Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24

Every believer has a cross of some kind that Christ expects him to carry cheerfully each day as a demonstration of his discipleship. Life is a matter of choices. If we have made a decision to follow Christ, there must be purposeful self-denial in our lives, or we have not really learned the meaning of true discipleship. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Bearing the cross involves a willingness to look beyond our own affairs and to share the load of others in order that they, too, may have a personal relationship with the Saviour.

Henry Lyte spent the last 23 years of his life ministering to humble fishermen in Devonshire, England. In spite of his cross of frail health, Lyte worked tirelessly to build up a Sunday School of more than 800 children, and he contributed to a great spiritual and moral change in the hardened community around him. Also during these years, he had a number of books of poetry published as well as 80 hymn texts.

In everything he attempted amidst numerous difficulties, Henry Lyte demonstrated that he truly denied himself, took up his cross, and faithfully followed and served his Lord.

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All Iíve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and Heaven are still mine own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure!
Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure;
With Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, ďAbba, FatherĒ;
I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather,
All must work for good to me.

Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, 'tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, 'twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Take, my soul, thy full salvation;
Rise oíer sin, and fear, and care;
Joy to find in every station
Something still to do or bear:
Think what Spirit dwells within thee;
What a Fatherís smile is thine;
What a Savior died to win thee,
Child of Heaven, shouldst thou repine?

Haste then on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heavenís eternal dayís before thee,
Godís own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

*For Today*: II Kings 18:1-7; Matthew 10:38; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23 & 62; I Peter 2:21

Purpose in your heart to deny yourself, cheerfully enduring whatever your cross may be, and then serve God by serving someone else. Begin by reflecting seriously on the words of this hymn.

Music Courtesy of The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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