Frances Ridley Havergal is one of my favorite authors, not only of hymns, but of devotionals as well. Her writing is full of Scripture, and her testimony of coming to assurance of salvation, and full surrender of herself to Christ, is both beautiful and inspiring.
The following is one of her poems, which brings to my mind the words of Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16) I hope to allow her question to penetrate my heart. I pray that it will be a constant reminder of the power and purpose of a godly life, and that it will challenge and encourage you today!
ShiningAre you shining for Jesus, dear one? You have given your heart to Him; But is the light strong within it, Or is it but pale and dim? Can everybody see it? — That Jesus is all to you? That your love to Him is burning with radiance warm and true? Is the seal upon your forehead, so that it must be known That you are “all for Jesus,” — that your heart is all His own? Are you shining for Jesus, dear one? You remember the first sweet ray, When the sun arose upon you, and brought the gladsome day; When you heard the gospel message, and Jesus Himself drew near, And helped you to trust Him simply, and took away your fear: When the darkness and the shadows fled like a weary night, And you felt that you could praise Him, and everything seemed bright. Are you shining for Jesus, dear one, so that the holy light May enter the hearts of others, and make them glad and bright? Have you spoken a word for Jesus, and told to some around, Who do not care about Him, what a Savior you have found? Have you lifted the lamp for others, that has guided your own glad feet? Have you echoed the loving message, that seemed to you so sweet? Are you shining for Jesus, dear one, shining for Him all day? Letting the light burn always along the varied way? Always–when those beside you are walking in the dark? Always,–when no one is helping, or heeding your tiny spark? Not idly letting it flicker in every passing breeze Of pleasure or temptation, of trouble or of ease? Are you shining for Jesus, dear one, shining just everywhere, Not only in easy places, not only just here or there? Shining in happy gatherings, where all are loved and known? Shining where all are strangers? shining when quite alone? Shining at home, and making true sunshine all around? Shining abroad, and faithful—perhaps among faithless–found? Are you shining for Jesus, dear one, not for yourself at all? Not because dear ones, watching, would grieve if your lamp should fall? Shining because you are walking in the Sun’s unclouded rays, And you cannot help reflecting the Light on which you gaze? Shining because it shineth so warm and bright above, That you must let out the gladness, and you must show forth the love? Are you shining for Jesus, dear one? or is there a little sigh That the lamp His love had lighted does not burn clear and high? Is the heavenly crown that waits you, still, still without a star, Because your light was hidden, and sent no rays afar? Do you feel you have not loved Him with a love right brave and loyal, But have faintly fought and followed His banner bright and royal? Oh, come again to Jesus! Come as you came at first, And tell Him all that hinders, and tell Him all the worst; And take His sweet forgiveness as you took it once before, And hear His kind voice saying, “Peace! go, and sin no more!” Then ask for grace and courage His name to glorify That never more His precious light your dimness may deny. Then rise, and “watching daily,” ask Him your lamp to trim With the fresh oil He giveth, that it may not burn dim. Yes, rise and shine for Jesus! Be brave, and bright, and true To the true and loving Savior, who gave Himself for you. Oh, shine for Jesus, dear one, and henceforth be your way Bright with the light that shineth unto the perfect day!