WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE
Words and Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1838–1876
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)
One of the basic precepts of the Sunday school movement has always been that God’s Word must be carefully and systematically studied by believers of all ages.
Study it carefully, think of it prayerfully,
Till in your heart its precepts dwell;
Slight not its history, ponder its mystery,
None can e’er prize it too fondly or well.
One of the earnest concerns of many present leaders is the biblical ignorance of so many church people. Often precious Sunday school time is spent in teaching everything but the Bible itself. Yet the churches that do teach the Scriptures diligently and apply their teachings to modern living are the churches that are experiencing the greatest growth. We never outgrow our need for the Bible; it becomes more helpful to us with the years.
We must also realize that God’s truth revealed to us is never contrary or apart from the Bible. Often there have been those who have claimed to have extra revelations through visions which supersede the Scriptures. God’s Word clearly warns against this false assertion (Jeremiah 23:16).
Philip P. Bliss was one of the most important names in the development of early gospel music. Before his tragic death at age 38, he wrote many favorites still enjoyed by congregations. “Wonderful Words of Life” was written by Bliss in 1874, for the first issue of a Sunday school paper, Words of Life. These words still speak to both young and old of the importance of God’s Word in our daily lives:
Sing them over again to me—wonderful words of life; let me more of their beauty see—wonderful words of life. Words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty:
Christ, the blessed one, gives to all wonderful words of life; sinner, list to the loving call—wonderful words of life. All so freely given, wooing us to heaven:
Sweetly echo the gospel call—wonderful words of life; offer pardon and peace to all—wonderful words of life. Jesus, only Savior, sanctify forever:
Refrain: Beautiful words, wonderful words of life.
For Today: Psalm 119:103, 172; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4
Reflect on whether God’s Word has the place of importance in your life that it should have. Consider ways that this could be improved. Sing this musical reminder—