The Value in Valuing

The Value in Valuing

August 7, 2016

  • Value (Dictionary): Something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable; a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged; relative worth, utility, or importance.
  • Value (Bible): Of great value; value at a price, estimate; I honor, reverence; worthy, worthy of, deserving, comparable, suitable; of great price, precious, honored.

We look at the world and see how the world values life and material things. On one hand people have placed a high value on certain paintings and on the other hand we see people strapping on a bomb to kill themselves and others. One values life and the other does not. One values wealth and another does not. Most people value family at some level. But how does God see us? Are we really valuable? If we know that, then we can see the value in valuing ourselves and others from Gods perspective!

Genesis 1:26-27:   26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NASB)

The creation clearly shows Gods love and the value He has placed on us by making us in His image! Through creation, God gave mankind the oversight while He maintained ownership. In doing that, God revealed how much value we have! There are so many examples of how God values us. It is possible that you may not have seen yourself as valuable- but you are! Let’s look at what God did at Nineveh. Even though they had strayed far away from faith in God, He sent Jonah to warn them that in 40 days they would be taken into captivity. 

Jonah 4:11:  11 And why shouldn’t I feel sorry for a great city like Nineveh with its 120,000 people in utter spiritual darkness and all its cattle? (TLB) 

God had sent Jonah to proclaim a warning and it took three long days to walk the city to be sure all would hear! After day one, people began to repent and in the end the city was spared! God had decided to give the city one more chance because, in spite of them. Evidently God saw value there and God gave grace. Exactly how valuable are we today? It turns out we are incredibly valuable in God’s eyes! Each of us is unique and specially gifted. Because we are made in God’s image we are treasured by God and need not worry about our life because it is in God’s hands: 

Matthew 6:25-34:  25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NASB)

As we read the above Scripture, we see God loves us and intends to care for us. As Jesus looked upon those lost, we too should look out for those lost! Jesus saw their plight and had compassion and told His followers there is a need for workers with compassion. Jonah did not understand that need but in the end grace prevailed even though Jonah opposed God’s plan.

Matthew 9:36-37:  36 And what pity he felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help.  “The workers are so few,” he told his disciples. (TLB)

So, we see we are indeed of great value in God’s eyes as we value others- like Jesus!

John 3:16-17:  16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His[a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (NASB) 

1 Corinthians 6:20:  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB)

After reading the above Scriptures, we can return to the question, ”Are we valuable or does anyone truly care about our time here on earth?” The truth is we are loved by the Lord and it is time to look at our hearts to see if we are truly valuing what God has done for us. It cost God His Son to free us. It was a huge cost, indeed. We can now walk with open eyes and look up and not down!

A walk in time,

How short it seems!

Yet our Father

Forever redeems.



July 31, 2016

  • Righteousness (Dictionary): Acting in accord with divine or moral law :  free from guilt or sin  morally right or justifiable; arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality (i.e. righteous indignation).
  • Righteousness (Bible): Rightness; holiness, godliness, piety; cleanness, pureness.

The word “righteousness” is a word sometimes misunderstood but very important. This word is used close to 400 times in the Bible. Righteousness also means equity, innocence and holiness.

The path to righteousness lies directly through the cross! It is at the cross our sins are forgiven and at the cross we see God’s righteousness. Righteousness isn’t something you do. Righteousness is something you receive- a free gift from God. And the simplest definition is “to have right standing with God.”

Philippians 1:9-11:  My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, 10 for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns. 11 May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord. (TLB)

For someone to be righteous we must rely totally on God and His power to soften and change our heart.  Coming to God in full surrender and faith births righteousness! Further in Philippians we once again see Paul revealing that righteousness comes from faith:

Philippians 3:8-11:  More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. (HCSB)

Jesus points out that first there is a need to become a seeker of God’s righteousness and kingdom. It is us responding to the Holy Spirits’ call to surrender and to yield our lives to Jesus Christ. Out of our surrender, we will be granted forgiveness and righteousness and begin our walk with Jesus. It is the blood of Jesus and His grace that saves us!

