DO YOU LIKE THOSE OLD HYMNS? …John 15: 1-11

Some of you are just shaking your heads.  Tsk…tsk, you’re saying!   Fischer is really showing his age!  Harking back to the good old days of the good old hymns that he can’t find in most churches today.  Could go round-and-round on church music and wind up back at square one!

But I have my old hymnal!  Hasn’t been confiscated yet.  No modern music swat-team has surrounded our house.  Dare I mention that I love the old hymn ‘Abide With Me’?  It was written in the early 19th century by an Anglican priest named Henry Lyte.  He had severe bronchial issues most of his adult life.  It’s said that he coined the phrase ‘it is better to wear out than to rust out’,  and he did just that.  Wear out!  Died at age 54, literally crawling up into the pulpit to give his last sermon.  It was but days after that he wrote this hymn, weeks before his death.   Never giving up.  Abiding in Jesus.  As the Lord Himself  says in John 15: 4–‘Abide in me, and I in you…’  That word ‘abide’ in the original Greek is the word ‘meno’.  It basically means to remain, be present with, stand and endure, continue.

To remain and be present with Jesus reminds me of His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking His closest followers to stay awake with Him– ‘Abide with Me’.  Their sleepy eye-lids got the better of them, however.  My spiritual ‘sleepiness’ often gets the better of me, as well.  And you?  To endure is to be immovable in the face of whatever life throws our way.  To stand and not be shaken.

To continue means to end well for Him.  Not to wind up like so many, even those in the Bible, who seem more like unbelievers at the end of their lives.  Or those who succumb to terrible temptations that cast a dark shadow over the name of Jesus and His church.  To abide in Him is to end strong, standing on the promises of Christ, having decided to follow Jesus, trusting and obeying Him, still praying to cleanse me, knowing that our King is coming, having victory in Jesus, for He paid it all, at Calvary, and that Jesus loves me, even me!  I could go on and on!

Abiding is a two-way street.  We for Him and He with us.  Even when I stumble and fail Him, yet He abides with me.  He stands with us when we fall and helps us get back up on our feet.  He’s not fickle, not drawn away by a cuter, richer, newer convert.  He will stay right there beside you and never move.  The Rock.  I know there’s much wonderful new Christian music.  But the old ones still speak… and inspire… and help me to abide in Jesus.  Whatever it takes, abide with Him!

Prayer:  Lord, we love you with words and tunes that lift up your praise now and forever.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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