Monday, June 6, 2016

Having Him, We Have All

When people learn that Glen and I hike portions of the Appalachian Trail, the same questions usually come up.  One of the most common is, "Where do you sleep?"

People seem quite surprised to learn that we sleep on the trail in sleeping bags inside a tent.  Perhaps they thought there was a Holiday Inn Express on the trail, but I haven't seen one of those yet!

Everything we need along the trail we carry in our backpacks on our backs.  This last hike our packs weighed in at about 28 pounds and 25 pounds respectively.  We carry all our food and the means for preparing it.  We carry clothes for the rain (because we have learned to be wet on the trail for three days is miserable,) clothes to sleep in, and clothes for cold weather (weather is notoriously unreliable on the mountains in the Spring.)  We carry maps, trail guides and a compass.  We carry things we might need in emergencies:  medications, bandaids, a secondary fire source and emergency blankets. We carry a means for collecting water, a filter to purify it and bags in which to carry the purified water.  We carry all our needs and even a few "wants."  (Our camping frying pan in which I make quesadillas is a "want" that we deem worth the weight.)

There is nothing we have that is not on our backs carried with us each step of the way.

The same is true of us as Christians.  The Apostle Peter said,

"According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" (2 Peter 1:3.)

When we came to know the Lord Jesus as our Savior, His Spirit came to dwell in our spirit and with Him was everything we could ever possibly need to live the Christian life.

He is our Life and our Light.  He is our Shield and Fortress. He is our Solid Ground, our Firm Foundation, our Rock.  He is our Joy unspeakable and full of glory.  He is Love.  He is our Bread of Life and our Living Water.  He is our Rest and our Safety.  He is full of compassion and of great mercy.  He is our All and in All.

Having Him, we have all.  All in Christ and Christ alone.

In Christ Alone
By Keith Getty and STuart Townsend

In Christ alone, my hope is found,
He is my strength, my light, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought or storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled and stiving cease?
My Comforter, my all in all,
Here is the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh

Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,

This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

(Thank you so much to my dear friend Peggy who introduced me to this glorious hymn!)

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