Matthew 6:32-33: 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NASB) 

Out of Him, and only Him, does righteousness flow into our spirit. 

Romans 10:9-13: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NASB)

And there is that wonderful old hymn: “My hope is Built on Nothing Less”:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

God of Wonders

God of Wonders

July 24, 2016

  • Creator (Dictionary): One that creates usually by bringing something new or original into being; especially capitalized God
  • Creator (Bible): A founder, creator, God; Father; create, form, shape, make, always of God.

Our universe is beyond description! It is the ultimate perfection and beauty that reflect Gods’ very nature and His passionate love for the universe. Sometimes we need to just stand back and take some moments to reflect on His gift of creation. The Apostle Paul provided a clear statement on Gods’ universe in Romans:

Romans 1:18-25For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (NASB)

Paul saw the world and its grandeur through the Holy Spirit anointing! He saw how mankind made idols to worship a God that they some selves created. Today many see Gods creation through a veil or through the looking glass of “evolution.”So it is all ways worth taking a moment to look again at our Lords awesome creation. The selection of what to study is no easy task because the universe is so complex. A brief focus on electricity could be an interesting starting point.

We see electricity throughout Gods universe including lightning (very obvious),eels, sharks (not so obvious) and even the core of the earth! Deep inside the Earth are huge electric currents generated from the spin of the Earth’s iron core. These electric currents subsequently create a magnetic field that extends well beyond the Earth and into outer space. The Earth’s magnetic field is important because it protects us from the solar wind of the Sun. Without the protection of the magnetic field, there would likely be no life on earth. The magnetic field also enables the use of compasses to tell direction. But we also know that human beings have been created with quite an electrical network within our bodies! The electricity produced within our bodies is what allows synapses, signals and even heartbeats to occur. Without our amazing ability to send electrical messages throughout the body, we would quickly die.

Psalm 139:14:  14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. (TLB) 

Thunderstorms are an amazing electrical component of God’s creation.! An average storm produces 10 million KW hours of power. In addition, An average storm lightning bolt produces temperatures of 50,0000 ͗F. In turn, the lightning breaks down molecules and produces nitrogen fertilizer which is a key component of each storm. It is estimated that each minute there are several hundred thunder storms in process each day! 

Job 37:1-8:  1My heart pounds at this and leaps from my chest.Just listen to His thunderous voice and the rumbling that comes from His mouth.He lets it loose beneath the entire sky; His lightning to the ends of the earth.Then there comes a roaring sound; God thunders with His majestic voice. He does not restrain the lightning when His rumbling voice is heard.God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, “Fall to the earth, “and the torrential rains, His mighty torrential rains,serve as His sign to all mankind, so that all men may know His work.The wild animals enter their lairs and stay in their dens. (HSBC)

In the Book of Job, we see God asking Job some very thought provoking questions. These same questions should cause people to stand back and examine their understanding of this universe:

Job 38:33-37:  33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you?35 “Can you send forth lightning’s that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the  mind?37 “Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens… (NASB)

God’s majesty is seen

Wherever we choose to go.

In the pounding waves

In the stores of snow.

If we could see the stars up close

And touch His works of grace.

We would quickly kneel with arms outstretched

To seek His glorious face.



Be Thou My Vision-Verse 4

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 4

July 17, 2016

  • Victory (Dictionary): The overcoming of an enemy or antagonist; achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor; against odds or difficulties.
  • Victory (Bible): Salvation; eminence, enduring, everlastingness, perpetuity; splendor; strength, might; proclaim, herald, preach.

We are studying the last verse of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision”: 

High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my vision O Ruler of all.

Jesus purchased our victory at the cross! The “High King of Heaven” laid His life down to redeem us and give us victory –even over death and the fear of death! We need not fear death because Jesus has conquered the grave:

1 Corinthians 15:54-57:  54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(NASB)

In line 2, the hymn writer speaks about Jesus as our “bright heaven’s sun.”

