Posted by: rcottrill | April 11, 2014

I Belong to the King

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Words: Ida Lilliard Reed (b. Nov. 30, 1865; d. July 8, 1951)
Music: Clifton, by Joseph Lincoln Hall (b. Nov. 4, 1866; d. Nov. 29, 1930)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This song was likely written in 1896 and published some years later. Both Reed and Hall used pen names. Some of her songs call her Ida Smith, and some of Hall’s compositions use the name Maurice Clifton.

Graphic Ida ReedCheck out the Wordwise Hymns link to learn more about this remarkable woman–remarkable because of her artistic output, in spite of a life of terrible suffering. Her father died when she was young, and her mother was an invalid. She was left to care for the farm, and help her mother, and become a mother herself to her younger siblings (whom she outlived).

Strenuous overwork led to a life of much pain and suffering. She was bedridden herself for many years, and used her poems to bring in a small income. As you can see from the picture, the lines of hardship and toil are etched in her face. She lived in poverty until ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) was made aware of her situation. In recognition of her substantial contribution to sacred music they provided her with a monthly pension, beginning in 1939.

Y et for all the hardship she faced, Ida Reed wrote some 2,000 hymns and gospel songs. (The Cyber Hymnal lists nearly 400 of them.) The present one was written from a hospital bed, but the mood is one of serenity, hope, and joyful anticipation. There are some Christians who are wealthy in terms of worldly possessions, but many more who are not. Yet all believers are rich beyond measure in what God has in store for them.

It’s God’s purpose “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). And if the Lord Jesus is indeed preparing “many mansions [or dwelling places]” for His own (Jn. 14:2-3), can we think that they will be less glorious and palatial than earthly riches have provided for the wealthy down here?

Further, each one of us has, as the Bible puts it, “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for [us]” (I Pet. 1:4). And the Lord Jesus exhorts His followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20). This suggests that we are able to act in such a way, here and now, as to multiply and augment our eternal wealth.

The latter truth, however, must not be misunderstood. We do not earn our salvation, or become God’s children, on the basis of our good works (Eph. 2:8-9). The Bible teaches plainly that we are saved through personal faith in the work of Christ on the cross, and that alone (Jn. 3:16). We enter the King’s family by the new birth, a spiritual birth that is a work of the Spirit of God (Jn. 1:12-13). “And if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).

CH-1) I belong to the King; I’m a child of His love,
I shall dwell in His palace so fair,
For He tells of its bliss in yon heaven above,
And His children in splendours shall share.

I belong to the King; I’m a child of His love,
And he never forsaketh His own.
He will call me some day to His palace above;
I shall dwell by His glorified throne.

The Bible describes Christians as citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). We “belong to the King.” And we are repeatedly told that as the children of God–part of the Royal Family of heaven–we will have the privilege of reigning with Christ. We are a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:9), “kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).

“Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection [“the resurrection of the just,” Lk. 14:14]. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

It’s touching that Ida Reed, with all of her lifelong troubles and trials, should speak with assurance, and say that “His mercy and kindness so free are unceasingly mine wherever I go” (CH-2). It reminded me of the words of the Apostle Paul:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16).

CH-2) I belong to the King, and He loves me I know,
For His mercy and kindness so free
Are unceasingly mine wheresoever I go,
And my refuge unfailing is He.

CH-3) I belong to the King, and His promise is sure:
That we all shall be gathered at last
In His kingdom above, by life’s waters so pure,
When this life with its trials is past.

1) What are some things that can help us, as Christians, to maintain a positive outlook, in spite of trials?

2) What are some verses of Scripture that have encouraged you in such situations?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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