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Wholehearted Service

I spent Monday and Tuesday this week at my church for what is called “Pastors’ Fellowship.”  It is an assembly of pastors and spouses for the Church of God.  Our church home is the host for this assembly every year.  The church gymnasium becomes a book store, colleges bring recruiters and set up informational displays, and amazing musicians and choirs from all over the country come and sing.  This year, in between this wonderful worship, eight different pastors brought sermons with the theme “Holiness”.  There was “Holiness in Us,” “Holiness in Worship,” Holiness in Stewardship,” “Holiness in Companionship,” “Holiness in Fellowship,” “Holiness in Discipleship,” “Holiness in Leadership,” and “Holiness in Relationship.”

Hundreds of pastors, music leaders, choir members, church goers filled the rooms of our church.  They came to meet each other, find old friends, meet new ones, get encouragement, revivement, counsel.  And the speakers did not disappoint.  They were simply astounding.  I cannot even describe it.  I was disappointed when I had to leave, sad that the two days were over.  I would love to have it go on day after day, even though I understand that it simply cannot.  We’re not called to stay amongst ourselves, preaching and practicing holiness — we’re called to be out in the world, living it.

One of the hymns that we sang the first day has stayed with me.  The author of the hymn was Charles W. Naylor, a Church of God preacher who, during an evangalistic tour of the United States in 1909, dislocated a kidney while moving the timbers in a tent.  A couple months later, he was in a bus accident that rendered him an invalid until he died in 1950.

Among tracts, pamphlets, and over 150 gospel hymns, Naylor wrote eight books, one of which was titled The Secret of a Singing Heart.  In that book he wrote:

The secret of the singing heart consists in learning to be what we ought to be and in holding the attitude we ought to hold toward life.  It conists in learning to ajdjust ourselves to our circumstances and to be happy in those circumstances…It consists in walking with God, believing in Him, and acting out that belief day by day.  Doing this we shall ever be blessed.

I would  like for you to read these words to this hymn as if they were a poem.  They are so powerful, so poignant, and they are words I hope to live up to.

Wholehearted Service

I’ve turned from the world and its follies,
Forever forsaken all sin;
I’ve given myself unto Jesus
To ever and only serve Him.

I’ll put my whole heart in His service,
And do all he asketh of me;
I mean to live holy and blameless—
A Christian indeed will I be.

I will not be languid or careless,
Or formal, or cold, or untrue;
But, striving with earnest endeavor,
The will of my Lord I will do.

I’ll put my whole heart in His service,
And do all he asketh of me;
I mean to live holy and blameless—
A Christian indeed will I be.

Since Jesus gave all to redeem me,
Since only through mercy I live,
It now is my joy and my purpose
A wholehearted service to give.

I’ll put my whole heart in His service,
And do all he asketh of me;
I mean to live holy and blameless—
A Christian indeed will I be.

Oh, help me, dear Lord, to be ready
The task that Thou givest to do,
Not shrinking from labor or duty,
Devoted and faithful and true.

I’ll put my whole heart in His service,
And do all he asketh of me;
I mean to live holy and blameless—
A Christian indeed will I be.

Hallee


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