Only One Life

This is the post excerpt.

Only one life, ’twill soon be past

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

The little stanza printed above was part of a poem written by the 19th century English missionary, C. T. Studd. Early in life, he had been a famous British cricketer, but after receiving Christ, he surrendered to the foreign mission field. C. T. served the Lord in China, India and the Belgian Congo in central Africa where he died in 1931 at the age of 70. The theme of the little rhyme, Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, should motivate servants of Christ in every generation. As a Christian, what God expects you to do, serving Jesus, can only be done while you live this life. When this life is past, opportunities for that service are gone forever. Even our Lord was under a similar mandate. Jesus said, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

The second part of this stanza is equally convicting—Only what’s done for Christ will last. Many of the things Christian people do in this life have no impact on eternity. The only things that will truly last and count in the sight of God are things done for Christ. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth….But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:19, 20). What Jesus meant was that service and sacrifice rendered for Him here, will result in reward and treasure received there. “There” is in Heaven, where He is, and where believers go when they leave this earthly life.

So what are you doing with your one life? What are you doing for Christ that will last? Is your life invested in people, ministry and service that affect eternity? Are you using the gifts and talents He gave you in God-honoring service? If not, time is wasting and you will be found wanting. Seek His face in repentance and faith, and then walk forward in works and service that glorify God. If saved, you are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). If you know the Lord by His saving grace, why not start serving Him? This is God’s will for every believer in Christ.

For many years, one of my best friends was Pastor Leslie Smith from Long Beach, California. Bro. Leslie planted the Discipleship Baptist Church in Oakland, California, and later pastored the Living Word Missionary Baptist Church in Long Beach, California. When we lived in Hayward, Leslie spent a lot of time at our house, and we loved him like one of our own. He was a gifted musician and singer. One song Pat and I always requested he play and sing was “Only What You Do for Christ Will Last,” written by Raymond Rasberry. Listen to the message of this great song:

You may build great cathedrals large or small.

You can build skyscrapers grand and tall.

You may conquer all the failures of the past.

But only what you do for Christ will last.


You may seek earthly power and fame.

The world might be impressed by your great name.

Soon the glories of this life will all be past.

But only what you do for Christ will last.


Remember only what you do for Christ will last.

Remember only what you do for Christ will last.

Only what you do for Him will be counted at the end;

Only what you do for Christ will last.

As we enter the closing days of 2017, this is the perfect time to review your life, your activities, goals, relationships and service to the Lord. If you have never repented of your sins and asked Jesus to save your soul, now is the time for that most important commitment. If you know Christ as your Savior, why not determine to serve Him as Lord of your life? Make your one life count for Christ in 2018, by seeking “first His kingdom and His righteousness?” (Matthew 6:33). Remember, only what you do for Christ will last.



Author: Larry E. Clements

Follower of Christ, fortunate to be husband to Pat, father of 5, grandfather of 12, writer, associate pastor of Pauline Baptist Church

4 thoughts on “Only One Life”

  1. Thanks so much for this timely message . I’m bringing Ladies devotional this month and would love to share your words ! Thank you!


  2. Hi Brother, Thanks for your Sharing this Great Truth that has eternal Blessings or regrets. We have the Greatest Message in all the World, Jesus Saves. Thank You Brother for your Words of Wisdom and your example.


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