLE CLEAR


         How well I remember the excitement when after years of renting, we were finally able to purchase our own home.  But for many years it really wasn't our own because the bank held the mortgage.  And monthly we paid back part of that debt until the day that the title to our home was finally ours.  Of course the bills went on for things like taxes, repairs, electricity, water, sewage, heat and all of that which  is part of home ownership.  My father-in-law used to say that you never own the home, the home owns you.  And I think he was right.  But I have received a title, free and clear, to another home, a perfect one which needs no upkeep.  I didn't have to earn it or purchase it, I received it as a gift the day I accepted Christ as my Savior.  The entire price was paid by Jesus when He died on the Cross of Calvary for my sins.  And I don't have to make any payments to maintain it, and even it  I wanted to, I couldn't.  It is all part of my heavenly inheritance.  And that is a much more valuable title than I could ever have or hope to have.  The great hymn writer, Isaac Watts (1674-1748), in 1707 captured this idea when he penned the words to this old hymn.   He called the hymn "The Hope of Heaven Our Support Under Trials on Earth." That reassures us that the opening line was not intended to cast doubt on the destiny of the child of God. It's not as though Watts was saying that he hasn't been able to "read his title clear" yet. Rather, it's in effect, "Because I'm able to read my title clear in God's Word, day by day."   In his first verse Watts shares about that mansion in the sky and how someday he would say farewell to every fear on earth and wipe his weeping eyes as he entered his eternal home.  In the second verse he shares about the fiery darts of Satan and how those who have the assurance of God's love can smile at Satan's rage, knowing that we can resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7).  The third verse refers to the cares and sorrows of this life which can come like a wild deluge against us. However, those who have assurance from God receive the living hope through Christ of an inheritance in heaven (1 Pet. 1.3-5).  And finally, verse four refers to the rest that will be part of our life in heaven even though through this life our souls often become weary (Galatians 6:9).  What a marvelous title and inheritance we have.  Whatever God has planned for His people in heaven, I am sure that we will spend rejoicing in it for all eternity "When I Can Read My Title Clear."


1    When I can read my title clear
to mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes;
and wipe my weeping eyes,
and wipe my weeping eyes,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes.

2     Should earth against my soul engage,
and fiery darts be hurled,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world;
and face a frowning world,
and face a frowning world,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world.

3    Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
and storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all;
my God, my heaven, my all,
my God, my heaven, my all,
may I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all.

4    There I shall bathe my weary soul
in seas of heavenly rest,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast;
across my peaceful breast,
across my peaceful breast,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast.

You can listen to a special a capella version produced by one singer here.  LISTEN