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“Jesus I My Cross Have Taken” by Henry Lyte

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Composed by Henry Lyte in 1824, “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken” has since provided the Church a beautiful way to sing of the present and future effects of saving grace.

In addition to being rich with meaning, the song’s structure also allows the singing congregation to engage in both the vertical and horizontal [1] elements of worship. For the first three verses, we are singing to God, praising and petitioning him. However, verses four and five have us singing to each other, reminding each other of the joys of our salvation and pointing each other to the future hope of Heaven. 

We also, as Kevin Twit has said, sing this song with two minds. While we sing of our commitment to Jesus and our willingness to endure pain and loss for his name’s sake, we are fully aware that we do not always behave or believe this way. So we sing the words to express our truest convictions but also as a prayer that God would further conform us into this state of heart and mind.

As we sing the song this month, pray that God will use it to remind you of a few things:

  • That to take up your cross and follow Jesus means you must die to self-will and self-preservation (Luke 9:23).
  • That the knowledge of your salvation would give you cause for joy and carry you through all of life’s storms (Philippians 3:8-11; Ephesians 3:19).
  • That you must be ready and willing to be hated by this world for bearing the name of Christ (John 15:18; Matthew 10:22).
  • That, for those who love God, all things will work together for good in the end. And that “good” isn’t comfort according to this world but conformity to Christ, nearness to God and final glorification (Romans 8:28).

[1] For Scriptural basis for the horizontal elements or worship see Ephesians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 14:26 and Hebrews 10:24-25