“LIVING FOR JESUS”

Wayne S. Walker

“Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good
work…” (Col. 1.10)

     INTRO.:  A song which exhorts us to walk or live worthy of the Lord
is “Living For Jesus” (#552 in “Hymns for Worship Revised”).  The text
was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960).  The tune (Living)
was composed by Carl Harold Lowden (1883-1963).  Born in  New Jersey, he
learned the violin as a child and played in a local orchestra, becoming a
song writer, music editor, song director, and music teacher, as well as a
successful businessman.  Around 1915, he produced this melody and first
published it as a “light and summery type of gospel song” with his own
words under the title “Sunshine Song” for a special children’s service.
Then early in 1917, he came across a copy of it in his files while he was
preparing a collection of hymns for publication.  

     Feeling that it needed a better text, he sent it to Chisholm, then
living at Winona Lake, IN, with the suggested title, “Living for Jesus,”
and asking him to provide words. Chisholm returned it with the note that
he had never made a poem to order and did not think that he could do so
now.  However, Lowden insisted that he try.  Impressed with Lowden’s
zeal, Chisholm shortly sent it back wtih four stanzas and a refrain.  The
hymn was published by the composer in the spring of 1917 on single sheets
and first used at a number of summer youth conferences in that form.
Later that same year, it was included in “Uplifting Songs,” compiled by
Lowden and Rufus W. Miller, and published by Heidleberg Press.  When the
copyright was renewed in 1945, it was assigned to The Rodeheaver Co.

     The hymn suggests several ideas that are involved in seeking to live
for Jesus.

I. Stanza 1 points out that living for Jesus means being true to Him
 A. In order to do this, we must strive to please Him in all that we do:
1 Thess. 4.1
 B. We must also yield our allegiance to Him; just as we pledge
allegiance to the flag of our country, we should confess our allegiance
to Christ: Matt. 10.32-33
 C. And those who do these things will have His blessings in their lives:
Eph. 1.3

II. Stanza 2 points out that living for Jesus means remembering Him who
died for us
 A. We need to remember that Jesus bore on Calvary our sin and disgrace:
Rom. 5.8
 B. And thus remembering, we will be constrained by our love to answer
His call to salvation in Him which comes through the gospel: 2 Thess.
2.13-14
 C. Furthermore, answering His call demands that we give Him our all: Mk.
12.30

III. Stanza 3 points out that living for Jesus means serving Him wherever
we ar
 A. Of course, whatever service we perform must be in His name or by His
authority: Col. 3.17
 B. This service means being willing to suffer affliction and loss: 2
Cor. 4.10-13
 C. But it will help us to realize that whatever affliction and loss that
we are called on to suffer is simply part of the cross that Jesus calls
us to bear: Matt. 16.24

IV. Stanza 4 points out that living for Jesus means obeying Him for all
our lives
 A. If we truly do obey Him, we shall have His approval as symbolized by
a smile: Rev. 3.8-10
 B. One way in which we need to obey Him is to be seeking the lost ones
He died to redeem–Jesus Himself came to seek and save the lost: Lk.
19.10, 1 Tim. 1.15
 C. And as His followers, we must recognize our responsibility to bring
the weary to find rest in Him by teaching others also: 2 Tim. 2.2

CONCL.:  The chorus goes on to make a pledge to the Lord Himself that we
will live for Him.  And we need to realize that if we want to live with
the Lord eternally, then as long as our lives continue on earth, our goal
each day should be “Living For Jesus.”

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