1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us”
I would like to share with you another old favorite hymn of mine, which was first published in 1896. The words to “Moment by Moment” were written by Daniel W. Whittle, who was born on November 22, 1840, in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. He was named after the American politician Daniel Webster. He reached the rank of major in the American Civil War and for the rest of his life was known as “Major” Whittle. It was during the war that Whittle lost his right arm, and ended up in a prisoner of war camp. While recovering from his wounds in the hospital, he looked for something to read, and found a New Testament. Though its words resonated with him, he was still not ready to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
Shortly after, a hospital orderly woke him and said a dying prisoner wanted someone to pray with him. Whittle was reluctant, but the orderly said, “But I thought you were a Christian; I have seen you reading your Bible.” Whittle then agreed to go. He recorded what took place at the dying youth’s bed side: I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God’s promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God, who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.
After the war, Whittle became treasurer of the Elgin Watch Company in Chicago, Illinois. In less than 10 years, though, he entered the evangelism field. During this period, he worked with musicians Phillip Bliss and James McGranahan. His daughter May Moody also wrote music for some of his lyrics. Of his decision to devote his life to the Gospel, Whittle said that, while at work, he went into the vault and in the dead silence of the quietest of places I gave my life to my Heavenly Father to use as He would. Daniel Whittle died on March 4, 1901 and is buried in Northfield, Massachusetts. It would be my sincere desire that this old hymn will be a blessing to your heart. Enjoy!
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.
Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.
Emil Mettler, a restaurant owner in London, was known for his generosity. He would often feed people for nothing. If a representative of a Christian organization came in and told him of a need, he would open his cash drawer and give a sizable donation. One day Emil opened his cash drawer in the presence of a missionary official who noticed a nail among the bills and coins. Surprised at what he saw, the man asked, “What’s that doing there?” Emil picked up the 6-inch spike and replied, “I keep this with my money to remind me of the price Christ paid for my salvation and what I owe Him in return.” Emil used that nail to remind himself that he owed the Lord a great debt of love and gratitude because Jesus had laid down His life for him (1 John 3:16-23). Emil used that simple object to stimulate his own generosity as he remembered the Savior’s sacrifice.
My brethren, how often do we think about the sacrifice on Calvary where Jesus paid the penalty for our sin with His own death on the cross? Emil’s example inspires us in the midst of our most mundane activities to remember not just the thorns, the nails, and the spear-thrust, but the loving heart of Him who gave His life for us. The apostle Paul said that the “wisdom of this age” cannot grasp the mystery that is God’s plan of salvation. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can understand the “foolishness” of the cross (1 Corinthians 2:13-14). So, what does the cross mean to you?
Calvary’s cross is the only bridge to eternal life and reveals man’s sin at its worst and God’s love at its best.