Posted by: rcottrill | October 13, 2017

There Are Lonely Hearts

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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: George Cooper (b. May 14, 1840; d. ____, 1927)
Music: Ira David Sankey (b. Aug. 28, 1840; d. Aug. 13, 1908)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Cooper–see Item 4 about Warren Cornell)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Cooper was an American poet, remembered chiefly for his song lyrics. He also translated the lyrics of German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, and French musical works into English. Some of his lyrics were set to tunes by famed songwriter Stephen Foster. Cooper wrote the lyrics for the popular song Sweet Genevieve. The present song, written in 1881, is sometimes titled While the Days Are Going By.

Some sports, such as boxing, hockey and football, have a set time limit. Though the latter two often allow for overtime, they too are timed. Other sports, such as tennis, golf and baseball usually have no time limit at all.

Time, when it is a factor, has a definite affect on strategy. More that one football team has lost a game because they felt they were well enough ahead to insure a win, and eased up in the last quarter. Coaches remind them, sometimes in vain, to play the entire sixty minutes with full intensity and all out effort.

In a small way, this parallels our present mortal life. There is a time limit. One day it will be over. The difference is that the Lord has not seen fit to inform us when the end will come, or exactly how much time we’ve got. All the more reason to make good use of what God allows us.

Whether He gives us the Bible’s “threescore years and ten” (Ps. 90:10), or more, or less, that’s up to Him. What will we do with what we’ve been allotted? As someone has said, “Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only currency God has put in our hands. We need to spend it wisely.”

The Scriptures use a number of symbols to convey the fleeting nature of our mortal lives. David says, “Our days on earth are as a shadow” (I Chron. 29:15), and “You have made my days as hand-breadths” (Ps. 39:5). And Job says, ““My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6). And James asks, “What is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Jas. 4:14).

With this in mind, God exhorts us to make the best use of our allotted days. “So teach us [Lord] to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). “See then that you walk circumspectly [step carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming [making the best use of] the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17).

Notice the emphasis on living wisely. And if we are to do that, we must understand what God’s will is for us. Some aspects of that will be unique to each individual, but there are things that are true for all–three things beginning with the letter “s.”

¤ God’s will is our salvation, through faith in Christ (Jn. 3:16; II Pet. 3:9).

¤ God’s will is our sanctification–that believers would live holy lives, lives that please Him (I Thess. 4:3-8; I Pet. 1:15-16).

¤ God’s will is each Christian’s service for Him, using the gifts He has given us, to His honour and glory. Many Scriptures speak of our service. “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (Gal. 6:10; cf. Rom. 12:11; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 2:10; I Pet. 4:10, etc.).

My mother, many years ago, when she would hear of some sad occurrence, particularly the death of a loved one, would often say, “The world is full of sighs, full of sad and weeping eyes.” I didn’t know, when I young, that those lines came from a gospel song by George Cooper.

The song isn’t deeply theological, but it preaches practical Christianity, urging believers to serve the Lord by being a comfort and encouragement to those who are going through difficult times and trials.

CH-1) There are lonely hearts to cherish,
While the days are going by;
There are weary souls who perish,
While the days are going by;
If a smile we can renew,
As our journey we pursue,
Oh, the good we all may do,
While the days are going by.

Going by, going by,
Going by, going by,
Oh, the good we all may do,
While the days are going by.

CH-2) There’s no time for idle scorning,
While the days are going by;
Let your face be like the morning,
While the days are going by;
Oh, the world is full of sighs,
Full of sad and weeping eyes;
Help your fallen brother rise,
While the days are going by.

Questions:
1) Is there someone you’ve been able to encourage and help during the past week?

2) Is there someone you could encourage and help in some way this week?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Cooper–see Item 4 about Warren Cornell)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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