William P. Merrill, 1867-1954

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Philippians 1:27 & 28

Our world is filled with much suffering--physical, social, emotional, and most definitely spiritual. Often we close our eyes to these painful situations that are all around us. It is much more comfortable to associate only with those who live as we do. This kind of attitude within the church will turn any body of believers into nothing more than a religious club.

If we want to represent our Lord with integrity, we must not compartmentalize the church's mission. We are told to go to the highways and hedges, not just to leave an advertisement in the yellow pages. Soul winning and social responsibility are woven intrinsically together and constitute an inherent part of the ministry. A starving person needs both his stomach as well as his soul cared for. Christ's earthly ministry is a prime model of an ideal balance of caring for body as well as the soul of needy individuals...showing Christian charity for the "physical" so that they are willing to be reached spiritually.

The author of this call-to-action text, William Pierson Merrill, was a minister of the Gospel. He served churches in Philadelphia and Chicago, and he pastored in New York until his retirement in 1938. Merrill wrote "Rise Up, O Men of God!" especially for the brotherhood movement within churches in 1911. Merrill was also a prolific writer of hymn texts and theological books.

An important secret of individual happiness is to be employed continually in doing something of eternal value, to be "done with lesser things", to be totally involved in serving "the King of kings". And even the cup of water given in Christ's name will not go unrewarded (Matthew 10:42).

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

*For Today*: Deuteronomy 11:13-32; John 12:26; Acts 20:28; I Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:7

Determine by word and example to be a challenge to the members of your church by being more aggressively involved in an outreach ministry to your community, representing Christ in meeting physical needs and thus drawing them to seek the answer for their spiritual need.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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