John 1:1-6: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (NASB)

Jesus came as the “Light of the world” and was rejected by many who had hard hearts. The third line speaks of Jesus and our hearts:

Matthew 6:21: “ 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“ (NASB) 

There are many references to the heart in the Bible. Listed below are a few words from Jesus about our heart:

John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (NASB) 

Luke 6:45: “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”(NASB)

Luke 6:45: ”The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (NASB) 

The last line of Verse 4 is a second call for vision. In these days it is more and more difficult for people to keep a soft heart. The Apostle Paul recognized this same fact in his time. He called for believers to avoid hard hearts and exhibit kindness and mercy.

Galatians 6:9: ”Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (NASB)

Ephesians 4:32: ”Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (NASB) 

Ephesians 6:5-8: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” (NLT)

Colossians 3:12: So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;” (NASB)

Having Jesus as our vision and being under the power of the Holy Spirit provides the only true means to change hearts!

As we conclude our review of the Hymn we see the passion of its writer. We also find it is both a hymn to be sung and also a prayer. It presents a deep understanding of Jesus as king of kings and Lord of lords. And as it turns out, the old hymns are worth studying!

Heavenly Father we seek Your face. We ask You to free all who live under the fear of death this day. And we praise You for being our vision and for Your kindness and grace as we walk out our life in Jesus.

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 3

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 3

July 10. 2016

  • Inheritance (Dictionary): Money, property, etc; that is received from someone when that person dies; something from the past that is still important or valuable; the act of inheriting something.
  • Inheritance (Bible): Possession; lot; assign; Canaan, the whole of Palestine or Palestine west of the river Jordan.

We are continuing to study the hymn: “Be Thou My Vision” and in particular Verse 3: 

Riches I heed not nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou are

Matthew 6:17-21:  17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (NLT)

The writer of the hymn makes it clear that we should not be focused on “getting and having” in this world. The focus should be focused on the Lord and not the treasures offered by the world. I have heard it said that if our focus and desire is obtaining treasures here on earth, as we grow older we grow more and more away from those treasures. Ultimately we leave them behind. However, if we focus on the Lord and invest in His kingdom, as we grow older we actually grow closer and closer to our heavenly treasures. The writer states that Jesus is our treasure!The writer also focused on and warned about accepting praise from mankind:

Matthew 6:1-4:  6 “Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to a beggar, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you in all earnestness, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (TLB)

God loves a giving heart and investing in the kingdom of God is such a privilege! It is following Jesus and having our giving wrapped in eternal grace!

Line three of the verse is compelling to say the least! The desires of our heart always bring us into prayer. Psalm 37 is one of my favorites and deals with the heart:

Psalm 37:3-6:   Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act,making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.” (HCSB)

What a powerful Psalm! We need to totally trust Him in all we do. The writer of the hymn saw how Jesus must always be first in what we remember and in all we do. I recall the sales of bracelets inscribed with WWJD (i.e. what would Jesus do). It was a good question and made you stop and think and remember. 

Luke 22:19-20:   19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.” (HCSB) 

As we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus in taking communion, we recall all He has done for each of us. It should cause us to stop and praise Him.

Finally, the writer states the wonderful truth that Jesus is the King of kings over all creation and indeed is our treasure!

Revelation 17:14: ”These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (NASB) 

Revelation 19:15-16:  15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (NASB) 

Work Moment

I paused in silence.

Midst works’ demands

And I recalled

His words of love

Then all my cares,

Were swept away.

And all my needs,

were met.

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 2

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 2

July 3, 2016

  • Remain (Dictionary): To be a part not destroyed, taken, or used up, to stay in the same place or with the same person or group,  to continue unchanged.”
  • Remain (Bible): To remain over, be in excess, remain, abide, stay, wait; with acc: wait for, wait.

