John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
Eugene Bartlett is the author and composer of both words and music to this great hymn. He was born December 24, 1884 in Waynesville, Missouri and as a young man; he secured work with the Central Music Company headquartered in Hartford, Arkansas. When that company relocated to Little Rock, and there he partnered with J. A. McClung and David Moore in the founding of the Hartford Music Company in 1918. Over the next few years, Bartlett and the Hartford Company became extremely influential in the growing world of Southern Gospel, founding the Hartford Musical Institute, publishing the monthly journal, The Herald of Song, and sponsoring several traveling quartets. Bartlett was himself an important composer of gospel songs. Among his best-known contributions were “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” “Just a Little While to Stay Here” and my favorite hymn of all “Victory in Jesus.” I trust you will enjoy and be blessed by this great hymn and may I add, it’s one of my all time favorites, because without Jesus Christ we would not have the victory over death:
I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory.
O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.
I heard about His healing, of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t to me the victory.
I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,
And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing, and the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.
My friend, when Jesus lived on this earth, He invited people to come to Him, and He still does today (John 6:35). But what does He and His Father in heaven have that we most desperately need? I submit to you that we need first of all:
(1) Salvation. Jesus is the only way to have forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven. “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15).
(2) Purpose. We are to give all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to following Jesus. “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).
(3) Comfort. In trial or sorrow, the “God of all comfort … comforts us in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
(4) Wisdom. We need wisdom beyond our own for making decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, … and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
(5) Strength. When we’re weary, “the LORD will give strength to His people” (Psalm 29:11).
(6) Abundant Life. The fullest life is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus Christ always accepts people as they are. You don’t have to clean up your life. In John 6, the people had come from miles around to hear Jesus. When the crowd became hungry, He miraculously fed them with a boy’s unselfish gift of five loaves and two fish. Then the Lord offered Himself as “the bread of life,” promising that He would not turn away anyone who came to Him. My friend, it’s still true today. No one who come to Jesus will be turned away. Jesus said, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). He’ll accept you just as you are.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come! – Elliott
Jesus gave Himself to give us Salvation!