Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

August 13

Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Every believer has a cross of some kind that Christ expects him to carry cheerfully each day as a demonstration of his discipleship. Life is a matter of choices. If we have made a decision to follow Christ, there must be purposeful self-denial in our lives or we have not really learned the meaning of true discipleship. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Bearing the cross involves a willingness to look beyond our own affairs and to share the load of others in order that they too may have a personal relationship with the Savior.
Henry Lyte spent the last 23 years of his life ministering to an Anglican parish of humble fishermen in Devonshire, England. In spite of his cross of frail health, Lyte worked tirelessly to build up a Sunday school of more than 800 children, and he contributed to a great spiritual and moral change in the hardened community around him. Also during these years, he had a number of books of poetry published as well as 80 hymn texts.
In everything he attempted amidst numerous difficulties, Henry Lyte demonstrated that he truly denied himself, took up his cross, and faithfully followed and served his Lord.
Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee; destitute, despised, forsaken—Thou from hence my all shalt be. Perish ev’ry fond ambition—all I’ve sought and hoped and known! Yet how rich is my condition—God and heav’n are still my own!
Let the world despise and leave me; they have left my Savior too; human hearts and looks deceive me—Thou art not, like man, untrue. And while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love, and might, foes may hate, and friends may shun me—Show Thy face, and all is bright!
Haste thee, on from grace to glory, armed by faith and winged by prayer; Heav’n’s eternal days before thee—God’s own hand shall guide thee there. Soon shall close thy earthly mission; swift shall pass thy pilgrim days; hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise!

    For Today: 2 Kings 18:1–7; Matthew 10:38; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23, 62; 1 Peter 2:21

Purpose in your heart to deny yourself, cheerfully enduring whatever your cross may be, and then serve God by serving someone else. Begin by reflecting seriously on the words of this hymn—

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