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"Let Me Live Close To Thee"

             In 1927, J.R. Baxter Jr. wrote, “In the field I would wield sickles brave and true, In the fight for the right I would dare and do, Spend my days in thy praise all the journey thro’, Let me live close to Thee each day.” When one obeys the will of God and puts Christ on in baptism (Romans 6:1-12) he takes on a lifetime mission. In “The Great Commission” the apostles were told, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus instructed His disciples on the subject of doing God’s will. We are told, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:34-36).

            Mr. Baxter stated, “Not the crown nor renown that the world might see, I would work, never shirk, blessed Lord for Thee, But to know where I go that my soul is free, Let me live close to Thee each day.” James asked the question, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:21-23). When a person obeys the gospel and walks faithfully in the word, he is promised a home in heaven. John wrote, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13). To keep the soul free from sin and death one will have to walk in righteousness. John also wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).

            Mr. Baxter wrote, “Help me bear and to share some poor pilgrims load, Be my friend to the end of the toilsome road, I would sing to my King in the soul’s abode, Let me live close to Thee each day.” If we would have an eternity with God we must be faithful in serving Him until the end of life or until Jesus returns. John wrote, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Jesus stated, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). James wrote, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8). Helping others along life’s journey is one of the ways that we prove out faith in God (Galatians 6:2). James wrote, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:14-17).

            Mr. Baxter stated, “Let me live close to Thee, Take my hand, dear Lord, and guide me all along the rugged way; O let me live close to Thee, Let me walk and talk with Thee, dear Lord, each day.” Paul wrote, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). It is not God who deserts man but man who leaves God. The inspired writer tells us to live a life that is close to God and He will always be with us. He stated, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

            What kind of life are you living? How close are you walking with the Lord? When the day of judgment comes will you hear Him say, “Well done” or will He say to you “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 25:23; 7:21)? To be with God in eternity, you must walk with Him here on earth!

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