Who was Isaac Watts? An English writer and theologian, beloved for his talent for writing poetry and songs, he became famous during the early 19th century. Even at an early age, he was know to use his ability to rhyme quite readily:
Watts was once asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, to which he responded:
A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers.
He received punishment for this, to which he cried:
O father, father, pity take
And I will no more verses make
In later years, Watts wrote some of our most loved hymns:
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,
Joy to the World
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
He also wrote a book on logic. At his death, Isaac Watts’ papers were given to Yale University in the Colony of Connecticut, which nonconformists (Puritans/Congregationalists) had established. (Wikipedia)
Mixed with Holy Scripture, these are the words that Isaac Watts wrote in one of the most loved Christian hymn.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
by Isaac Watts
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
Acts 5:30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.”
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
Luke 21:3-4 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Matthew 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
About Jesus in Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
About Jesus in Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Revelation 5:12-13 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Love so amazing, so divine,
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Taken from “Scripture and…” blog)
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Beautiful music for your pleasure…with the first hymn by Isaac Watts.
Turn up sound and move the red line completely back to the beginning.
We are in the middle of the Season of Lent…a time of reflection, repentance and waiting for the great and glorious Easter Day. Having recently attended an event with educated, talented and, yes, sophisticated people, I was struck by the attitude of a person I knew to be a regular church-going person…a professing Christian. It began as a friendly conversation that moved clearly into a belief in self-importance and frankly, snobbery. The person mentioned that they had left a certain congregation because “the people just didn’t have our same social class…mostly trailer park people.”
I came away wondering what Jesus would have thought about “trailer park people.” Many of the people we know, especially in the mountains that we visit each summer, might fit that category of housing…small places, double and single wide trailers, but they are some of the nicest people I know. Some of their dwellings may be humble, but they are definitely down to earth, courteous, loving and caring about others….the salt of the earth. If this person, that I mentioned above, had the opportunity to sit down beside one of my friends in a small cafe and really get to know them, she would find out what we know…they are are truly real people!
In fact, these are some of the very people that Jesus went out of His way to seek out. They weren’t the wealthy or the highly educated…or even the most moral. Most were not self-righteous or condescending about others. They did, however, have people who refused to socialize with them. The woman at the well, who had many husbands and was then living with someone other than a husband, could not understand why Jesus, a Jew, was speaking to her as a Samaritan. Yet, He never spoke down to her as if she was not worthy of God’s love. Most Christians believe that simply giving a drink of cold water in His name is the same as giving it for Christ.
How often modern day people…even Christian people…lift themselves up on a pedestal, thinking of themselves as better than others. I think it is time that all of us take a hard look into our hearts and see if any of these words apply to us:
- holier than thou
When speaking of others or refusing to reach to others, because of our own self-importance or superior feelings, is certainly not following the example of Christ even if we profess to be a Christian. We were not called to be a Christian by elevating ourselves above others. Ultra-sophistication can severely limit the joys in life and the people that He would bring into our lives because we believe that others do not quite make the grade.
We have been told that there is level ground at the Cross. Even the mother of the sons of Zebedee missed the mark when she asked for her sons be able to sit directly next to Jesus when He came into his kingdom. Why would she feel that they were any better or more important than others that followed Him? Jesus left it up to His Father in Heaven to make this decision. He also talked about those who wanted to be “great…shall be a servant.” (Matthew 20:26)
Think about it as you approach people in your walk of life. Those who think of themselves too highly may end up being rebuked by our Lord, as were His disciples.
For me personally, I’m looking forward to sitting with my friends who may live in humble circumstances …hearing their delightful stories and being enriched by their lives… and hopefully to enrich theirs.
VIDEO: Turn up sound