O Sinner, Come to the Savior


(photograph of Fred Berryman)


“…And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37)

      INTRO.: A song which encourages us to come to Him who will in no wise cast us out is “O Sinner, Come to the Savior.”  The text was written by William Frederick “Fred” Berryman, who was born on Jan. 17, 1898, at Yellowpine in Sabine County, Texas, to James Charley Berryman (1862–1932) and Helen Ada Veatch Berryman (1866–1938).  His wife’s name was Roxie (nee Brown), and they had two sons, Billy Don and Ed, and one daughter, Violet Sue.  Berryman started his singing career at the age of 22.  He taught singing schools and led singing at gospel meetings for 45 years.  Most of his work was in east Texas and west Louisiana.   His occupation was listed as “Minister for the Churches of Christ.”

Berryman wrote his first song at the age of thirty.  His early songs were “Look Up and Catch the Sunshine” and “Shine On, Fair Star.”  Several of his songs have been published, including “O Sinner, Come to the Savior,” with the tune composed by J. H. Ener.  It was copyrighted in 1968 by the National Music Co., which was owned by the composer of “No Tears in Heaven,” Robert S. Arnold, and first appeared in their Songs So Precious.  It was also used in the 1982 book Our Garden of Song edited by Gene C. Finley.

The Berrymans lived in Yellowpine and were members of the Hemphill Church of Christ.  Berryman died, aged 83, at the Sabine County Hospital Hemphill, Sabine County, Texas, on Mar. 9, 1981, following an extended illness.  Preceded in death by his parents, he was survived by his widow, his children, eight grandchildren, three brothers, and two sisters.  Funeral services were held on Friday, March 13, at the Warren Meadows Funeral Chapel in Hemphill, with Don Gannon officiating.  Burial was in the Victoria Cemetery at Toro, in Sabine Parish, Louisiana.

“O Sinner, Come to the Savior” suggests three reasons why the sinner needs to come to Jesus.

I. Stanza 1 says that He alone can save us

O sinner, come to the Savior;

He alone can save your soul.

Plunge ‘neath the soul’s cleansing fountain;

Come now and be made whole.

  1. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners: 1 Tim. 1:15
  2. To be saved, we must plunge beneath the cleansing fountain in baptism: Rom. 6:3-4
  3. When we do this, we are made whole by the redemption through His blood: Eph. 1:7

II. Stanza 2 says that He will take our burdens away

Come unto Him with your burdens;

He will take them all away.

Write your dear name up in heaven,

Where it will ever stay.

  1. Our burdens cause us to be weary and heavy laden: Matt. 11:28-30
  2. But when we come to Him, we can cast our burdens and cares on Him: 1 Pet. 5:6-7
  3. The result of coming to Him is that our names will be written in heaven: Lk. 10:20

III. Stanza 3 says that He is calling and waiting

Come while for you He is calling;

He has often called before.

In pearly parts He is waiting,

Calling from heaven’s shore.

  1. He calls us through the gospel: 2 Thess. 2:13-14
  2. Now He is waiting for us where the gates are of pearl: Rev. 21:21
  3. Calling from heaven’s shore, He wants to take us to be where He is: Jn. 14:1-3

CONCL.:  The chorus continues to urge lost sinners to come to Jesus for salvation.

Come while for you He’s waiting;

Come, there is rest in His fold.

Only the Savior can save you;

Only His blood makes whole.

The Scriptures do not specifically require an “invitation song.”  However, in preaching the gospel we are extending the Lord’s invitation, and we are authorized to teach and admonish in song.  What better way to invite the lost to Jesus than by singing “O Sinner, Come to the Savior”?

o sinner come


There’s Just One Way


(photo of Raymond Bailey)


“Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts…” (Ps. 119:27)

      INTRO.:  A song which helps us to understand the way of God’s precepts is “There’s Just One Way.”  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Raymond Henley Bailey, who was born in Portia, Lawrence County, AR, Feb. 12, 1914, the son of Robert Lee Bailey and Mary Ida Hooton Bailey.  He was the tenth child in a family of eleven children and grew up in Tuckerman, AR, where he graduated from high school in 1932.  Spending the first 25 years of his life on a farm, he married Opal Woodard, a hometown girl, in 1938.  They had two children, Karyl and Rayma.  The Baileys moved to Detroit, MI, in 1939, and Bailey worked in industry there from 1939 to 1944.  In 1944, he was inducted into the United States Navy for two years and served in the Navy during World War II.  He began writing songs while stationed on Attu in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska in 1945.

