Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

August 26

Thomas O. Chisholm, 1866–1960
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1, 2)
For the Christian, a foremost priority must be to live for Christ and to seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). That does not line up with all the talk we hear today about self-realization. The Christian, however, knows that we were created by God that we might glorify Him. Therefore, we should not live to please ourselves but rather to exalt and serve our Lord. “My dearest treasure the light of His smile”—the ultimate goal of our lives.
“Living for Jesus” was written in 1917 by Thomas Chisholm at the request of the composer, Harold Lowden, who had used his tune two years earlier with another text. Lowden, however, was not satisfied with the union of his tune with the earlier text and wrote Mr. Chisholm, suggesting the title “Living for Jesus” for the new hymn setting. Chisholm felt very inadequate for the task, but within two weeks the words were completed.
Thomas Chisholm had been an editor, a schoolteacher, and a Methodist minister before ill health forced him to begin a less strenuous life as an insurance salesman. His favorite endeavor had always been the writing of poetry, and he continued to do this all through his 94 years. “I have greatly desired,” he said, “that each hymn or poem might send some definite message to the hearts for whom it was written.” Though humble in spirit and frail in health, Chisholm found that writing encouraging words such as these for God’s people to sing was his “pathway of blessing.”
Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please Him in all that I do, yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free—this is the pathway of blessing for me.
Living for Jesus who died in my place, bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace—such love constrains me to answer His call, follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus thru earth’s little while, my dearest treasure the light of His smile, seeking the lost ones He died to redeem, bringing the weary to find rest in Him.
Chorus: O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, for Thou in Thine atonement didst give Thyself for me. I own no other Master—my heart shall be Thy throne: My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

    For Today: Mark 12:33; Romans 6:13, 18; 2 Corinthians 4:10, 11

Tomorrow is God’s secret, but today is your opportunity to live cooperatively with and for Him. Make it “God’s today.” Live this day to glorify His Son in every possible way. Sing as you go—

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