It is when we live for Jesus, our lives become balanced and centered. It is in pleasing Jesus, we finally know who and Whose we are. We are no longer a reflection of what we see in the world around us, we learn to reflect the forgiving love Jesus has for us and live in humility.
The lyrical melody of this hymn, Living for Jesus, caught my heart first of all. The lyrics gave me purpose to continue to learn to live for Jesus.
With the audacity of youth, I envisioned this kind of living by what I do – not who I am in Christ Jesus. What I earn, and then I realized that I cannot earn the gift of grace. As I study more, I am astonished to learn God knew me before I was born and has a purpose for my life.
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:5-6,16.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28.
When I think I know all there is to know on earth, and have my life in control, I remember the questions God posed to Job. And I know humility – and realize why there is no other way, but Living for Jesus, the One and Only Son of God. Reading all of Job 38 produces humility and worship for our Lord God.
“Can you direct the movement of the stars—binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?” Job 38:31-33.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So, we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. I John 4:16-17.
The extraordinary beauty of God’s Word is the preciousness of the wisdom- nuggets found with every reading and praying only a verse or two! God is ever faithful. Love is jam-packed with humility, wisdom, faithfulness, and truth. This is Living for Jesus.
With age comes the thrill of ownership loses its appeal. Acquiring a worldly ‘new anything’ on this earth cannot compare with the new mercies from God each day. This includes reading His Word and uncovering yet another understanding of His great love with new mercies each day. His promises of eternal life are a reality of a forever song singing in my heart.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24.
Living for Jesus came tune first. The lyrics were added by Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960). Thomas Chisolm was born in Kentucky. He lacked formal education, yet he became a teacher at the age of 16, and at 21, he became the associate editor of his hometown weekly newspaper. In 1893, Chisholm became a Christian through the founder of Asbury College/Seminary. He was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1903. However, due to ill health it was a brief term. Harold Lowden (1883-1963) composed the tune in the early 1900’s for a Children’s Day Service. In 1917, he substituted the theme Living for Jesus – and sent the tune to Thomas Chisholm, asking him to compose the lyrics. Chisolm protested he had never done this before. He didn’t know the process of working tune first. However, Lowden shared he believed God had led him to select Chisolm to write the lyrics. It wasn’t long until the finished four stanzas and a refrain were returned to Lowden.
Chisholm’s purpose in writing songs, “I have greatly desired that each hymn might have some definite message to the hearts of people it is written.”
Romans 12:1-2 - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. .