In 1946, Bailey entered Freed Hardeman College, graduating in 1948.  In 1951, he graduated from Harding College and in 1954 received a Master’s Degree in history from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  Beginning in 1955, he taught school, conducted singing classes, and preached the gospel except for about a year and a half.  He taught at Valparaiso, IN, and conducted singing classes in Arkansas and Indiana.  His song “There’s Just One Way” was copyrighted in 1956 by Church Music Co. and was published in Singing His Praises by Christian Worker Publishing Company.  Bailey did full-time preaching work in Piedmont, AL; Huntsville, AR; Crawfordsville, IN; and LaPorte, IN, and held gospel meetings in Alabama, Arkansas, lndiana, and Missouri.

“There’s Just One Way,” which was arranged by Robert Shaub, later appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons for the Firm Foundation Publishing House.   After Raymond retired from public school teaching with the Pulaski County School System in 1979, the Baileys moved to Searcy, AR, where they were members of the College Church of Christ,  as well as the American Legion Post 144 in Bradford, and the White County Retired Teachers Association, and Raymond, whose hobbies were reading and writing, spent eighteen years substitute teaching in White County.  He died, aged 88, on Sept. 11, 2002, at Searcy, White County, AR, and his body was buried at Pinecrest Memorial Park and Garden Mausoleum in Alexander, Saline County, AR.

“There’s Just One Way” reminds that only God’s way will bring us to Him and His blessings.

I. Stanza 1 points out that the one way leads to the shining gate

There’s just one way to heaven’s shining gate;

There’s just one way that always leads you straight—

No other way for one to enter in,

To meet the Lord, be free from sin.

  1. Heaven is pictured as a city with shining gates of pearl: Rev. 21:12-13, 21
  2. There is no other way but Christ for us to enter in: Jn. 14:6
  3. Only the truth can make us free: Jn. 8:32

II. Stanza 2 points out that the one way leads to the eternal shore

There’s just one way to lead you safely o’er;

There’s just one way to that eternal shore.

Let’s safely walk the strait [orig. straight] and narrow way;

We’ll press right in on that great day.

  1. Heaven is pictured as being on the eternal shore of the river of life: Rev. 22:1-2
  2. To arrive there, we must walk the strait and narrow way: Matt. 7:13-14
  3. And if we do, we shall enter into the joy of the Lord: Matt. 25:21

III. Stanza 3 points out that the one way leads to the blest home above

There’s just one way to that blest home above.

There’s just one way; keep daily in His love,

If we will now accept while we have time,

And enter into that bright clime.

  1. Heaven is pictured as a blest home above in the New Jerusalem: Rev. 21:1-4
  2. To reach it, we must daily keep ourselves in His love: Jude vs. 20-21
  3. And we should accept Him today while we have the time: Heb. 4:14-15

CONCL.:  The  chorus emphasizes the fact that we must walk in the right way to receive these blessings.

Obey the blessed gospel, walk in the righteous way;

Live faithful to the Savior, do not forget to pray.

Be always watching, waiting for Christ the Son,

And walk right through the portals when life is done.

Most everyone wants to go to heaven.  But we need to remember, if it is our desire to go home and be with God, that “There’s Just One Way.”

theres just one

Servant Song

Tim Jennings Picture - update

(photograph of Tim Jennings)


 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45)

     INTRO.:  A song which asks the Lord to help us to be like Him in ministering to others is “Servant Song” or “Servant’s Song.”  The original text was written and the original tune was composed both by Jimmy Owens (b. 1930) and Carol Owens (b. 1931).  Usually known as “Jimmy and Carol Owens,” they are a husband and wife songwriting and author team who are pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music.  Jimmy and Carol have been married since 1954.  Their children are Jamie Owens Collins, a well-known recording artist, songwriter, and speaker, and Buddy Owens, an author and a teacher at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA.   Another song by Jimmy is “Holy, Holy,” and another by Carol is “Freely, Freely,” both from 1972.  Best known for the children’s album Ants’hillvania, which was nominated for Best Album for Children in the Grammy Awards of 1981, Jimmy and Carol received the Christian Artists’ Music Achievement Award in 1986.  They serve through the work of School of Music Ministries International, which they founded in 1991.  Jimmy was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2001. Their God Songs: How to Write and Select Songs for Worship, co-authored by Paul Baloche, was given the WorshipMusic.com Book of the Year Award in 2005.

