Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

ONLY ONE LIFE


          It is said that C. T. Studd (1860-1931), a missionary to China, wrote  "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last."  And these words are what inspired Avis B. Christiansen (1895-1985), an American hymn writer, to compose the words of this week's hymn.  Both Studd and Christiansen knew that there are so many things in which we can get ourselves involved during the time allotted to us on this earth. There are so many goals that we might set, and some are worthy while others are not. But we need to maintain an eternal perspective when we establish our schedules, our values and  our priorities. We need to choose what will truly "last"  and make a difference in God's kingdom. We need to pray for discernment to make wise choices between what is good and what is excellent.  None of us know how many days we have left here and as we grow older, some how the days seem to fly by faster each day.  Somebody has calculated a life of 70 years will contain about 25,568 days, or 613,632 hours, or 36,817,920 minutes.  That may seem like a long time, but the days quickly pass by ... one by one. The Bible says, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews. 9:27).  "[Man's] days are determined, the number of his months is with You [God]; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass" (Job 14:5). "The dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes. 12:7). Then, each of us must give an account to the Lord, "For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes. 12:14).  Christiansen produced hundreds of hymn poems over a period of some six decades, making her one of the more significant gospel song writers of the twentieth century. She said: "All of my songs have come from my own heart experiences with the Lord through more than sixty years of writing for his glory."  Encouraged by her grandmother, Avis began writing poetry at ten years of age. In 1916 she started writing the texts for hymns, something she did in collaboration with many gospel composers, for decades afterward. This gospel song was published in 1937.   The song of consecration ponders the significance of the days and hours God has allotted each of us, and the importance of being good stewards of them.  May we be challenged this week to meditate on these words and to examine our schedules and priorities.  Are we using our minutes and days to honor and worship the Lord.  Are our lives and activities consecrated to Him?  Can we say with the Apostle Paul, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." ( Philippians 1:21)

(1)     Only one life to offer
Jesus, my Lord and King;
Only one tongue to praise Thee
And of Thy mercy sing (forever);
Only one heart's devotion
Saviour, O may it be
Consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory,
Yielded fully to Thee.

(2)    Only this hour is mine, Lord
May it be used for Thee;
May ev'ry passing moment
Count for eternity (my Saviour);
Souls all about are dying,
Dying in sin and shame;
Help me bring them the message of Calv'ry's redemption
In Thy glorious name.

(3)     Only one life to offer
Take it, dear Lord, I pray;
Nothing from Thee withholding,
Thy will I now obey (my Jesus);
Thou who hast freely given
Thine all in all for me,
Claim this life for Thine own, to be used, my Saviour,
Ev'ry moment for Thee.

Listen to it here.    LISTEN

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