A Newsletter of Opinion on Current Australian Christianity

Only One Life

I guess I am a cricket fanatic – of sorts – but last week my Church Newsletter included the famous old poem written by C. T. Studd around 100 years ago.  For those who don’t know, Charles Studd at the age of 22 in 1882 was a member of the first England team to be defeated (with W. G. Grace and others) by Australia in what became known as the original Ashes test series.  He had performed well as a right-handed batsman and medium-fast bowler when captain of Cambridge but was left scoreless at the crease in the second innings when the last wicket fell.  Australia won by eight runs.

What is more important about Studd is that after this series he gave the fame and fortune associated with international sport all away in order to serve the Lord as a missionary to China.  He became one of the “Cambridge Seven” who played a large part in spreading the Gospel in China – a Gospel that Chinese governments have never been able to wipe out, despite many suppression attempts over the years.

ONLY ONE LIFE

“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 Judgement 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 fervour 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. ”

He based his life on the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 12:20-36.  This reads in part:

“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (v. 25)

It is a great lesson for Christians today – not all are called to serve as missionaries to China, but all are called to be willing to give up all we love in this life in order to love and serve Him.  Are we doing just that?  It’s a sobering thought.

God bless you all.

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