I woke up this morning with this song in my heart: Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do. Yielding allegiance glad hearted and free, this is the pathway of blessing for me. Oh Jesus Lord and Savior, I give my heart to thee, for thou in thine atonement, did give yourself for me, I own no other master, my heart will be thy throne, my life I give henceforth to live, O Christ, for thee alone.
I had to go look up when that OLD hymn was written and found this. “Living for Jesus” was written in 1917 by Thomas Chisholm at the request of the composer, Harold Lowden. He wrote Mr. Chisholm, suggesting the title “Living for Jesus” for a new song and asked Chishom to write the lyrics to go with the music. Chisholm felt very inadequate for the task, but within two weeks the words were completed. “I have greatly desired,” he said, “that each hymn or poem might send some definite message to the hearts for whom it was written.” Though humble in spirit and frail in health, Chisholm found that writing encouraging words such as these for God’s people to sing was his “pathway of blessing.” – Osbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories
I love the new music, the upbeat heart of it, the words that pour out the spirit of God so we can be spiritually filled. The new music is my favorite, but every now and then God says, “Listen up. You need to hear this. Let me remind you of some things you seem to have forgotten.”
This morning was one of those days. A friend of mine once told me I remind her of Peter. Oh no, not him. Peter the impetuous. Peter the one in John 13: 7-9 who copped and attitude when Jesus told him to sit down for his feet to be washed. Remember that objection? “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” I’m not sure that Peter grasped the full meaning of what Jesus was doing at that moment, but whatever it was, Peter, in his own strength, was trying to fit it and be a pleaser to his ultimate leader. Peter seemed like the official yes man to me. Look at John 21:15-17. Remember him? Jesus asked point blank, “Do you love me?” To which Peter blurted out “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” But just days later when asked by Roman soldiers if he knew Jesus, Peter said ‘No.” I don’t want to be like that Peter.
But Peter grew up in maturity and in his faith. After his shameful encounter with the soldiers, he had a life changing encounter with God. Peter recognized Jesus as the true Messiah in Luke 9:20 ““But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Then all through the New Testament, Peter speaks out for God’s Messiah, in Acts, in Galatians, in 1 & 2 Peter.
Acts 10:33-35 “Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
In a way, I guess it’s not so bad to be like Peter. He was a fast follower, but later became a strong follower. Like Peter, we all have potential. Peter had his wake-up call. He cowardly rejected the Master and was instantly convicted. I think at that point he realized his life was about to go down the wrong path, repented and brought it back on course. Repent means making a 180 degree turn – it means change direction – go the other way – stop doing what you’re doing.
Here’s a wake-up call: Today is all we’ve got. Tomorrow is the result of how we live it.
Ready? Let’s get out there!