“I am resolved to follow the Savior, Faithful and true each day. Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth. He is the living way. I will hasten to Him, Hasten so glad and free. Jesus greatest highest … I will come to Thee.”
– Palmer Hartsough, 1896
I was speaking at Ebenezer Baptist, in Fulton when the worship leader, Marty, led us in this great hymn – “I Am Resolved”. What a great word to the heart on the first Sunday of the year. Allow my synapses to fire as I muse on the above verse, try not to get vertigo at the end.
Faithful and True each day … Luke 9:23 tells us the words of Jesus, “Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” To be a Jesus-follower calls us to make this living worship thing a lifestyle – not simply mountaintop experiences. The Scottish missionary, Robert Moffat once said, “The Christian life must not be an animated spasm, followed by a chronic inertia.” Our faith takes our discipline and HIS strength, this comes from being in HIS word, daily.
Heed what He sayeth … When we read, do we heed? In my Bible, there are a multitude of “T’s”, “R’s”, “C’s”, “I’s” and “M’s”. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, Scripture “is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training (instructing).” When I read God’s Word, I look for ways that it speaks to me. If a verse I’m reading has doctrinal ‘teaching’ that I need to pursue, I write a T beside it, etc. By the way, the M is for “Memorizing.”
According to David Veerman in his book, How To Apply the Bible, there are five steps to making the Bible come to life …
READ—open the Bible and read a passage; get a general idea of the story.
UNDERSTAND—know what all the words mean; learn the facts; see the concepts.
COMPREHEND—find the Biblical principles, the timeless truths that God wants to communicate.
APPLY—see myself in the story and how the Biblical principles relate to my life; make the timeless truths timely; see what God wants me to do and …
Do what He willeth … DO – design an action plan; obey God and put into practice now what he has taught me in his Word.
He is the Living Way. A worshipful perspective of the Bible is that from Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is the revelation of Jesus Christ – not just of rules, agendas, methods or prescriptions – rather it is for us to get to know HIM better so that we can be more like him. The declaration from Jesus as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” in John 14:6 is not simply about salvation. It is about a lifestyle of worship through imitation of the One we revere, leading us to a beautiful hymn found in the book of Romans:
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen,” Romans 11:33-36.
You see it is the word of God that evokes the worship of God … True knowledge of God will always lead us to worship. Which brings our ‘resolutions’ back to Worship and the Word, the two cannot be separated. Rather, the Word drives us to Worship and the Worship must originate as a response to the Word.
Hasten so glad and free. Jesus greatest highest … I will come to Thee.
Read His Word, then get ready, because the more you live like HIM, the more you worship. And the more you worship – the more you want to know HIM.
Happy New Day in reading His Word. (John Francis is the worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship, a monthly worship podcast available at www.mobaptist.org/worship.)