Hymns That Shaped Our Lives: Dennis Cook

“Lord, Here Am I”

Words by Fanny Jane Crosby and music by John Ness Beck

Verse 1: Master Thou callest I gladly obey

Only direct me and I’ll find Thy way

Teach me the mission appointed for me

What is my labor and where it shall be

 

Verse 2: Willing my Savior to take up the cross

Willing to suffer reproaches and loss

Willing to follow if Thou wilt but lead

Only support me with grace in my need

 

Verse 3: Living or dying I still would be Thine

Yet I am mortal while Thou art divine

Pardon whenever I turn from the right

Pity and bring me again to the light

 

Chorus : Master Thou callest and this I reply

Ready and willing Lord here am I

 

CCLI Song No. 38033 // © 1984 Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

 

“Francis Jane Crosby wrote more than 9,000 hymns, some of which are among the most popular in every Christian denomination. She wrote so many that she was forced to use pen names lest the hymnals be filled with her name above all others. And, for most people, the most remarkable thing about her was that she had done so in spite of her blindness.” – Christianity Today (8/8/2008)

Growing up in a church that was rich in Biblical musical heritage and one that had a scriptural bond in every aspect of ministry, I was raised on great hymns of the faith.  Each Sunday we filled the sanctuary with classics such as “Because He Lives”,
“Amazing Grace”, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”, and countless other hymns.

It was a privilege to grow in my faith to these songs filled with hope, encouragement, and scriptural truths.

And, thanks to the exposure of these truths at such an early age, I began to feel the call to the ministry.  As I grew (physically and spiritually) worship songs took on a new life for me.  The songs we sang in worship were not just said and quickly forgotten…they
were adopted.  Worship songs became my testimony for that week.  No matter what lyric, no matter what style, the songs slowly integrated into my life.

In high school, my mind began to wrap itself around the hymn, “Lord, Here Am I” by Fanny Crosby and John Ness Beck.  Struggling with deciphering the call, my heart wanted to fully embrace the text, but my mind was fighting the
commitment.

“Willing my Savior, to take up the cross;

Willing to suffer reproaches and loss.

Willing to follow, it Thou will but lead;

Only support me with grace in my need.”

There are grand words and heavenly ideas.  Humbleness breaths through the lyrics of this Crosby poem: I am mortal…pardon…I obey…direct me…teach me…support me…pity…

Being called to the ministry, these words are crucial to who we are.  Moreover, there may be no greater words for us, as Christians: to take up the cross.

Willing…may we be willing…

Willing to take up the cross…

may we be willing to take up the cross in the fullest sense of the words…

Willing to follow…may we be willing to follow Him…and proclaim:

 “Master, Thou callest and this I reply, ‘Ready and willing, Lord, here am I.’”

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