At the end of the Baptism service in Mansfield last night (where 10 born-again believers in Jesus were baptised, Praise God) we sang “In Christ Alone”, a worship song by Steve Townend and Keith Getty (an English and American collaboration, which reminds me of another story). Interestingly, the enemy of our souls attempted to disrupt this song of worship by making the keyboard fall over during the last verse, but the congregation continued singing without faltering.
One of the lines in the song is “this Cornerstone, this solid Ground”; something I had written about in my Blog yesterday before I attended the baptism.
However, the thought that was resounding in my head this morning before going to church was that we need to put our trust “In Christ Alone”, not in “Jesus and ………”, but “in Jesus alone”. I was reminded of Eugene H Peterson’s The Message, where he states in the Introduction to the Book of Hebrews that we can clutter the simplicity of the message of Jesus with add-ons. In my case, I remember around 10 or 15 years ago hanging onto this thought from the Introduction to the Book of Hebrews in The Message that Jesus alone was all I needed to heal my soul; when most of the Christians around me seemed to be saying I needed Jesus and medication. Here I am now and I can confirm that all I needed was Jesus. Praise God!
Another couple of lines in the worship song “In Christ Alone” are “no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand” (I think it was at this point in the song in the meeting last night that the enemy dismantled the keyboard!). I believe the truth in that song, and I like to put my hand in the air and imagine holding onto the hand of my Jesus, my Saviour, Lord and Friend when I sing those lines.
Today in my church in the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield a young lady came to the front and testified to the amazing changes that have happened in her life in the last year since she gave her life to Jesus. She told us that these came about simply by her holding onto Jesus’ hand.
One of our elders spoke of how Jesus holds our hands in so many different circumstances in our lives; for example when pulling us out of the “quicksand” we have fallen into, or to give us an impartation to do what Jesus did when he was walking the earth. Another man spoke of how Jesus holds our hand in a similar fashion to parents holding children’s hands, to give them direction. I was thinking of holding Jesus’ hand whilst skipping through a field of long grass on a sunny day. Many of us can witness to Jesus never letting go of us, even when we let go of Him. “The Steadfast Love of the Lord never ceases”.