MADE IN HIS IMAGE MINISTRIES, INC

"It's Not About Church...It's About Ministry"

A holistic ministry ministering to individuals and the entire family through preaching, teaching, and spiritual discipline as taught through the word of God.

Meditations

Join us as we journey through the 2022 Lenten Season. Between March 2nd and April 17th, we will Fast and Pray every Wednesday. The fasting period will begin at 12 am and end at 6 pm. During this period we will collectively pray at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm using the morning conference line (518-351-9376). You may only consume water or 100% juice during this period. Note: If you take medication and require food, please eat a light meal if possible. We will not be fasting Thursdays through Tuesdays, but we will still collectively pray at 6 am. We encourage you to give up something as a sacrifice to God during this journey. Mediations will be posted daily to our website and FaceBook page. When you feel like giving up, think of Jesus' sacrifice for us, and let that be your motivation through this period.

“How to Reach the Masses” by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

by Dr. Zelda Robinson on April 14, 2022
As we come to the close of this Lenten season and approach the day in which we recall the sacrifice Jesus made, I pray the hymns that were chosen gave you a new prospective of who Jesus is and a clearer understanding of the hymn. There are so many hymns written, some more popular than others. The church has gotten away from singing hymns, but it the hymns that remind us of the blessings, the love, the gifts, etc. of what and who God is. They tell stories of tragedies and celebrations, trials and triumphs.

There were so many hymns to choose from for this last meditation. I thought about, “Were You There?” “Down At the Cross,” and “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed.” These hymns, like so many others, continue to convey the message of the cross. They speak of the blood, God’s holiness, and the liberty we have through Christ Jesus.

The hymn I choose to close with, “How to Reach the Masses,” encourages us to do more than just remember what God did through His Son. This hymn does not just talk about the cross, it reminds me of the greater message of the cross, to ‘draw’ others to Christ. If we who have experienced the cross, who accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, would lift up Jesus every opportunity we have then others would come to Jesus too.


The hymn is a reminder, that God keeps His promises. Jesus told His disciples about His impending mission. He had come to be the sacrificial lamb, slain for the remission of sin. Just as Moses lifted the serpent up in the wilderness so the Israelites would be ‘saved,’ so also must the Son of Man must be lifted for the salvation of mankind.

Johnson Oatman, Jr. was born in New Jersey. He was a Methodist Episcopal preacher and elder who grew up in church listening to melodies sung by his father. He was a prolific hymn writer, who is credited with writing more than 7,000 hymns, many of which we sing today. There isn’t any information as to what inspired Rev. Oatman to write the words of this hymn. However, the song identifies several important concepts related to lifting the Savior up before a lost world.
How to reach the masses, men of every birth; For an answer, Jesus gave the key: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”
Refrain: Lift Him up, lift Him up; Still He speaks from eternity:
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth; Will draw all men unto Me.”

Oh! the world is hungry for the Living Bread; Lift the Savior up for them to see;
Trust Him, and do not doubt the words that He said, “I’ll draw all men unto Me.”

Don’t exalt the preacher, don’t exalt the pew; Preach the Gospel simple, full, and free;
Prove Him and you will find that promise is true, “I’ll draw all men unto Me.”

Lift Him up by living as a Christian ought; Let the world in you the Savior see;
Then men will gladly follow Him Who once taught,“I’ll draw all men unto Me.”

The hymn also reminds us to keep our priorities in order: Don’t exalt the preacher, don’t exalt the pew; Preach the Gospel simple, full, and free. Nothing is more important than the gospel message and nothing should hinder the gospel message from being shared or take precedence over the gospel. It is difficult to spread the gospel message to the masses if you aren't even sure what that message is. Before you start your outreach efforts, be sure to pray and search the scriptures to prepare your intended message. Make sure to “Let the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart” be pure and acceptable to God.

Lent is a time to reflect on what Jesus did for us through His death on the cross, but He is no longer on the cross. He has risen from the dead just as God said. So, we, as believers, must lift Him up, by ‘living’ as followers of Christ Jesus. The hymn says we are to prove or demonstrate Jesus in how we live. The words encourage the believer to make holiness a lifestyle so the world will see Jesus in the believer. This is so the ‘world’ is drawn not by our words, but by our actions. It is our responsibility, as believers, to lift Jesus up in everything we do, maintaining faith in the words that Jesus shared: “I’ll draw all [people] unto me.”

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:27-33

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