Posted by: rcottrill | August 29, 2014

It Pays to Serve Jesus

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Words: Frank Claude Huston (b. Sept. 12, 1871; d. Nov. 14, 1959)
Music: Frank Claude Huston

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: This simple gospel song was written in 1909. Mr. Huston was one of those individuals who had a varied career. He taught school for a year, then became a singer who traveled in evangelistic work. He later served as a pastor in a number of churches in Indiana. Huston also founded a publishing company, that produced both secular and gospel songs.

As Christians, we are called to serve the Lord, and we are promised heavenly rewards for our service. The Lord Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Rev. 22:12). Even a cup of water given in service for Christ will be duly rewarded (Mk. 9:41).

Frank Huston wrote this gospel song about that entitled, It Pays to Serve Jesus. It was written in two stages. First, the musician composed a melody. Thinking it might be useful in the future, he jotted down the notes on a piece of paper, folded it up and put it in his pocket.

Weeks later, he was asked if he could write a song about how it was rewarding to serve the Lord. He was paying a visit to a friend, 82 year-old M. E. Mick. During their conversation, Mr. Mick suddenly said to Huston, “Brother Huston, you have written so many good songs, won’t you write one for me on the subject we have just been discussing, and call it, ‘It Pays to Serve Jesus’?” Frank interrupted to remind him that there was already a published song bearing that title, whereupon Mick replied, “I know there is, but I think you can write a better one.”

Pondering the possibilities, he thought of the tune he’d created earlier. Pulling the paper from his pocket, he set it on the piano, and the words to fit it seemed to follow easily.

CH-1) The service of Jesus true pleasure affords,
In Him there is joy without an alloy;
’Tis heaven to trust Him and rest on His words;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

It pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day,
It pays every step of the way,
Though the pathway to glory may sometimes be drear,
You’ll be happy each step of the way.

CH-2) It pays to serve Jesus whate’er may betide,
It pays to be true whate’er you may do;
’Tis riches of mercy in Him to abide;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

CH-3) Though sometimes the shadows may hang o’er the way,
And sorrows may come to beckon us home,
Our precious Redeemer each toil will repay;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

The song says, “It pays to serve Jesus each day.” And it certainly does. Our work will be rewarded later, before the Judgment Seat of Christ. But Christian ministry also is rewarding here and now. I can personally testify to that. In the present world, service for Christ brings many joys.

¤ The joy of pleasing our Commander (Acts 20:24; Col. 1:10; II Tim. 2:3-4; 4:7).

¤ The joy of making an eternal investment in fulfilling work (Matt. 6:19-20; Phil. 3:12-14; cf. Heb. 12:2).

¤ The joy of fellowship in the gospel with other servants of Christ (Phil. 1:3-5; II Tim. 1:4).

¤ The joy of seeing people blessed, and lives transformed through our service (Phil. 2:2; I Thess. 1:2-3; 2:19-20; III Jn. 1:4).

But there is another side to it. Apart from any reward a gracious God might give us, He is worthy of our service, and fully deserving of all we can offer to Him, just because of who He is. It’s a question of balance. We ought to serve the Lord Jesus simply because He is deserving of all we can render Him. He has granted us the privilege of holy service, and we do so first of all as an act of homage, to His honour and glory.

“Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it….What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 10:14, 12). “When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Lk. 17:10).

It does pay to serve the Lord. But the Lord is worthy of our faithful service simply because He is the Lord.

Questions:
1) How are you serving the Lord these days?

2) Why do you serve the Lord?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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