The Owenses’ original song, copyrighted in 1978 by Communique Music and entitled either “Make Me a Servant” or “Make Me Like You,” appears to have been a single stanza:

Lord, make me like You ,

Please make me like You.

You are a servant ,

Make me one too.

O Lord, I am willing

Do what You must do

To make me like You, Lord,

Just make me like You,

Whatever You do.

This was evidently altered later to a three stanza version:

  1. Make me a servant, Lord, make me like You,

For You are a servant, make me one, too.

Make me a servant, do what You must do

To make me a servant, make me like You.

  1. To love my brother, to serve like You do.

I humble my spirit, I bow before You.

And through my service, I’ll be just like You.

So make me a servant, make me like You.

  1. Open my hands, Lord, and teach me to share;

Open my heart, Lord, and teach me to care.

For service to others is service to You.

Make me a servant, make me like You.

Around 2000, during a series of lessons on servanthood presented at the Spring Creek Church of Christ in Plano, TX, a member of the congregation remembered hearing a song called “Make Me a Servant” that his mother had sung to him in his youth but that he had never seen in a hymnbook.  Without their knowing the true origin of the song, the lyrics of the single stanza were reworked by the local preacher, Tim Jennings, who was born on August 19, 1967, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  After graduating from Las Cruces High School in 1985, he attended Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida, graduating in 1987; New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, graduating in 1990; and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, graduating in 1993.   On May 28, 1993, he married; his wife’s name is Jennifer, and they have three children, sons Jack and Parker, and daughter Kayla.   Becoming a gospel preacher, Tim has worked with the Spring Creek church from June, 1996, to the present.  The music was arranged by one of the elders, Richard Morrison (b. 1945).  Morrison felt that the theme merited fuller treatment, so he sought help from Matthew Bassford, who had been a member of Spring Creek in his high school years and was later the local preacher with the church of Christ in Joliet, IL, who quickly provided two more stanzas.  This version of the song has appeared in the 2007 Hymns for Worship Supplement edited by R. J. Stevens et. al., where the tune is listed as “Traditional”; and the 2007 Sumphonia Hymnal Supplement and the 2012 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs both edited by Steve Wolfgang et. al.  Other versions of the song have appeared, one having the Owenses’ single first stanza labeled “Traditional” with music arranged in 1995 by Darrell Bledsoe in the 2010 Praise Hymnal, and another with that stanza and two additional stanzas written in 2009 by Jack Boyd in the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise, both edited by Robert J. Taylor.

The song points out the importance of being a servant like Christ.

  1. Stanza 1 tells who our example of being a servant is

Make me a servant, just like Your Son.

For He was a servant, Please make me one.

Make me a servant, do what You must do

To make me a servant, Make me like You.

  1. The Bible teaches the importance of being a servant:: Matt. 10:24
  2. Jesus Christ came to be a servant and thus is our example: 1 Pet. 2:21
  3. In being servants, we are learning to be holy as God is holy: 1 Pet. 1:14-16

II.  Stanza 2 tells us how to become a servant

Make me a servant, take all my pride,

For I would be lowly, humble inside.

Giving to others with all that I do

In love for my brother, Make me like You.

  1. We must get rid of pride: Prov. 16:18
  2. Instead, we must strive to be lowly and humble: 1 Pet. 5:5-6
  3. And we must love one another: Jn. 13:34-35

III. Stanza 3 tells us the results of being a servant

Make me a servant, filled by Your might,

And may all my labors shine with Your light.

Show me Your footsteps and what I should do;

For now and forever, Make me like You.

  1. Those who are willing to be servants will be strengthened by God’s might: Eph. 3:16
  2. They will also shine as lights in the world: Phil. 3:15
  3. And they will dwell with the Lord both now and forever: Ps. 23:6

CONCL.:  The additional stanzas by Jack Boyd are as follows:

  1. Take me and mold me, and make me like You;

For You are a servant, make me one too.

