In the Hymn, “At the Cross,” there is a verse that describes the state we were in before God entered our life. We were nothing. Without God, we still are nothing. Look with me what Isaac Watts penned over 300 years ago, “Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?”
This is a vivid illustration of sinful mankind – lost, undeserving, spiritually worthless, wicked within and without. Drawing from Job 25 and Isaiah 41, the hymnist painted such a picture, using the very term Scripture uses – worm. We are all worm-like before the righteousness of God overwhelmed our soul.
The chorus says, “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day!”
When I take the plunge and go all in, repenting of my sins and receive new life, my soul becomes happy. My faith and hope is now built on Jesus Christ and his shed blood on the cross. I can shed the worm-like existence and walk in newness through Jesus Christ. He sought me out and paid the price I could never pay. I am no longer a worm but a child of God.
In more recent years, Chris Tomlin wrote a song with the same title. Let me bring your attention to the second verse, “There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless. Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness. Where all the love I've ever found. Comes like a flood, comes flowing down. At the cross, at the cross, I surrender my life. I’m in awe of You, I’m in awe of You. Where your love ran red and my sin washed white I owe all to You, I owe all to You, Jesus.”
Am I still undeserving? Yes I am. Can I be selfish at times? Absolutely. Am I useless or unimportant? Not at all. God declares us righteous when we are in Christ and Christ is in us.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3
Praise the Lord that He set us on a firm foundation and we can continue to build on that foundation by making His Word a light unto my path each day. I can’t say it enough – saturate in the Word of God daily in order to walk where He is leading. Don’t let the worm mentality crawl back in your life. You are a child of God!
Just a reminder to put the church picnic on your calendar for Sunday, August 12 at 5:30pm. It will be held on the church lawn. Come and enjoy getting back in a good rhythm again. Now let the song fill your heart and mind today as you seek the Lord in all you do.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene