I Know Not The Hour

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There will always be things, mostly little things, that many people do not like.  So what.  Change what you can change and live your life with those situations you cannot change.  Keep your focus of the big picture and use the strengths and talents that God has given you.

Songwriter Philipp Bliss didn’t like the unusual spelling of his first name, so as an adult he began using the extra “P” as a middle initial.  

Philip P Bliss grew up as a poor country boy in Rome, Pennsylvania.  His love for music led him to build and fashion homemade musical instruments out of whatever materials he could find.  At the age of ten while working outside his home, he heard for the first time piano music.  It almost mesmerized him.  Entranced, he followed the sound into a woman’s home.  Excitedly startled at seeing a ragged, barefoot boy watching her, she immediately quit playing.  Instead of fleeing, Philip cried out, “O lady, please play some more!”

Just as his love for music started at an early age so did his love for God.  He once said that he could not remember a time when he “was not sorry for sin and did not love Christ.”  When Philip was fourteen years old, he went forward at a revival and made a public confession of his faith.  Shortly after this experience, he became a Sunday school teacher, a commitment he continued for the rest of his life.  He found that bringing his music to children was particularly rewarding:  “Think how readily children catch the meaning of a hymn, and how lasting may be its influence…Cannot you, yourself, now remember the songs that you heard in childhood?  More than this, can you not recall the very voice and manner in which they were sung?  While sermons–ably written, well delivered, with their flights of oratory and tender appeal–where are they?  Their very texts forgotten!”

Although Philip received no formal musical training, he began writing songs  and giving concerts full time as the age of twenty-six.  He wrote both the words  and the music for most of his hymns.  He was mostly known for quickly writing entire songs after hearing one inspiring phrase or casual remark, creating the text and melody simultaneously.  For example, after hearing D.L.Moody tell the story of a shipwreck caused by a problem in a lighthouse, he wrote “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning.”  And while waiting for a train in Ohio he briefly slipped into  church and overheard the preacher saying, “To be almost saved is to be entirely lost.”  

From this he wrote his well-known hymn “Almost Persuaded.”

For a time, Bliss worked for D.L. Moody in Chicago as a songwriter and singer for his evangelistic meetings.  On December 14, 1876, Philip Bliss and his wife unknowingly participated in what would be their last evangelistic service together.  For the conclusion of the service, Bliss and his wife sang together “I Know Not the Hour My Lord Shall Come.” 

Later that month after visiting his boyhood home in Pennsylvania for Christmas, Bliss and his wife boarded a train to return to Chicago to minister with Moody.  While crossing a railroad bridge near Ashtabula, Ohio, the bridge collapsed, plunging the train sixty feet down into a ravine.  Observers saw Bliss escape the burning wreckage, but then crawl back through a window into the flames to search for his wife.  Thirty-eight year old Bliss and his wife were among the more than one hundred passengers who perished in the tragedy.

At their funeral service the last hymn they sang together publicly was sung, then with new meaning:

        I know not the hour when my Lord shall come,
             To take me away to His own dear home, 

     But I know that His presence will lighten the gloom,
                  And that will be glory for me.

              I know not the form of my mansion fair,
            I know not the name that I then shall bear.

     But I know that my Savior will welcome me there,
                    And that will be heaven for me.

Points To Ponder

If you were to die suddenly in an accident, would the Savior, Jesus Christ, welcome you to heaven?  How do you know?  In many ways, life is like a probation period to determine whether or not we will give our wholehearted allegiance to the Savior, whom God sent to redeem his people.

The answers to these important questions are clearly given us in the Holy Scriptures.  In The Book of John Chapter 6, verses 68-69 NKJV:

(68) “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.

(69)   Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And once again in The Book of Romans Chapter 10, verses 9-10 NKJV:

(9).   “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in
         your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

(10)   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the
         mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Prepare yourself for salvation and the eternal security it instantly provides to your soul, which will occur once you accept into your own heart the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

Your days on this earth were numbered for you by your Creator at your own conception.  You however, do not know the number.

Learn Well The Lessons Of History……………………

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