Gather | Devotion #1: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
“To gather” means to come together, or can refer to an assembly. We gather together for many reasons: a family get together, to work, serve, study God’s Word, pray, and worship God.
God wants and delights in our praise and worship. Did you ever wonder why He gave us two voices, one to speak and one to sing? Now some will say that God gave some people better singing voices than others, and this might be true to our ears. But I think God listens to our hearts. He listens with His heart. If you cannot make yourself sing in public, try speaking the words of praise to yourself. He will hear you.
All through the Bible, there is Scripture about singing to God. Did you know that the Hebrew title for the Book of Psalms is Book of Praise? Psalm 96:1 says, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” Psalm 147:1 adds, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” Psalm 118:14 continues, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” These are just a small example of the Bible telling us to sing to our God. The Bible is full of Scripture telling us to do just that. I think it is safe to say that God wants us to sing to Him.
I love the worship in song part of our gatherings. It gets us prepared for the message. I love all kinds of worship music. I enjoy the old hymns and the contemporary music we praise God with today.
Do you have any favorite hymns from long ago? I do. I think everyone knows and loves “Amazing Grace.” There are also some other hymns I remember and like: “I Surrender All” (words by Judson Van de Venter, 1896), “Anywhere with Jesus” (1887), and “Abide with Me” (1847). One old hymn I am very fond of is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (1922). The words of the song say it all for me.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
The words of this hymn tell us Jesus loves us, do not worry, you are not alone, He will light your way, and He keeps His word. Believe in Him and get out there and tell people about salvation.
There have been beautiful songs in every age. No matter if you worship like you are at home in the shower or you whisper the words, God hears you.