“Only One Life Twill Soon Be Past”

December 9, 2015

CT Studd quote
“Only One Life Twill Soon Be Past”

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“Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud” (Matthew 1:14). “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.
C.T Studd

Google has a page called “trending searches”* which regularly updates the most current words or phrases that are searched on the internet. This is probably among the top indicators of what is currently “cool” and popular in the world. At the time I prepare this message the top spot belongs to “Grammy Nominations 2016” but that may very well change by the time you read this message. Most of the search words are transient, entertainer types who were not even known several years ago and most will likely be forgotten in a very short time.

The vast, vast majority of people are known only by a miniscule, tiny percentage of people living and will be completely forgotten several generations after they die. Consider how relatively few people who lived on this earth 200 years ago in 1815 that would be known by others today. The Donegal Springs Presbyterian Church near our home has an old graveyard that dates back to the colonial period. A few have descendants who may visit the grave sites and know who they are but most are long forgotten.

This could be despairing, but for those of us who serve Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to make an eternal impact. For a few that impact is widespread and some names from the past who made an impact for God are remembered even on this side such as Augustine, John Wesley, Spurgeon, and D.L. Moody. But most believers faithfully live their lives for Christ in essential obscurity and are soon forgotten. Yet their example and instruction continues on for generations through their descendants.

Perhaps you have memorized the daily verse (just kidding). “Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud” (Matthew 1:14). It’s in the midst of the genealogy of Christ. These four names; Azor, Zadok, Akim and Eliud are not known but for their reference in the genealogy.

Actually they continued the genealogical line of Christ following the close of the recorded Old Testament period and lived during a time during which we have no Biblical history recorded following the prophet Malachi (a time known as the intertestamental period). We don’t know anything at all about the kind of impact these men made while they lived, but they fulfilled their part in the seed line of the Christ. In heaven I believe we will hear about a lot of “silent” impact by those from every generation.

Today, many of us are laboring for Jesus Christ in some way and we all should be! We may teach a Bible class or serve in scores of other generally unnoticed ways. It’s highly unlikely that you are on the list of the Google trending searches web page. (Let us know if you are.) But if you’ve accepted Christ your name is on an infinitely more important list called the “Book of Life.” (You can’t get to that list on the internet.)

Stay faithful to our Lord and your calling today, for deeds done for Christ will have lasting value not only to Christ but to those you influence in your lifetime. Nothing goes unnoticed to Him!

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays 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.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, empty me of the selfish aims that prevent me from cleaving to Your holy will for my life. I have only one life and it will soon pass, but that which I’ve done for Christ will last. Though I’ve had my share of burdens, setbacks, and fears, it’s how I deal with these matters that leaves me living for self or in Your will. Help me to remember that I’ve been granted only one life. I don’t get to do it again, so what I do now will either shape me into Your holy image or draw me further away from Your planned purpose for my life. Upon awakening impress on my heart, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Amen.


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Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Little Is Much When God Is in It”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

“Ordinary People”  Video  Danniebelle Hall

* Google Trending searches

CT Studd was a missionary who once said, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”

He had four daughters and expressed his faith in naming his oldest born in 1889 Salvation Grace Faith Studd.

Here’s the entire poem that has the famous phrase:

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 clays 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.

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

C.T. Studd

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