Day of 1,000 Deaths – Yet Not Death to Die

{I think I finally understand about how poetry can be just as effective as prose. I’ve loved poetry for some time, but to me sketches were always more effective, at least to write. But some things just aren’t for prose, but poetry. It’s a different sort of effectiveness. Putting words in an unusual order makes you think about them more. I used to hate poetry, because I’d never read the Christ-honoring stuff. Just ‘classic’ literature everyone is supposed to read. But then I started reading Ezra’s and James’s and all that changed. Here some musings on death, from myself, Richard Baxter, Eric Ludy, and Sovereign Grace. In verse. Maybe it’s odd that I like thinking about death so much. Maybe it’s ‘not right’ for a seventeen year old to be so ‘morbid-minded.’ But to me, death isn’t morbid at all. This song explains that}

It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God

It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just

It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore
O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

Original Words by Henri Malan (1787-1864). Translated by George Bethune (1847).
Music, Chorus and Alternate Words by Bob Kauflin.

{Around New Years martyrdom was on my mind. Then I caught a stomach bug and was quite miserable. The next day I listened to a sermon by Eric Ludy called “Extraordinary Courage” … which really stepped on my toes. My thoughts, Mr. Ludy’s, and some of Richard Baxter’s are included in this prayer, called “Teach Me To Die”}

‘Tis so easy to romanticize
The notion of martyrdom.
The longing inside with the prayer
“Thy kingdom come.”

‘Tis so noble to want to die
For His glorious name,
Yet when the pain comes
Those thoughts are not the same.

Thus comes the prayer,
“Teach me to die,”
So that I shall be brave
When the time is nigh.

With courage and patience
They went forth to their deaths
Remembering their Savior
As they drew their last breaths.

The young and the old,
The man and the dame,
Met sword and beast,
Water and flame.

The martyr’s example,
Death met without fear,
Instills such longing for heaven,
And hope that death will be near.

Yet at the trials of life,
I shrink back afraid,
Forgetting His love,
And the price that He paid.

For the strength of the martyr
Was not their own might,
But the beauty of Christ,
Knowing He’d soon be in their sight.

In those moments of pain,
My God is so near.
His presence and grace
Dispels all fear.

‘Tis so easy right now
To look at it all,
And to say “When it comes,
I won’t fall.”

But the pain and hurt
of the small daily trials
Require death to self
And joyful smiles.

The daily dying
Prepares one’s soul
To be free in affliction
And lessen pain ’s toll.

Teach me to die, I pray.
That when the time is come,
I will die in a way that glorifies Him,
As death is overcome.

Prepare me for the final death
As daily I struggle and sigh,
Bring me to look to You.
Father, teach me to die.

{a final thought, building more on the daily struggles preparing us for the final death. It means dying thousands of deaths each day}
Each day there are one thousand deaths,
Required of us to die.
I know I shall not die each one,
But I am resolved to try.

When He calls us to follow Him,
‘Tis time to count myself as loss,
To give my all for the cause of Christ,
Take up and die on my cross.

Something must be cut off to serve,
Or service shall never be done.
Myself stands always in the way,
And self-death is the way of the Son.

My flesh and my spirit are at war,
And one of them must die.
If I feed my spirit, my flesh starves,

Each struggle of sin is a chance to feed,
And a chance to die as well.
Will I die, and let the spirit rejoice,
Or will it weep because I fell?

These daily trials hint at how
My death will someday be.
Will my death be one that glorifies Him,
Or will it say, as my selfish life did, ‘Me?’

If I learn to die well daily,
Toil in the affliction of earth,
Meet each trial with patience,
And prepare for death as for birth…

If I respond with joy in the small trial,
Choosing to die to self,
And learn to die well daily,
Putting first my spiritual health…

If I think of Christ in every pain,
Remembering the suffering servant,
Then each self-death will be easier,
My actions more obedient.

Every small thing that comes my way,
A chance to die, a chance to strive,
Is an opportunity to die to self,
To prepare for the day I arrive.

That day when there shall be death no more,
That day when the longed-for rest is won,
That day when each affliction shall cease,
That day upon which, my sins shall be none.

Then every pain and every death,
Shall at last be shown its purpose,
As martyrs throw their crowns,
And the glory of the Lord do us encompass.

The hardship and the ache forgot,
Our Redeemer we shall ever praise,
Who by His death our souls did purchase,
Saved from wrath, to life to raise.

Now our souls in freedom sing,
Praises forever, let this be our story!
With one accord, shall voices ring,
“Alleluia! Alleluia! Each death was worth His glory!”


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