At this moment we are looking at the great Hymn “Be Thou My Vision.” The current focus is on verse 2:

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I, Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

I love this particular verse as it presents a picture of God’s family and our position within that family. In Jesus, the truth is we are sons and daughters of the Most High! And within the family of God, our Lord reveals wisdom and truth and makes these gifts abundantly available to all His children!  There are over 200 references to wisdom in the Bible. Here are a few:

Colossians 2:2-3:   that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (NASB)

Colossians 3:16:  16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (NASB) 

James 1:5: But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NASB) 

The hymn writer knew that God’s truth and wisdom were granted to us so we would be equipped for our life here on earth. The second line reveals our life with Christ. Jesus spoke openly about how God’s children’s must remain, that is abide, in Him:

John 15:4-7:  Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (HCSB)

The third line of the verse is interesting. It presents two adjectives: “great” Father and “true” son. It places us squarely into God’s family. Our “great” or “Abba” Father tells us whoever is a “true” son (or daughter) becomes an heir of His kingdom! Praise God!

Romans 8:12-17:  12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father 16For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. (NLT)

The last line of verse 2 is wonderful and once again affirms our status as children of God. As Jesus prepares to go to the cross He prays for His followers (those now and in the future): 

John 17:20-26:  20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (NASB)

Our world has more and more become a battleground. There is so much fear, anger and suffering. It is so wonderful that God has made us part of His family. As we see the world growing darker, we must stand on His promises and His grace and let our light shine!

Ephesians 3:20: Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (NASB)

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 1

Be Thou My Vision-Verse 1

June 26,2 016

  • Vision (Dictionary): The ability to see, sight or eyesight, something that you imagine a picture that you see in your mind something that you see or dream especially as part of a religious or supernatural experience.
  • Vision (Bible): Appearance, vision, clearly, openly, manifestly, a likeness, form, similitude.

Millions worldwide have embraced the humble prayer text and lyric tune “Be Thou My Vision.” This hymn has been a vehicle for praise and worship. The hymn began as a medieval Irish prayer. It offers devotion rooted in medieval Celtic Christianity that is still relevant today.

The hymn began as a medieval Irish prayer composed in the 8th century. Only in the last century did this text find its English translation. Mary Byrne rendered it into literal English prose in 1905. The wording has undergone some changes through the years but the hymns message rings loud and clear today:

“Be Thou My Vision”

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I, Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou are

High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my vision O Ruler of all.

Ephesians 5:18–19 says there is a direct connection between being filled with the Spirit and singing: “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”Spirit-filled Christian is a singing Christian. Music is the natural overflow of a heart in fellowship with the Lord.

The old songs the church sung and continue to sing are not to be simply a musical exercise; they must be in the heart and not just in the mouth. As we study just Verse 1 of this wonderful Hymn, we can see its Scriptural basis in each line of verse. These old hymns were both our gift and our statement of gratitude to the One we worship.Verse1 starts with a call to make the Lord the focal point of our lives. It is to understand that the Lord should be our very life and vision:

Acts 17:27-28: 27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist…” (NLT) 

The word “naught” used in verse 1 is an old word meaning “nothing or not anything.” It signifies that compared to God, the world offers little that is long lasting:

Philippians 3:7-8:  But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of  knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, (NASB) 

The last two lines of verse 1 are a focus on our thoughts and the fact that the Lord is with us when we are awake or asleep:

Proverbs 6:20-23: 20 My son, keep your father’s command, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.21 Always bind them to your heart; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.23 For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life. (HCSB)

The reference to light is wonderful!

Romans 13:11-12: 11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (HCSB) 

The Hymn states “Thy presence my light” When we accepted Christ He brought His light into our innermost being! It is that Light that destroys darkness and guides our path.

In summary, Verse 1 of this hymn presents a picture of walking in the light of Jesus free from the world around us. As we sing and worship our Lord, let us be challenged to look past the music and capture the Scriptural basis of the song!