Amazing Grace Hymns

April 29

WORTHY IS THE LAMB

Words and Music by Don Wyrtzen, 1942–

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being. (Revelation 4:11)

Come, let us join our cheerful songs with angels round the throne;
Ten thousand thousand are their tongues, but all their joys are one.
“Worthy the Lamb that died,” they cry, “to be exalted thus.”
“Worthy is the Lamb,” our lips reply “for He was slain for us.”
The whole creation joins as one to bless the sacred Name
Of Him that sits upon the throne, and to adore the Lamb.

Isaac Watts

Heaven will be a place of great singing as we join voices with the angels and saints of the ages in praising the One who made it all possible.

This popular contemporary hymn is based directly on a text of Scripture that could well be the believers’ theme throughout eternity:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)
Don Wyrtzen, author and composer of this hymn and one of the outstanding gospel song writers of our day, recalls:

In 1970, I was in Mexico City assisting evangelist Luis Palau conduct a series of crusades. Because the messages were in Spanish, I spent the time during the sermons writing new songs. One day I became particularly impressed with the great truth of Revelation 5:12, and I thought how effective this verse could be, if only the proper music was used to enhance it. I thought about the music used in the secular song “The Impossible Dream” and decided that a similar musical style would work well with these words. God has used this song to bless and inspire His people during these past years perhaps more than any other work I have been privileged to write, for which I will be eternally grateful to Him.

* * * *

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive: Power and riches and wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing! Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, worthy is the Lamb!

For Today: John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:6–13; 13:8; 17:14

What is your response to the resurrected and now reigning Christ? Are you living daily in the awareness of His life-giving power? Are you joyfully anticipating the day when you will join the heavenly chorus extolling the One who alone is worthy of all praise? Why not begin even now?

Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold that Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the worldJohn 1:29
  • Knowing that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by the traditions of the fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb undefiled, and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
  • Then I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the Elders stood a Lamb, as though he had been killed, whic had seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent into all the world. And he came, and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he hath taken the book, the four beasts, and the four and twenty Elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one harps and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the Saints, And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, because thou wast killed, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God Kings, and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth. Then I beheld, and I heard the voice of many Angels round about the throne, and about the beasts and the Elders, and there were ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand thousands. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was killed, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and praise. All the creatures which are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that are in the, heard I saying, Praise, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for evermore. Revelation 5:6–13
  • Therefore all that dwell upon the earth, shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of that Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world. Revelation 13:8
  • These shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings: and they that are on his side, called, and chosen, and faithful. Revelation 17:14

Amazing Grace Hymns

April 28

WERE YOU THERE?

Spiritual

It was the third hour when they crucified Him. (Mark 15:25)

Folk songs are generally described as songs of which the origins have been lost but which express the heartfelt traditions and experiences of a particular culture or people. Therefore, they become greatly cherished by each succeeding generation.

The Negro spirituals represent some of the finest of American folk music. These songs are usually a blending of an African heritage, harsh remembrances from former slavery experiences, and a very personal interpretation of biblical stories and truths. They especially employ biblical accounts that give hope for a better life—such as the prospects of heaven. They symbolize so well the attitudes, hopes and religious feeling of the black race in America.

To better understand a Negro spiritual, one must feel even as a black singer does that he or she is actually present and very much involved in the event itself. The event being sung—in this case the story of Christ’s suffering, death, and ultimate resurrection—becomes a very intensely emotional experience. It is told with much feeling and freedom of spirit, generally without any instrumental accompaniment.

The lesson for each of us to learn from a Negro spiritual like this is that truths such as the redemptive work of Christ must have much more than just our mental assent. The biblical account must become a very personal conviction in our lives, and our very souls should be gripped by its emotional power.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised Him from the dead?

Sometimes I feel like shouting glory, glory, glory! When I think how God raised Him from the dead!

