By and by when I look on His face, Beautiful face, thorn-shadowed face; By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more More, so much more — More of my love than I e’er gave before. By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
By and by when He holds out His hands, Welcoming hands, nail riven hands; By and by when He holds out His hands, I’ll wish I had given Him more. More, so much more, More of my love than I e’er gave before, By and by when He holds out His hands, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
In the light of that heavenly place, Light from His face, beautiful face; In the light of that heavenly place, I’ll wish I had given Him more. More, so much more, Treasures unbounded for Him I adore, By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4
~ By Grace Reese Adkins / Photo by Sebastian Voortman at Pexels
E.H. Hamilton, a Presbyterian missionary to China, wrote the poem below to reflect upon and commemorate the martyrdom of his fellow missionary J.W. Vinson (1880-1931). In October 1931, as Vinson visited some believers 18 miles from his mission station, the area was overwhelmed by a group of 600 bandits. Vinson was taken hostage along with around 150 others. Offered freedom if he would write a letter to the commanding officer of government troops telling them to withdraw, Vinson declined “unless all the hostages are released”. The bandit chief refused and Vinson was shot and killed. His decapitated body was later found by Edward Currie, and he was buried in the small missionary cemetery in Haichow.
As his captors prepared to execute Vinson, waving a gun in his face they asked him, “Are you afraid?”. A girl who witnessed the event later testified that Vison replied, “No. If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.” This incident inspired E.H. Hamilton to write his poem.
Afraid? Of what? To feel the spirit’s glad release? To pass from pain to perfect peace, The strife and strain of life to cease? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? Afraid to see the Saviour’s face, To hear His welcome, and to trace, The glory gleam from wounds of grace, Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? A flash – a crash – a pierced heart; Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art! A wound of His a counterpart! Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To enter into Heaven’s rest, And yet to serve the Master blessed? From service good to service best? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To do by death what life could not – Baptise with blood a stony plot, Till souls shall blossom from that spot? Afraid? Of that?
Poem by E.H. Hamilton
By webtruth.org / Photo Great wall of China by Tom Fisk at pexels
Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat; Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears; Each with its days I must fulfill, living for self or in His will; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score; When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn; Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne; Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ’twas worth it all”; Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.
He was an ordained minister, but modern in his views. He preached his twisted doctrines to people in the pews. He would not hurt their feelings, whatever the cost would be, But for their smiles and friendship and compliments sought he. His church was filled with wicked souls that should be saved from sin, But never once he showed the way or tried a soul to win. He preached about the lovely birds that twitter in the trees, The babbling of the running brooks, the murmuring of the seas.
He quoted fancy poetry that tickled listening ears When sorrow came to some, he tried to laugh away their tears. His smooth and slippery sermons made the people slide to hell. The harm he did by preaching goes beyond what we can tell. He took our Holy Bible, and preached it full of holes, The Virgin Birth, said he, can’t be believed by honest souls, The miracles of Jesus and the resurrection tale For educated ones like us, today, cannot avail. We’re living in an age, said he, when wisdom rules and reigns, When man’s intelligence is great and superstition wanes.
He said, we’re all God’s children who live upon this earth, No message of salvation, no need of second birth. His coat was bought with money that he had wrongly gained, For through his twisted sermons his wealth he had obtained. He was just like the Roman soldiers that watched at Jesus’ grave, For money in abundance, to them, the people gave; It all was theirs by telling what was a sinful lie– A resurrected Saviour, they too, were to deny.
The day at last had come for the minister to die, When to his congregation, he had to say good-bye. His form lay cold and lifeless, his ministry was past, His tongue with all its poison was hushed and stilled at last. His funeral was grand; he was lauded to the skies– They preached him into heaven where there are no good-byes. Upon the lonely hill, underneath the shady trees, His form was laid to rest in the whispering of the breeze.
A tombstone was erected with words: “He is at rest, He’s gone to heaven’s glories to live among the blest.” His body now is lifeless, but Ah! His soul lives on, He failed to enter in where they thought that he had gone. The letters on the tombstone or that sermon some had heard, Could not decide his destiny, ’twas not the final word. He still had God to deal with, the one who knows the heart; While others entered heaven, he heard the word, “Depart.”
He pauses for a moment upon the brink of hell; He stares into a depth where he evermore will dwell. He hears the cries and groanings of souls he had misled, He recognizes faces among the screaming dead. He sees departed deacons which he had highly praised. Their fingers pointing at him as they their voices raised: “You stood behind the pulpit, and lived in awful sin, We took you for a saint, but a liar you have been.” Accusing cries! He hears them, “Ah! You have been to blame, You led us into darkness when you were seeking fame.”
“You preached your deadly doctrine, we thought you knew the way. We fed you and we clothed you, we even raised your pay. You’ve robbed us of a home where no tear-drops ever flow, Where days are always fair and the heavenly breezes blow. Where living streams are flowing, and saints and angels sing, Where everyone is happy, and hallelujahs ring. We’re in this place of torment, from which no soul returns; We hear the cry of lost ones, we feel the sizzling burns; Give us a drop of water, we’re tortured in this flame; You failed to preach salvation to us through Jesus’ name.”
The preacher turns in horror, he tries to leave the scene, He knows the awful future for every soul unclean, But there he meets the devil, whom he has served so well, He feels the demon powers as they drag him into hell. Throughout eternal ages, his groans, too, must be heard. He, too, must suffer torment–he failed to heed God’s Word. He feels God’s wrath upon him, he hears the hot flames roar, His doctrine now is different, he ridicules no more.
The Father’s Love Letter An intimate message from God to YOU.
My Child, You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26 You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6 I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1 Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1 I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11 For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33 My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18 And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40 For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41 And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13 I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18 As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4 And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4 I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23 For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26 He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31 And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23 And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39 Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7 I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15 My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried. Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied. I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate, And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply. “Lord, I need answers, I need to know why. Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard? By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
“My future, and all to which I can relate Hangs in the balance, and you tell me ‘wait’? I’m needing a ‘yes,’ or a go-ahead sign, Or even a ‘no,’ to which I can resign.
“And Lord, you have promised that if we believe, We need but to ask, and we shall receive. And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry: I’m weary of asking: I need a reply!”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.” So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut And grumbled to God; “So I’m waiting, for what?”
He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign. I could shake the heavens, darken the sun, Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.
“All you see I could give, and pleased you would be. You would have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me. You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint; You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair; You’d not learn to trust, just by knowing I’m there. You’d not know the joy of resting in Me, When darkness and silence was all you could see.
“You would never experience that fullness of love As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove. You would know that I give, and I save, for a start, But you’d not know the depth and the beat of my heart.
“The glow of My comfort late in the night’ The faith that I give when you walk without sight; The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
“And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee, What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight could come true, But the loss! if you lost what I’m doing in you.
“So be silent, my child, and in time you will see That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me. And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late, My most precious answer of all…is still…wait.”
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord; Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word. Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own; Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust; Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost. Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast; Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.
Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer; Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care. Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says; Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be; Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me. Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One; Once for self I laboured, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine; Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine. Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail; And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.