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Words: John Murch Wigner (b. June 19, 1844; d. Mar. 31, 1911)
Music: Invitation, by Frederick Charles Maker (b. Aug. 6, 1844; d. Jan. 1, 1927)
Note: John Wigner was a Baptist pastor, and an itinerant speaker around Britain. He built a beautiful scale model of Israel’s tabernacle, and lectured on the subject many times. His middle name Murch was the last name of his father’s tutor and mentor in the early days of his own pastoral ministry.
There are various household products that claim the ability to do more than one thing.
A package of a dish detergent announces that it cleans the dishes, removes stains, and shines. A counter top appliance says it can slice, chop, and grate our vegetables. Three-in-One Oil (nicknamed “the tool kit in a can”) is more than a hundred years old, but it is still popular, and a more recent lubricant says it too stops squeaks, cleans, and protects.
There are triple threats in sports as well. In the days before the specialists who play the game now, Hall of Fame athlete Don Sutherin played in the Canadian Football League as a defensive back, place kicker, and pass receiver. Later, coaching in the CFL with Edmonton and Hamilton he added a fourth skill to his resume.
There is practical value in having something that is multipurpose. The manufacturers of the Swiss Army Knife know that. When doing a job, it can be a time-saver to have several tools at hand. Depending on the model, this knife adds to its sharp blades other small tools such as scissors, a saw, a screwdriver, and so on.
In the spiritual realm, we can see the same. In 1922, Scottish pastor and author Graham Scroggie published a book with the title, Is the Bible the Word of God? In it, he offered three lines of evidence that are still worth considering.
¤ First, it claims to be. Thousands of times we find there phrases such as “God said,” or “thus says the Lord.” Its authors claimed they were speaking for God.
¤ Second, it seems to be. Accurately fulfilled prophecies, the remarkable unity of its message, and more, provide internal evidence of its divine origin.
¤ Third, it proves to be. When God’s promises are applied in life by the individual, they prove to be true and trustworthy.
And here’s another triplet. Years ago, there was a statement about the Lord that was frequently made in testimony meetings: “He saves, He keeps, He satisfies.” Though it may have become a trite and almost meaningless phrase to some, it’s still true, as many Christians can tell you.
And yet another example. In 1871 Pastor Wigner published a hymn of invitation, unusual in its scope. In three stanzas, it summons us to Christ, outlining three different areas of need for which He has the necessary resources to help.
The first stanza is addressed to the unsaved, those in need of receiving God’s salvation, through faith in Christ. That is a provision addressed in the familiar John 3:16,”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
CH-1) Come to the Saviour now,
He gently calleth thee;
In true repentance bow,
Before Him bend the knee;
He waiteth to bestow
Salvation, peace, and love,
True joy on earth below,
A home in heav’n above.
The second stanza deals with believers who have backslidden, who have drifted into worldly ways, and cooled in their zeal for God. This was the experience illustrated by the young man in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. He needed to return home and restore his relationship with his father (Lk. 15:11-24).
CH-2) Come to the Saviour now,
Ye who have wandered far;
Renew your solemn vow,
For His by right you are;
Come, like poor wand’ring sheep
Returning to His fold;
His arm will safely keep,
His love will ne’er grow cold.
Finally, there is the burdened child of God, weighed down by care, invited to cast his burden on the Lord (Matt. 11:28-30; I Pet. 5:7).
CH-3) Come to the Saviour, all,
Whate’er your burdens be;
Hear now His loving call,
‘Cast all your care on Me.’
Come, and for ev’ry grief
In Jesus you will find
A sure and safe relief,
A loving Friend and kind.”
1) Which of the three circumstances Wigner mentions have you experienced in the last six months?
2) Is there someone for whom you can pray, and whom you can challenge to turn to the Lord for one of these three things?