For Today: Isaiah 53:4–12; Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:5, 6

Imagine yourself standing at the foot of the cross when Christ was tortured and crucified. Then place yourself outside the empty tomb when the angelic announcement “He is not here …” was given. Try to relive the emotional feelings that would have been yours. Allow this song to minister to you as you go through the day—
Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • Surely, he hath born our infirmities, and carried our sorrows, yet we did judge him as plagued and smitten of God, and humbled. But he was wounded for our transgressions: he was broken for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed. All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet did he not open his mouth: he is brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken out from prison, and from judgment: and who shall declare his age?for he was cut out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he plagued. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no wickedness, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet the Lord would break him and make him subject to infirmities: when he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed and shall prolong his days, and the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisified; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I give him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was counted with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and prayed for the trespassers. Isaiah 53:4–12
  • Even as the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for the ransom of many. Matthew 20:28
  • Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live in righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24
  • And from Jesus Christ which is that faithful witness, and that first begotten of the dead, and that Prince of the Kings of the earth, unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood. And made us Kings and Priests unto God even his Father, to him, I saybe glory, and dominion for evermore, Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

Amazing Grace Hymns

April 27

ABIDE WITH ME

Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847

But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to tarry with them. (Luke 24:29 KJV)

Yes, life is like the Emmaus road, and we tread it not alone
For beside us walks the Son of God, to uphold and keep His own.
And our hearts within us thrill with joy at His words of love and grace,
And the glorious hope that when day is done we shall see His blessed face.
—Avis Christiansen

The author of this text, Henry F. Lyte, was an Anglican pastor. Though he battled tuberculosis all of his life, Lyte was known as a man strong in spirit and faith. It was he who coined the phrase “it is better to wear out than to rust out.”

During his later years, Lyte’s health progressively worsened so that he was forced to seek a warmer climate in Italy. For the last sermon with his parishioners at Lower Brixham, England, on September 4, 1847, it is recorded that he nearly had to crawl to the pulpit. His final words made a deep impact upon his people when he proclaimed, “It is my desire to induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ.”

Henry Lyte’s inspiration for writing “Abide with Me” came shortly before his final sermon, while reading from the account in Luke 24 of our Lord’s appearance with the two disciples on their seven mile walk from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus on that first Easter evening. How the hearts of those discouraged disciples suddenly burned within them when they realized that they were in the company of the risen, the eternal Son of God!

Abide with me—fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens—Lord, with me abide; when other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, O abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see—O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence ev’ry passing hour—What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r? Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be? Thru cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy word before my closing eyes. Shine thru the gloom and point me to the skies; heav’n’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee—In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

For Today: Psalm 139:7–12; Luke 24:13–35; 1 John 3:24

Relive the thrill expressed by the two Emmaus disciples when their spiritual eyes were opened and they first realized that they were in the presence of their risen Lord. Use this hymn to help—

Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I lie down in hell, thou art there. Let me take the wings of the mourning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: Yet thither shall thine hand lead me, and thy right hand hold me. If I say, Yet the darkness shall hide me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee: but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and light are both alike. Psalm 139:7–12
  • And behold two of them went that same day to a ton which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs, called Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things that were done. And it came to pass, as they communed together, and reasoned, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden, that they could not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad? And one (named Cleopas) answered and said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein in these days And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Of Jesus of Nazareth, which was a Prophet, mighty indeed and in word before God, and all people, And how the high Priests, and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he that should have delivered Israel, and as touching all these things, today is the third day, that they were done. Yea, and certain women among us made us astonied, which came early unto the sepulcher. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of Angels, which said, that he was alive. Therefore certain of them which were with us, went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not. Then he sai dunto them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken? Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, which were written of him. And they drew near unto the town, which they went to, but he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards night, and the day is far spent. So he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at table with them, he took the bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he was no more seen of them.  And they said between themselves, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and when he opened to us the Scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Which said, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. Then they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. Luke 24:13–35
  • For he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, even by that Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:24

{Lovely photos shown as hymn is sung}