“Where He Leads, I’ll Follow”

"Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2.21)

     INTRO.: A song which encourages us to follow in the steps of Jesus is "Where He Leads, I’ll Follow" (#498 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #188 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Ogden) was composed both by William Augustine Ogden (1841-1897).  The song was copyrighted in 1885. Ogden produced many other songs in our books, such as tunes for "Come to the Feast" and "Bring Them In," both text and tune for "Jesus, the Loving Shepherd," "O If My House Is Built Upon A Rock," "Seeking the Lost," and, perhaps his best known song, "He Is Able To Deliver Thee." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Where He Leads, I’ll Follow," has been in most. It appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 (Church) Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
     The song suggests several reasons why we should want to follow after Jesus.

I. Stanza 1 says that we should follow Him because of His message
"Sweet are the promises, kind is the word,
Dearer far than any message man ever heard.
Pure was the mind of Christ, sinless, I see;
He the great example is, and pattern for me."
 A. Jesus Christ has made many exceedingly great and precious promises to us: 2 Pet. 1.3-4
 B. These promises are revealed in His gospel message which is the power of God unto salvation: Rom. 1.16
 C. This message helps us to follow the One who was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin: Heb. 4.15

II. Stanza 2 says that we should follow Him because of His love
"Sweet is the tender love Jesus hath shown,
Sweeter far than any love that mortals have known.
Kind to the erring one, faithful is He;
He the great example is, and pattern for me."
 A. The love that Jesus has shown is sweet and tender because He laid down His life for us: 1 Jn. 3.16
 B. This love is greater than any love that mortals have known because no human love is greater than to lay down one’s life for his friends, yet Jesus laid down His life for His enemies: Jn. 15.13, Rom. 5.8
 C. Therefore, because of the love that He has already shown, we can be assured that He is kind to the erring one: Tit. 3.4-5

III. Stanza 3 says that we should follow Him because of the rest that He gives
"List to His loving words, ‘Come unto me!’
Weary, heavy-laden, there is sweet rest for thee.
Trust in His promises, faithful and sure;
Lean upon the Savior and thy soul is secure."
 A. We need to listen to the words of Jesus: Matt. 13.9
 B. His words call us to come to Him and He will give us rest: Matt. 11.28-30
 C. The only way that we can have this rest is to trust in Him: Eph. 1.11-13

     CONCL.:  The chorus reminds us of the need to follow Jesus everywhere and at every time.
"Where He leads I’ll follow, Follow all the way;
Where He leads I’ll follow, Follow Jesus every day."
Jesus not only died for my sins and arose again to declare His divine Sonship, but He lived a perfect life as an example of how God wants me to live. Therefore, it should be my determination throughout my entire life on earth that, "Where He Leads, I’ll Follow."


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