A little group of boys and girls were gathered around me on a pleasant evening
in the Easter holidays. We were talking about the Lord Jesus, and all the
wonderful and solemn things which our Church services had so lately brought
before us ; His agony and bloody sweat, His cross and passions, His precious
death and burial, and His glorious resurrection. There was such a quieted and
tender tone among them, such wistful looks and gentle voices ; and the hearts of
more than one were so evidently burning within them, that one could not doubt
that “ Jesus Himself drew near,” and that while we spoke one to another He not
only hearkened and heard, but was really present in our midst.
Then we spoke of what we owed to Him who had done so much for us.
How much do we owe Him ? and how much shall we give Him ?
Can there be any hesitation as to the answer ? Shall it not be, joyfully and
gratefully, “ All ! yes, all for Jesus ! ”
But “ all ” means a great deal ; it really does mean all ; all our hearts, all our
lives, all that we have, all that we are. And if truly “ all,” it must be for always
too ; no reserve, and no taking back.
I heard a little sigh by my side as we spoke of this. Did it seem too hard ?
Could we ever hope to keep to it ? Was it more than we dared say ? Then we
looked at the bright side of it, the grand shining of gladness which Satan tries
to hinder us from seeing. If we are “ all for Jesus,” He will be all for us, and always
all for us, too. When we give Him all, He gives us all ; all His tender love,
all His wonderful peace and joy, all His grace and strength. On His side there
will be no reserve and no taking back. And with “ all ” this we shall find, nay we
do find, that life is quite a different thing ; ever so much happier than we imagined
it could be, and that He does for us exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think.
As this was dwelt upon, I saw a very bright smile on a face that was generally
the merriest of the party. After a little while, “ good-night ” was said, and we separated.
But I went upstairs to two quiet rooms. In the first I found the author of
that little sigh. She was, I had every reason to hope, a dear Christian child, who
had for some time past “ known and believed the love which God hath for us,”
and had tried to follow her Saviour in the little steps of home and school life.
I put my arms round her, and said, “ Well, A——, how much for Jesus ? ”
The great dark eyes that just before had looked up so lovingly into my face fell,
with such a mournful look that I shall never forget it. That was no answer.
“ How much, darling ? Is it not all for Jesus ? Again came the little sigh, and a
sad whisper, “ I don’t know.”
In the other room another warm kiss awaited me, and there was something
in the merry face which made me ask quite hopefully, “ Well, M—— how much
for Jesus ? ”
Oh if I could describe to you the utter gladness in the bright eyes, and the
very joy that seemed to over flow the lips, as she answered, not hastily but very
firmly and resolutely, “ All, auntie, all ! ” That too was a look never to be forgotten;
the words and the tone were sweet and strong, but the look told more than
either. One could not but take knowledge of her that she had been with Jesus.
She had given her heart to Him, and He had given His joy to her.
Let me put the question to you—“ How much for Jesus ? ” Is your answer
a sigh or a smile ?
Only one heart to give,
Only one voice to use ;
Only one little life to live,
And only one to lose.Poor is my best, and small :
How could I dare divide ?
Surely my Lord shall have it all,
He shall not be denied.
All ! for far more I owe
Than all I have to bring ;
All ! for my Saviour loves me so ;
All ! for I love my King.
All ! for it is His own,
He gave the tiny store ;
All ! for it must be His alone ;
All ! for I have no more.
All ! for the last and least
He stoopeth to uplift :
The altar of my great High Priest
Shall sanctify my gift.
Frances Ridley Havergal from BEN BRIGHTBOOTS