I see thy cross; there teach my heart to cling. O let me seek thee, and O let me find. Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh; Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear. To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh, Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
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Teach me to love thee as thine angels love, One holy passion filling all my frame; The kindling of the heaven-descended Dove, My heart an altar, and thy love the flame. One of the common differences between hymns and contemporary praise songs is the depth of their content. It is difficult to spend much time chewing on a praise song, but one can meditate on a hymn, pulling out more and more good stuff. This particular hymn is a prime example. It was intended to be his reminder to himself of his goal and focus.
If you take a few minutes to examine the hymn, you will find it is rich in good theology. We all live here. And we all suffer from this strange malady that limits our vision to the world in which we live and leads us to falsely believe that this is all there is. What we need is to be removed from this world.
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What we need is to be, as the hymn writer put it, weaned from earth. It is high on his list of priorities in the work of the Holy Spirit. We need God to make us love Him. And He is willing and able to do so. We need to contrast our weakness with His might. In the second verse, the hymnist seems to ask not for the things we would dearly love.
Why would that be? Perhaps he recognized the beauty of the Word of God and the boldness with which we can enter the Throne of God.
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
As King, He has the absolute right to issue the command. As God, He has absolute ownership. What is it that prevents us from surrendering to Him what belongs to Him? It is our flesh. Look at the topical index in a typical book of praise songs, and you will find very little if anything related to the Cross. Many in the church have the same idea. The significance of the Cross does not end at salvation. The Cross is, indeed, the starting point of Christianity. It is a starting place that must not be left behind. Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper to remind us of His sacrifice. Paul said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and Him crucified" 1 Cor.
There we see the substitutionary death that Christ endured on our behalf.
We see the cost of sin. We see the distance God would go to save His children. This death, this starting point, is the key message throughout Scripture, starting with "the wages of sin is death" Rom. It is the beginning and ending point.
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It teaches us to repent and to hate sin. It teaches us to die to self. The mortification of the flesh, killing the old man, is the life long process of every Christian. The Cross produces love in us as we respond to the display of love from God that it represents.
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It produces joy in us as we realize the salvation it represents. It produces peace in us as we see that we are no longer at war with God, but instead united to Him. All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
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I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling: O let me seek Thee, and O let me find! Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love, One holy passion filling all my frame; The kindling of the heaven descended Dove, My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame. Deep Cell by DEN. Epic rock with varied tempos; a challenging listen that pulls you into its world. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app. Purchasable with gift card. A PDF songbook for the entire album with lyrics, chord charts, leadsheets, article by David Taylor and some cool art!
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart, Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art, And make me love Thee as I ought to love. Tags cardiphonia city church city hymns devotional karl digerness san francisco church music hymns modern worship praise and worship worship United States.
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