Many of the hymns we sing were written after certain things happened in the lives of the authors, and many of the authors documented it, so we can learn about it. Today, we are going to learn about a story of consecration and dedication. We learned about Frances Ridley Havergal’s life earlier this week — now let’s learn about this hymn she wrote, and how it affected her life.
Frances Havergal wrote to a friend:
“Perhaps you will be interested to know the origin of the Consecration hymn ‘Take my life.’ I went for a little visit of five days [to Areley House]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer ‘Lord, give me all in this house!’ And He just did! Before I left the house everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit after I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, and then and there both of them trusted and rejoiced; it was nearly midnight. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with ‘Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!'”
She made this song her life’s anthem, constantly finding new ways to dedicate herself and all she was to Christ. She called this song her “Consecration Hymn”, and had copies made of it, which she would hand out to others. She always asked that if someone truly meant it, they would sign their name at the bottom of the hymn when alone on their knees before God.
In August, 1878, she wrote to a friend: “The Lord has shown me another little step, and of course I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold,’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House (including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess), where all will be accepted and disposed of for me. I retain a brooch or two for daily wear, which are memorials of my dear parents, also a locket containing a portrait of my dear niece in Heaven, my Evelyn, and her two rings; but these I redeem, so that the whole value goes to the Church Missionary Society. Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”
She had been trained as a concert soloist, but one day the Lord convicted her using the line in the hymn, “Take my voice and let me sing, only always for my King.” She had an unusually pleasant voice, and her talent could have brought her much fame. However, she determined to only sing for her Lord, wherever she sang, and to spread the gospel through her singing.
How can you consecrate your life to the King today?
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And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)
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