About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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When I Die


It was the summer of 1967, otherwise known as the Summer of Love.  The Beatles had just released their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album in June.  Track number 9 on that album was "When I'm Sixty-Four."  I was only 15 years old that summer and turning 64 never entered my mind.  Little did I realize that the next 50 years of my life would fly by in a fleeting flash.  I'm now 65 years old.  That makes me a senior citizen here in Canada and a recipient of the Old Age Pension.


Listening to popular music was habitual for me in the 1960's.  "Windy" by the Association was a huge hit in the summer of 67.  Scott McKenzie's flower power song entitled " San Francisco " was a top 10 hit.  All things psychedelic were the in thing as seen in "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.  Both "Carrie-Anne" by the Hollies and "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum hit number 1 on my weekly top 30 chart.  I liked the Monkees.  " Pleasant Valley Sunday," which included Glenn Campbell's guitar solo is still worth listening to.  One of the biggest hits in the summer of love was "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles, which by the way, reminds me of Larry Norman's "Reader's Digest" song (Only Visiting This Planet album) which included these lyrics.  "The Beatles sang all you need is love and then they broke up."  Such was life in the summer of love.                 


There is another song I've been listening to lately.  "In The Time That You Gave Me" was originally recorded, but never released, by Joey Feek, of "Joey and Rory" Christian country music fame.  Joey passed away at the age of 40 in February 2016.  The song was released later in 2016 by Joey's friend Bradley Walker on his "Call Me Old-Fashioned" CD.  No, as much as you'd like to think, that title doesn't refer to me.   Joey's husband Rory produced this song.  He took Joey's recording, removed her voice from part of it and dubbed in Bradley's voice, making it a duet by Joey and Bradley.  Here are a few lines from the song.


"In the time that you gave me

Did I give all that I could give?

Did I love all I could love?
Did I live all I could live?

Did I do all I could do in the time that you gave me?

As the hour glass empties,

No it won't even phase me

If I did all I could do in the time that you gave me."


Joey's desire in life to serve Jesus was cut short by cancer, making this song eternally significant for her.  Unlike Joey who had little time to serve Jesus, many of us have had decades to serve Him in the time He has given us, but have we? 


If by chance the Apostle Paul liked country music, and why wouldn't he have, he would have loved this song.  He was keenly aware that his time on earth was limited.  He knew he would stand before Jesus some day and give account of all he had done in the time he was given.  His works of service for Jesus would be tested by the fire of God (1 Corinthians 3:10 - 13).  Only his service performed in accordance with God's will would survive the fire.  Paul's desire was to stand before Jesus on that day knowing he had fought the fight, finished the race, and had kept the faith (1 Timothy 4:4).


I think of these things.  Most of my life is just a memory in my mind.  I have fewer years ahead of me compared to those behind me.  I have no guarantees of my future, but this is certain - I will die.  I will stand before Jesus and give account, not of my sin, but of what I have done with the time He has given me.  For this reason Bradley Walker's song has become meaningful to me.      


"When I'm Sixty-Four" by the Beatles is a bouncy little ditty.  In part, it expresses the desires of many approaching retirement who envision vacations, hobbies, relaxation, or doing what they never got to do in earlier years.  As Christians, however, you and I might want to approach retirement by asking, "Will I do all I can do for Jesus in the time He will give me?"  Will my service for Jesus survive the fire?  Will I even have any service to be tested?  The more I think on these things the more I fix my eyes on what cannot be seen because "What is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). 


I'm not really looking for a treasure box full of rewards in the next life.  I just want to please Jesus in this life.  So, if you feel like me, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).   


Click this link to hear 
"In The Time That You Gave Me" by Bradley Walker and Joey Feek.  






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