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Friday, July 10, 2015

Victory in Jesus



But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
(1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV)

A few weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of sharing God’s Word in a small church while the pastor was gone; this post is based on part of that sermon.

Victory in Jesus is a beloved hymn of many and is one that has stood the test of time.  Hymns can become more meaningful when we learn the story behind them; in fact, hymns can be useful in our daily worship.  It is with this in mind, that I would like to take some time to explore Eugene Bartlett’s hymn Victory in Jesus.

The composer of Victory in Jesus, Eugene Monroe Bartlett was born in Missouri on December 24, 1885, and grew up in Arkansas. He was musically gifted and used that gift to help others, primarily in the area of worship.  Bartlett was college educated and worked in the business field.  He used the gifts God had given him to benefit those around him.

Eugene Bartlett was a devout Christian—for nearly his entire life.  He wrote several hundred hymns and gave much to the field of music, making it accessible even to those who could not read music (though shape notes).  In at least one of my old hymnals there are some hymns with shape notes instead of the traditionally shaped notes. 

Many times, his hymns took him mere minutes or hours to compose!  Victory in Jesus was his most famous hymn and also his last.

After suffering a stroke Eugene spent the last few years of his life fairly incapacitated and spending most of his time in one room.  Despite not being able to work in his calling, or even speak, he continued to immerse himself in God’s Word and in worship.  From that time, as well as a lifetime of study and relationship, he composed this hymn.  This last hymn, Victory in Jesus, a hymn that took him longer to write than any other, has not been lost to the past.  He saw a lasting victory, a victory that is not a fleshly one—such as winning a game or a war—but a spiritual victory that is ultimately won when we get to heaven. 

Have you experienced this type of victory?    

Victory in Jesus is one of my favorite hymns; it holds some precious memories for me.  This hymn was a favorite of a beloved pastor from my childhood. Although I was young when Blaine was pastor at my church (Free Methodist), I knew he loved Jesus and he loved me.  That in and of itself is a testimony!  This hymn was a favorite of Blaine’s; therefore, we sang it frequently! Even though I missed this as a child, I was told that his face glowed when he sang this song. May the same be said for us!  

Each one of us should search our heart and determine if the words of this beloved hymn are true for us. In 1 Corinthians 15:57 we are reminded that:  “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

For many of us, we have heard the Scripture read and expounded on a nearly weekly basis for years—for some of us that would encompass the whole of our life.  It is so easy to relax and not really hear the truths contained in the Scriptures, because of how well we know them or think we know them. Familiarity can be dangerous.  Think about all the things we do and places we go that become so familiar, so routine that we miss some important sites—sometimes including a turn we need to make.

It is tempting to think we can relax, thinking we are okay because of what we do (or do not do!), because of our church membership/attendance, because of our baptism, or because of our parents/grandparents.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  We cannot get to heaven in any other way than through accepting Jesus—nothing else saves. Jesus and Jesus alone saves!  We are saved, cleansed by the atoning blood of Jesus!

Spending time on our own prayerfully reading through the whole of God’s Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us will show us new insights, as well as point us to our need for Jesus as our Savior—the only way to heaven.  The more we read and study God’s Word and allow it to “read” us, we will see just how well many of the beloved hymns written decades ago really do capture scriptural “nuggets” for our edification.  The same is true of many of the contemporary Christian songs.

Have you experienced victory in Jesus?

What is your favorite hymn?



Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the victory that is possible in Jesus and His shed blood.  Remind us that we already have the victory.  Cause us to call to mind all that Jesus did for us and continues to do for us as we live on this earth.  Grant us the words we need to share our story of how Jesus came into our lives.  Empower us to live each day, keeping our eyes, heart, and mind focused on You alone.  It is not by our power or might but by Yours that we overcome the one who seeks but to kill, steal, and destroy.  Thank You Jesus for all You did for each one of us to be victorious!  In Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim


4 comments:

  1. Yes! Our victory is in Jesus always! Do I have a favorite hymn? Oh, my goodness, Kim, there are just too many out there to choose from. I do love it, though, when I wake up in the morning and a particular praise song is running through my mind. Usually stays with me all day. :) Love and blessings!

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    1. Martha, thank you for reading and for your kind words. I know it's hard to choose a single, favorite hymn; I have many favorites! Yes, it's wonderful to awake with a praise song or hymn running through your mind. The victory Jesus gives us is amazing!

      Love and blessings!

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  2. Hi Kim! I am so proud of you for delivering the message on that Sunday! So awesome, and your information and faith application were really great. I am not familiar with this song or the author, so it was great to read about his life. The circumstances around this final hymn of his is really miraculous. So special...

    I think it shows how important our gifts really are. And how we can use them, no matter how hard it becomes. Look what happened to this song, written when he was so incapacitated! Really inspires me. Thank you!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil! Thank you so much for your kind comments and encouragement. I've been preaching occasionally for a number of years now and find it to be a time where I feel like I'm "in my element".

      Victory in Jesus is a beautiful hymn. I've found that many people consider it a favorite hymn.

      You're correct about how important our gifts are and how we can use them no matter what are physical abilities do to us. Prayer and worship can do wonders!

      Blessings!

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