O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED
John E. Bode, 1816–1874
God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them … show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. (Hebrews 6:10, 11)
I asked the New Year for some motto sweet, Some rule of life by which to guide my feet. I asked and paused; it answered soft and low, “God’s will to know.” —Unknown
The beginning of the new year is usually a time for reflecting on and evaluating the past as well as for setting serious goals for the future. Because it is so easy to get caught up in a blur of daily sameness, special days and events are important in life. We need these highlights for our growth and development.
“O Jesus, I Have Promised”
was written by an English clergyman on such a special day. It was penned especially for a confirmation service in which John Bode’s own daughter and two sons were making their life’s vows of commitment to God and His service. He told his three children:
“I have written a hymn containing all the important truths I want you to remember when you are fully confirmed.”
Without doubt, the three children of John Bode never forgot that confirmation service and their father’s concern for them as they sang these words throughout their lives:
O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend: I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side, nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.
O let me feel Thee near me—the world is ever near; I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear: My foes are ever near me, around me and within; but Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.
O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be; and, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.
Do you need to stop today and do some reflecting and evaluating?
Ecclesiastes 5:5; John 12:26; Romans 12:11; Colossians 3:24; Revelation 14:13
Think seriously about ways in which your spiritual life can be deepened and developed during this coming year. Why not begin even now?