Light me the pathway that leads on to You.

Please make me a servant; make me like You.

  1. Watch me and guide me, and make me like You;

For You are a servant, make me one too.

This is the prayer that I send up to You:

Please make me a servant; make me like You.

In doing research, I have found two other similar songs in the Contemporary Christian Music repertoire, one beginning “Make me a servant, humble and meek” from 1982 by Kelly Willard (b. 1956), and another beginning “Make me a servant like You, dear Lord” (“Servant’s Heart”) from 1987 by Ron Hamilton (b. 1950).  The Owenses’ original song was addressed to Jesus, “Make me a servant, Lord, make me like You.”  Jennings changed the object of the request from Jesus to the Father, “Make me a servant, just like Your Son,” because of some disagreement in the congregation about whether it is scriptural to sing songs addressed directly to Jesus.  If we want to be like Jesus, we must follow the instructions of the “Servant Song.”


Make Some Other Heart Rejoice


(picture of Charles M. Fillmore)


“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad” (Proverbs 12:25)

     INTRO.:  A song which emphasizes the joy of making glad a heart that is stooped in heaviness is “Make Some Other Heart Rejoice.”  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Charles Millard Fillmore who was born on July 15, 1860, in Paris, Edgar County, IL, the son of Disciples of Christ minister Augustus Damon Fillmore (1823–1870) and Hannah Maria Lockwood Fillmore(1826–1896), and brother of hymn publishers James and Frederick Fillmore. Charles won a music scholarship at the Cincinnati College of Music, and then taught for a year at Bath Seminary in Owingsville, KY.  After that, he traveled for about a year and taught singing classes in various parts of America.  Following this, he took additional music studies in Cincinnati, and studied for the ministry at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, graduating in 1890.  His wife’s name was Margaret, and they had 3 daughters.  For some fifty years, he served churches including those in Lafayette, IN; Shelbyville, IN; Ogden, UT; and Peru, IN.

A member of the Fillmore Brothers Publishers in Cincinnati, and one of the editors of their monthly periodicals The Musical Messenger (1891-1897) and Choir: a Monthly Journal of Church Music (1899-1922), as well as the temperance paper Clean Politics, Fillmore also produced several hundred gospel songs in his lifetime.  His 1886 hymn “The Olden Story” was included in the 1889 Christian Hymns edited by Elisha G. Sewell and Rigdon M. MacIntosh for The Gospel Advocate.  His best known song, “Tell Mother I’ll Be There,” comes from 1898. Fillmore wrote this song upon reading of the death of the mother of American president William McKinley. McKinley had a special relationship with his mother, who was very proud of him.  When “Mother McKinley” fell ill in the winter of 1897, she lived some distance from the capital, so the president had a special telegraph line installed between Washington and her home town. When word finally came of her impending death, he quickly wired back, “Tell mother I’ll be there!”

“Make Some Other Heart Rejoice” was also copyrighted in 1898 and first appeared that year in Fillmore’s Sunday School Songs No. 1‎, edited by Palmer Hartsough and James H. Fillmore in Cincinnati for Fillmore Brothers.   In 1905, Charles became minister with the Carthage Christian Church near Cincinnati.  Then in 1910 he moved to Indianapolis where he was minister for many years at the Hillside Church.  His death occurred at the age of 92 on September 17, 1952, in Indianapolis, Marion County, IN, and his remains were buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.  “Make Some Other Heart Rejoice” later appeared in the 1956 One Hundred Songs We Love edited by Austin Taylor for the Firm Foundation Publishing House of Austin, TX.

The song encourages us to do those things which will help other hearts to rejoice.

I. Stanza 1 talks about the benefits to us from helping others.

Would you know earth’s highest happiness?

Would you know its greatest blessedness?

Would you know its truest joyfulness?

Make some other heart rejoice.

  1. God wants us to be happy by doing His will: Ps. 128:2
  2. He wants us to be blessed by following His way: Ps. 1:1-3
  3. And He wants us to be joyful in praising the Lord: Ps. 100:1-2

II. Stanza 2 talks about what we can do to help others.

Pleasant smiles will cheer a drooping heart,

Kindly words relieve a bitter smart,

Helping hands to weakness strength impart,

Make some other heart rejoice.

