“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.” C.T.Studd.
Only what’s done for Christ will last. This verse has often been used to motivate Christians to get on with it and join in the work for the Lord. And so it is, we get excited and work what we believe is for the Lord.
Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? We can see in Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The old hymn-writer John Newton understood this. The old hymns have a reverence for God and how we can praise and worship Him with the proper perspective.
So it was one crisp fall evening on the night of a full moon. Our church had a family hayride through the countryside, and we sang the old hymns, one after another. The next night, when it was time to put the children to bed, as it was time to sing the good night song for my five year old daughter she said: “Daddy, daddy, sing Crazy waisy.” There was no way I could figure out what she meant, but she said “We said it yesterday at the hayride” I was clueless so she helped me: “You know the one about lost and found”. This rang a bell so we both sang:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
This is what separates true Christianity from all other religions. It is not man seeking God. It is God seeking man.