Nothing Less

Edward Mote wrote a hymn in 1834 on the gracious experience of being Abba’s child. The song was written based on the wise and foolish builders, one who built on sand and the other that built on a rock.

Known as a hymn of grace, the song lyrics for The Solid Rock are:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When I was a little girl, all I wanted was time with my daddy. But my daddy worked a lot, working to provide for our family. He left early and came home late. We usually ate dinner around 9pm and attended church on Sundays.

Before bed, my earthly daddy often gave me the sweetest gift. He would come read a Bible story to me and “say prayers.” For those ten minutes he was mine, all mine.

And for those long minutes, he taught me the only thing that matters.

Jesus loves ME. Jesus loves the world. Jesus died for  ME. Jesus died for everybody. And if we surrender our lives to Jesus, we have everything.

Everything that matters. Everything that can’t be bought.

Jesus as Savior. Jesus as Lord.

My favorite Bible story that I always asked him to read was the one about the foolish builder and the wise builder. One builder built on the sand and the other built on the rock. When the storms came, the house built on the rock did not fall.

When the storms came, the rain came. The winds blew. The rock did not budge.

The security of the rock.


The one who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice are like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

We had this little kid story book of that parable and every night that’s the story I wanted to read, again. The story was memorized. If he tried to skip a page I would let him know the what for. When we drove down the road, I would recite that story to him.

My childhood were years of meditating on that story, the only one I memorized word for word.

At night I would dream of that storm coming and watch the house on the sand collapse while the one on the rock remained firm and strong. Through the day I would think of this story, determined to be a wise builder and anticipating my daddy reading that book to me, one more time.

Now, years later, God reminds me of my affection for the parable Jesus taught us of the two builders.

2014 has been a hard year for me. Too much to explain in a paragraph. Painful. So many nightmares. Too many what ifs. A pile of calamities. And yet, it’s been so good, in a hurt so good kind of way.

So many days, I’ve been delighted to wake up. Not to face another day, but to end a night of fitful sleep.

And the strange good is, too many mornings to count, I’ve woken with the following sentences as my first thought.

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

The first stanza of a song penned in 1834 is my first thought so many mornings.


God has used a man named Edward Mote to deeply impact me with something he wrote in the 1800’s. The man is dead and the words God gave him have helped me get out of bed too many mornings to count. The words he wrote have been the life preserver my Father uses to say, “good morning, you can do this day, I have rescued you and I will rescue you.”

The words have been prayer utterances to my God. It’s a prayer I must pray. A prayer of hope and a declaration of truth. A reminder and a war cry.

It has never been the entire song, just that one stanza, over and over.

Until tonight, God never showed me how this song connects to my favorite Bible story. I didn’t remember the name of the song. I didn’t remember the rest of the words.

Here’s the refrain:

“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

The song was inspired by “my” parable. It’s “my” song. It goes with “my” story.

Edward Mote. Didn’t even know his name until today and God’s still using his work to encourage me. God’s using a man I can’t meet, a dead man, that wrote a song hundreds of years ago. His legacy has outlived him. His dependency on Christ has left us wanting the “nothing else” but Jesus Christ. He is so hidden in Christ that it’s God’s story that’s the focus, not his. It’s not about Mote, it’s about the Jesus that seeped out of him.

People don’t remember Mote, they remember the Jesus in his words.

My curiosity found me reading about Mote. What was he like? He was raised by parents who ran a pub in London. He worked as a cabinet maker for many years. At age 55 he became a pastor and pastored for 26 years. Research shows a simple  man’s life and God chose him to write one of the first hymns that would impact generations.

The only stanza that runs through my mind is the one describing a clear picture of complete dependency on Christ.

Jesus wakes me from miserable nights for another tutorial of 30+ years of trusting in Jesus.  He stands me up. He’s my solid rock.

The rains come. The winds come. The storms come. Adversity is non-discriminatory. Everyone experiences gray days.

I learned when I was a little girl, build your house on Jesus and it won’t fall. The hardest winds and the heaviest rains have no power over the Rock.

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

Psalm 62:5-8

The Message Bible
God, the one and only – I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.

New International Version
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. “Selah”

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