  1. Pleasant smiles help bring about a merry heart: Prov. 15:13, 17:22
  2. A good word fitly spoken will make a depressed heart glad: Prov. 12:25, 25:11
  3. We can use our hands to assist others in strengthening their hands: Isa. 35:3-4, Heb. 12:12-13

III. Stanza 3 talks about why it is so important to help others.

Many hearts are crushed with bitter woe,

Many hearts with grief are bending low,

Many hearts need help you can bestow,

Make some other heart rejoice.

  1. Many hearts are filled with woe and trouble: Job 14:1
  2. Many souls are bent low by suffering grief wrongfully: 1 Pet.2:19
  3. Many folks have other needs which we can help bestow, even if it is only a cup of cold water: Matt. 10:42

CONCL.:  The chorus continues to remind us of our need to lend a hand to help others.

Give a pleasant smile, speak a kindly word,

Lend a hand to help a brother;

Give a pleasant smile, speak a kindly word,

Lend a hand to help another.

As we journey towards eternity, our lives here on this earth can be much more satisfied and fulfilling if we would only take the time to “Make Some Other Heart Rejoice.”

make some other

We Wait His Coming


(photograph of D. R. Lucas)


“And to wait for His Son from heaven…” (1 Thess. 1:10)

     INTRO.: A song which encourages us to be waiting for the God’s Son to return from heaven is “We Wait His Coming” (#340 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Daniel Robertson Lucas, who was born at Belvidere in Boone County, IL, on Jan. 14 (one source says June 14), 1840, the son of Albert and Catherine Robertson Lucas. In 1858, his family moved to Indiana where he entered the Indiana Normal Institute at Burnettsville in White County, and also began preaching at the local Christian Church. Following his marriage to Mary Longley in 1862, Lucas joined Company C Ninety-Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry as a Second Lieutenant during the Civil War. Later that year, he was appointed chaplain of the regiment, probably the youngest chaplain in the Civil War in Indiana.

A year and a half after that Lucas was transferred to the office of the Provost Marshal where he continued until the end of the war. The Ninety-Ninth participated in the Vicksburg campaign, the second battle of Jackson, the Chattanooga campaign, the battle of Missionary Ridge, and many other skirmishes. When the war ended, Lucas decided to become a minister.  In 1876, Lucas moved to Des Moines, IA, where he worked with the Central Christian Church and helped to found Drake University. In 1888, he returned to Indiana to work with the Central Christian Church in Indianapolis. During his life, he authored sixty hymns and compiled one hymnbook, Apostolic Hymns and Songs. The tune for “We Wait His Coming” was composed by James Holmes Rosecrans (1844-1926). He is best known for melodies with such hymns as “O ‘Twas Wonderful Love,” “One Step at a Time,” and “There Is a Habitation.”

I have not been able to locate any background information on “We Wait His Coming,” other than that it was copyrighted in 1886 and first published the following year in the expanded edition of the Fillmore Brothers’ 1882 New Christian Hymn and Tune Book.  In addition, Lucas served as Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and secretary of the Morton Monument Commission. At the time of his death in Marion County, IN, on Mar. 11, 1907 (one sources gives 1908), at the age of 67, he was minister with the Seventh St. Christian Church in Indianapolis.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song, so far as I know, is found only in Sacred Selections.

The song uses several different titles to identify the one for whom we wait.

I. Stanza 1 calls Him the Lord

“We wait the coming of the Lord,

The Savior reigning now above;

The promise of His holy Word,

He shall confirm in truth and love.”

  1. Even the angels announced that the one who was born to be the Savior is Lord: Lk. 2:11
  2. That Lord ascended and is reigning now above: Eph. 1:20-23
  3. However, He has promised in His holy Word that He will return: Jn. 14.1-3

II. Stanza 2 calls Him our Friend

“We wait the coming of our Friend,

Who loves us with immortal love,

And shall Himself from heaven descend,

And bring us to our home above.”

  1. Because He loves us with an immortal love, Jesus is most certainly our Friend: Rom. 5:6-8
  2. We are His friends if we do what He commands: Jn. 15:14
  3. Therefore, we wait for this Friend to descend from heaven: 1 Thess. 4:16-17

III. Stanza 3 calls Him the King

“We wait the coming of the King,

Who holds the keys of every grave,

Who will the palms of victory bring

And all His loyal people save.”

