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Lift high the cross…

February 17, 2008

is a hymn that I love. You can listen to it here at cyberhymnal. For some reason, cyberhymnal does not include all of the words. I’ve written them in below because the doctrine taught in this hymn is too little heard of a call in today’s evangelical morass where personal selfishness masquerades as Biblical virtue.

James Montgomery Boice is a commentator that I frequently read. He is now with the Lord in glory. In his commentary on the gospel according to Matthew, he not only gives clarity to a passage, but he also never misses the chance to pastorally preach its application to life. More often than not, I am persuaded that he wrote these things personally to me, alone.

Here is one such example regarding a challenge for believers today.

We live in a day when a substantial part of the evangelical world wants a domesticated Jesus who “blesses, satisfies, fills, thrills, and strengthens his followers” but does not insist on a cross. What we need is the genuine Jesus who demands that his followers die to self and actually follow him.

The quoted part within Boice’s statement is from D.A. Carson, another man seeking after God’s own heart regarding the cost and treasure of true discipleship. The insistence on the cross for a believer is onerous to many because we only want the privileges, but none of the responsibilities. Choosing to forget the Cross in its cost means choosing to ignore the Person on the Cross in our practice.

Jesus said it this way:

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Let us be a people that not only lift high the Cross, but live according to the One who bore it.

Lift High the Cross

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. (Refrain)

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died. (Refrain)

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee. (Refrain)

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory. (Refrain)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2008 5:12 pm

    It’s a great hymn and great quotes. Since it was fitting for God “to make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10), “so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (vs 9), why are we so reluctant to embrace Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow Him?
    May we, by God’s grace, do exactly that, lifting high the cross so that others may see and know Him.

  2. February 17, 2008 7:15 pm

    What we need is the genuine Jesus who demands that his followers die to self and actually follow him.

    So hard. I believe that is why we are called to do it daily!Great post Elle.

  3. March 8, 2008 2:55 pm

    This is a wonderful Hymn. I have a 3 year old daughter and we learn Hymns together. This will be our next Hymn. Thanks again.

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