Sometimes, when I am busy with selecting songs to use for Sunday worship, it seems like the Spirit puts a song in my mind on a continuous loop and won’t let it stop. Such was the case when preparing this week. It was an old hymn that was born in adversity and distills truth down to a brief, poignant phrase. The song was written by Frances Havergal in the 19th century. Frances only lived to be 42 and was in poor health most of her brief life. Notwithstanding, she wrote some of my favorite hymns, with lyrics that go directly to the heart.

One such hymn, the one on continuous loop in my head, was titled “Take My Life And Let It Be”. In her diary, Frances said that on one evening after prayer when she was pledging her devotion to her Savior, a phrase came to her mind and would not depart — ever, only, all. She included the phrase into a poem she wrote the next day which ends with “take my self and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.” There are less poetic ways to say the same thing, and I think what she was trying trying to communicate was that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, our desire should be to live as one who is perpetually (ever), exclusively (only), and completely (all) devoted (for) to Jesus (Thee).

This is a goal worthy of our greatest focus, for He is a Savior worthy of our greatest love. This aspiration is one that will keep us focused on He who is the Author and finisher of our faith”. And this devotion, this consecration, is not an unreasonable thing to ask of His disciples. After all, this is the same God who will do “exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think”. Surely that kind of a king is worthy of perpetual exclusive and complete worship and adoration.

I would encourage you to look at the words of this hymn and make them your prayer while taking communion. He gave his all, and continues to give His all for us, his children. Can we do less than give our all to Him?

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold:
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Words: Frances R. Havergal 1874.

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