  1. Jesus Christ is pictured in scripture as Lord of lords and King of kings: Rev. 19:11-16
  2. As King of kings, He holds the keys of death and Hades in His hand: Rev. 1:17-18
  3. Some day our King will return to bring final victory to His people: 1 Cor. 15:50-54

CONCL.: The chorus urges us to continue to wait for His coming.

“O, wait! calmly wait, for He will come!

O, wait! He will come and bring us home!

O, wait! calmly wait, for He will come!

O, wait, He will come and bring us home!”

There is a similar song, “Wait, and Murmur Not,” with words by W. H. Bellamy and music by William James Kirkpatrick, which follows almost the same metrical pattern. The first stanza reads:

“O troubled heart, there is a home Beyond the reach of toil and care,

A home where changes never come; Who would not fain be resting there?”

The chorus begins, “O, wait, meekly wait, and murmur not.” It is right across the page from the Lucas-Rosecrans song in Sacred Selections.  The message of the Old Testament was that the Messiah is coming. The message of the four gospels is that the Messiah or Christ has come. And the message of the rest of the New Testament is that the Christ is coming again. Because we believe the overwhelming evidence that He is God’s Son and the Bible is His word, “We Wait His Coming.”

we wait his coming

The Lord’s Table


(Grave marker for Isaac Wesley Maness)


“…Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:21)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which uses the concept of a table to symbolize the Lord’s supper or communion service is “The Lord’s Table.”  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Isaac Wesley Maness, who was born on Dec. 18, 1887, in Blackwater, VA, the son of James Gilbert Maness (1861–1926) and Manerva Bledsoe Maness (1868–1936).  He had three sisters and three brothers.  In 1908, he married Ethel Lovelace (1892–1986).  They had a daughter and three sons.

In 1920, Maness and his family moved to Union, SC, where for the next 45 years he owned and operated Maness Barber Shop on W. Main St.  In addition, he was a member of the Union Church of Christ.  “The Lord’s Table” was copyrighted in 1946 and most likely first appeared that year in Everlasting Praises No. 3, compiled and edited by Marion Davis and James M. Tolle and published by The Marion Davis Company of Fayette, AL.  In the Preface, Davis included Maness in a list of authors about whom he wrote, “Everlasting Praises Number Three contains many new songs never before published in any of our books, and a number of ones copyrighted and published for the first time.

The song was also included in Davis’s 1951 Everlasting Praises No. 4 and his 1958 New and Old Gospel Songs and Hymns (but not in The Hymnal of 1957/1959).  Maness died, aged 77, on Nov 16, 1965, in the hospital at Union, SC, survived by his wife, his children, their spouses, eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and his brothers and sisters.  Funeral services were conducted at the building of the Church of Christ by the local minister Harold Simmons, with burial in Union Memorial Gardens.

“The Lord’s Table” mentions several aspects of the Lord’s supper as taught in Scripture.

I. Stanza 1 identifies the elements of the Lord’s supper

We gather round the table spread;

Before our eyes we see

His holy body in the bread,

His blood for you and me.

  1. We “gather round the table spread” when we assemble on the first day of the week: Acts 20:7
  2. In the bread we see Christ’s body in which He Himself bore our sins: 1 Pet. 2:24
  3. In the cup we see His blood through which we have redemption: Eph. 1:7

II. Stanza 2 identifies the purpose of the Lord’s supper

Your sins confess which you have done,

That sin may not be found;

Today we meet to honor Christ,

Triumphant and renowned.

  1. To be right with God, Christians must confess their sins: 1 Jn. 1:9
  2. Only in this way can they be pure and holy when they meet to honor Christ by remembering His death: Lk. 22:19-20
  3. This is one aspect that is involved in partaking in a worthy manner: 1 Cor. 11:27-29

III. Stanza 3 identifies the hope found in the Lord’s supper

Be holy now and holy still,

When Christ has come so nigh;

He comes together with His own,

Who’ll reign with Him on high.

  1. God wants us to be holy: 1 Pet. 1:15-16
  2. This is important so that Christ can come together with us and partake: Matt. 26:26-29
  3. And it reminds of the hope we to reign with Him on high as we show His death till He comes again: 1 Cor. 11:23-26

CONCL.:  The  chorus reminds us of the importance of the bread and the cup in the Lord’s supper.

