“A BEAUTIFUL LIFE”

Wayne S. Walker

“Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the
household of faith” (Gal. 6.10)

     INTRO.:  A song which encourages us to do good unto others is “A
Beautiful Life” (#395 in “Hymns for Worship Revised” and #103 in “Sacred
Selections for the Church”).  The text was written and the tune (Life’s
Evening Sun) was composed both by William M. Golden (1878-1934).  The
song is dated 1918, but not much can be found about its background.
Perhaps Golden’s best known song is “Where the Soul Never Dies,”
beginning, “To Canaan’s land I’m on my way.”

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church for use inchurches of Christ during the twentieth century, “A Beautiful Life”
appeared in several regional books, such as Marion Davis’s 1940 “Complete
Christian Hymnal,” The Firm Foundation’s 1944 “New Wonderful Songs,” and
Will Slater’s 1952 “Hymns of Praise and Devotion.”  Its popularity today
is probably a result of its appearance in “Sacred Selections.”  It was
also used in Robert Welch’s 1963 “Abiding Hymns” and today is found in
“Songs of the Church,” “Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed.,” and “Songs of
Faith and Praise,” all edited by Alton Howard; “Church Gospel Songs and
Hymns” edited by V. E. Howard; and “Praise for the Lord” edited by John
P. Wiegand.

     The song suggests several things that we can do to be a good
influence on others.

I. According to stanza 1, we must do our work for the Lord every day
“Each day I’ll do a golden deed By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span, And so I’ll do the best I can.”
  A. Christianity is a religion that must be practiced daily and affect
our daily lives: Lk. 9.23
  B. Therefore, daily we should be concerned about those who are in need:
Jas. 1.27
  C. The reason that this is so important is that our lives are but a span
so we must do good while we have the time: Jas. 4.13-17

II. According to stanza 2, we must let our lights shine
“To be a child of God each day, My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll And strive to help some troubled
soul.”
  A. God wants us to be His spiritual children: 1 Jn. 3.1
  B. However, as His children, He wants us to let our lights so shine that
men may see our good works and glorify Him: Matt. 5.14-16
  C. One way to do this is to sing His praise that we might teach and
admonish others: Col. 3.16

III. According to stanza 3, we must be kind to others
“The only life that will endure Is one that’s kind and good and pure.
And so for God I’ll take my stand; Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.”
  A. Our lives are more than just our physical existence, and to have an
enduring quality they must be influenced by Christ: Matt. 6.25, Gal. 2.20
  B. A life that is truly influenced by Christ will be characterized by
kindness: Eph. 4.32, Col. 3.12
  C. Such a life will also not be ashamed to take a stand for God so that
it can be a help to others: Rom. 1.16, 2 Tim. 1.8

IV. According to stanza 4, we must help those who are in need
“I’ll help someone in time of need And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak, And words of kindness to them
speak.”
  A. We should be willing to help those who are in need because we love
our neighbor as ourselves: Lev. 19.18
  B. Again, we need to show this love while we have the time because we
are journeying on with rapid speed: Ps. 90.9-10
  C. Showing our love means helping the sick and poor and weak: Matt.
25.31-46

V. According to stanza 5, we must to serve God by assisting others in any
way that we can
“While going down life’s weary road, I’ll try to lift some traveler’s
load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day, Make flowers bloom along the way.”
  A. We can lift the traveler’s load by showing our faith in giving him
what he needs: Jas. 2.14-18
  B. We can help turn the night to day by showing our love in assisting
others in need: 1 Jn. 3.17-18
  C. We can make flowers bloom along the way by being an influence for
righteousness: 1 Pet. 2.11-12

CONCL.:  The chorus re-emphasizes the need to be doing these things
because of the brevity of life:
“Life’s evening sun is sinking low; A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done, Where there will be no setting sun.”
God has eternal life planned for His people in heaven.  However, to be
made fit for such a wonderful dwelling place, we must strive while we
journey here on this earth to have “A Beautiful Life.”

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