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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.
Words: William James Kirkpatrick (b. Feb. 27, 1838; d. Sept. 20, 1921)
Music: William James Kirkpatrick
Note: Kirkpatrick not only composed the music for dozens of hymns, he also served as the editor of about fifty collections of them. A talented and trained musician, he was also a godly servant of Christ.
A habitually boastful person can be unpleasant company. His main theme is too often himself, how great he is, how smart he is, how rich he is, how strong he is, how lucky he is. And whatever the subject under discussion, he knows more about it than anybody. Or so he claims.
Sometimes these assertions mask a deep sense of insecurity. They become a form of self deception, disguising a fragile self image. There are other problems too. The egotist is so self-centred that he may have little sensitivity to the needs of others, little compassion and concern for those around him. Further, to the degree he takes pride in his own gifts and abilities he is failing to praise the Lord for them. He is robbing God of the glory due to Him.
¤ The giant Goliath boasted of his prowess in combat, until the Lord commissioned a boy with a slingshot to fell him (I Sam. 17:44, 49).
¤ King Nebuchadnezzar bragged of the glories of Babylon “that I have built…by my mighty power,” but God took the kingdom from him (Dan. 4:30-31).
¤ And Jesus told a story about a rich man who boasted of his wealth, but God called him a fool. He died and left it all behind (Lk. 12:16-21).
God is the only one who is justified in boasting, because He is utterly supreme in every way. There is none greater. As for us, the Bible warns us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should (Rom. 12:3), and reminds us to recognize that every good gift we have is from the hand of God (Jas. 1:17). “He who glories [boasts], let him glory in the Lord” (II Cor. 10:17).
And the grandest gift of God that touches our lives is His saving work through Christ on the cross. If we are going to boast, let’s boast in that. Said Paul, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). The people of God will praise Him for our great salvation eternally. “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honour and power belong to the Lord our God!’” (Rev. 19:1).
It is said of Christ now, in heaven at the Father’s right hand, “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). That word uttermost (sometimes shortened to utmost) describes the greatest and farthest, or highest of something. In terms of God’s salvation it means: He saves to the uttermost–completely and forever–those who come to God through faith in Him.
That wonderful theme was taken up by one of the most influential gospel musicians of the nineteenth century. William James Kirkpatrick usually composed the music for new songs, leaving the writing of the words to others. In this he was sometimes a collaborator with Fanny Crosby.
However, once in awhile he provided both the words and music for a song. He did it for Lord, I’m Coming Home. Another for which Kirkpatrick gave us both words and music came into being at the request of some young people in his church.
William Kirkpatrick was the organist and choir director of Ebenezer Methodist Church, in Philadelphia. A group of young Christians were holding home prayer meetings, and they asked him to write a theme song for their group. Saved to the Uttermost was his response to their request.
CH-1) Saved to the uttermost: I am the Lord’s;
Jesus my Saviour salvation affords;
Gives me His Spirit, a witness within,
Whispering of pardon, and saving from sin.
Saved, saved, saved to the uttermost;
Saved, saved by power divine;
Saved, saved, saved to the uttermost:
Jesus the Saviour is mine!
CH-2) Saved to the uttermost: Jesus is near;
Keeping me safely, He casteth out fear;
Trusting His promises, now I am blest;
Leaning upon Him, how sweet is my rest.
1) What “uttermosts” are a special blessing to you with regard to God’s salvation?
2) What affect should these “uttermosts” have on your conduct day by day?