The bread He took, then took the cup,

Then thanks to God gave He.

“I drink but once until that day;

This do remembering Me.”

In reality, we have a relatively limited collection of songs suitable for the Lord’s supper, and truthfully, most congregations use only a rather small selection of those.  That’s why this song caught my eye.  It would be entirely appropriate to help us in preparing our minds as we gather around “The Lord’s Table.”

lords table

He Bore the Cross for Me


(grave of Marion Davis)


“And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called…Golgotha” (Jn. 19:17)

     INTRO.:  A song which talks about the results of the fact that Jesus went bearing His cross to the place called Golgotha is “He Bore the Cross for Me” (#510 in Sacred Selections for the Church).  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Francis Marion Davis, who was born Feb. 27, 1906, in Williamson County, Tennessee, the son of Luther and Ann Thornton Davis .  I have not been able to find out a great deal of information about this individual.   He was awarded a certificate of merit by the Oklahoma Christian College.  His wife was the former Willinel Wheeler, and they had two children, a son, Jimmy, and a daughter, Sara.

For more than fifty years, Davis lived in Fayette, AL, and operated the Marion Davis Publishing Company which published a number of small hymnbooks during the early and middle 1900s which were somewhat popular among churches of Christ especially in the South, along with some religious papers.  He not only was known as a writer and publisher of hymns but was also a “sweet singer in Spiritual Israel” who led singing at meetings in which many of the outstanding gospel preachers of his day did the preaching.  Perhaps his best known hymn is “They Watched Him There” in which he provided the tune for a text by Cecil Douthitt.  Another of his hymns, “Making the Best of Each Day,” is used in the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

Hymnary.org lists six other hymns for which Davis wrote the texts: “As you are traveling through this life,” “I know my dear Savior came down to this earth,” “I want the whole wide world to know,” “I’m looking on the bright side,” “Somebody knows when your heart is sad,” and “The invitation is offered to you.”  Copyrighted in 1936, “He Bore the Cross for Me” was first published in Joyful Tidings by the A. J. Showalter Co.  Davis died on Nov. 24, 1979, aged 73, at Fayette in Fayette County, Alabama.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1940 Complete Christian Hymnal, the 1957/1959 Hymnal, a Collection of Gospel Songs and Hymns, and the 1958 New and Old Gospel Songs and Hymns, all edited by Davis.  Today it may be currently be found in Sacred Selections.

The song expresses gratitude and praise to Jesus for bearing the cross.

I. Stanza 1 calls Him a Friend

“There’s not a friend to me like Jesus,

He died to set me free;

He’s a true Friend, a King, and Savior,

Someday His face I’ll see.”

  1. Jesus is truly our very best Friend: Jn. 15:13
  2. This He showed in the fact that He died to set us free: Rom. 5:8
  3. Also He gives us the hope that as His children we shall someday see His face: 1 Jn. 3:1-3

II. Stanza 2 says that we should serve Him

“All through this life I’ll try to serve Him,

His name I will defend;

Ever in Him I am abiding,

I’ll trust Him to the end.”

  1. This Friend wants us to serve Him: Jn. 12:26
  2. To do this, we must be willing to defend His name by being set for the defense of His gospel: Phil. 1:17
  3. If we do, we shall abide in Him and He in us: Jn. 15:7

III. Stanza 3 exhorts others to trust Him

“He’ll be your Friend if you’ll but trust Him,

A true Savior and Guide;

He’ll bear your load of pain and sorrow,

Nothing will He deny.”

  1. Everyone should trust in Christ because of what He has done for us: Ps. 18:2
  2. He is our Savior: Lk. 2:11
  3. As our Guide, He has promised to bear our load of pain and sorrow as we cast our cares on Him: 1 Pet. 5:7

CONCL.:  The chorus reminds us of the awful price that Jesus paid to save us from sin.

“He bore the cross for me,

He bore the cross for me.

There’s not a friend to me like Jesus,

He bore the cross for me.”

Every day that I live, as I face the various choices and decisions that I must make, I need to be thankful to Jesus Christ for what He has done for me and to remember that I can be forgiven of sin and have the hope of heaven only because “He Bore the Cross for Me.”

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