This is probably the third or fourth Fanny Crosby hymn that I have chosen for this devotional series. She has so many songs that bless the heart. One thing I found interesting about Fanny is that she used many pseudonyms. A pseudonym is a pen name taken by a writer so the writer can remain anonymous for whatever reason. I have read that this was done by women in the early years when it was thought that only men should be writers and composers. Taken from Cyberhymnal, here are the pseudonyms Fanny Crosby wrote under:
Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Andrews, A. E.
Black, James L.
Black, James M.
Blair, H. E.
Blair, Henrietta E.
Culyer, Lyman G.
D. D. R.
F. A. N.
F. J. C.
F. J. V. A.
Forrest, Mrs. Edna
Frances, Grace J.
Frances, Lillian G.
Frances, S. Trevor
Grinley, Mrs. Kate
G. W. W.
J. F. O.
J. W. W.
Lankton, Martha J.
Lincoln, H. N.
Lindsay, W. Robert
L. L. A.
Lowry, Minnie B.
Park, Edna L.
Prentice, Mrs. L.C.
Smiling, Mrs. Kate
Smith, Sallie A.
Smith, Sallie E.
Sterling, J. L.
Sterling, Rian J.
Taylor, Ida Scott
The Children’s Friend
Tilden, Louise W.
Van A., Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Fannie
Van Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Van Alstyne, Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Mrs. Alexander
Wilson, Mrs. C. M.
## [yes, she sometimes used these marks instead of a name!]
Isn’t that interesting? I have not been able to find out why she chose to write under so many but nonetheless, she surely did a lot of writing!
Today’s hymn is a very special one to me. Since the day I was born-again, I have thought of Christ’s return every single day. I was born again at noon on April 1st, 1980. I use to laugh and say that I fooled ole slew foot because I was saved on April Fool’s Day. But each day since, I have looked forward to Christ’s appearing at the Rapture of the Saints! It is the topic of the end times that drew me to the Saviour and it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have studied the Rapture of the Church thoroughly and am convinced that Christ will be here at any moment! In the twinkling of an eye, we are told! (1 Cor. 15:52-58 ) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (52) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (53) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (54 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (55) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (56) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (57) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (58 ) Oh Glory!
Fanny Crosby must have taken verse 58 very seriously, in my opinion. She was steadfast – she was unmoveable in the work of the Lord. Despite her blindness, she held no resentment in her heart and she moved forward in her work for the Lord. I wonder how many of her songs are sung throughout the world on any given Sunday during church services? Her songs have even been translated into different languages! Today’s hymn is a blessing because it exhorts the believer to be steadfast as well.
When Jesus comes to reward His servants,
Whether it be noon or night,
Faithful to Him will He find us watching,
With our lamps all trimmed and bright?
O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?
If, at the dawn of the early morning,
He shall call us one by one,
When to the Lord we restore our talents,
Will He answer thee—“Well done”?
Have we been true to the trust He left us?
Do we seek to do our best?
If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,
We shall have a glorious rest.
Blessèd are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there?
Whenever I sing this song, I fall under conviction. It actually should be my song every morning when I sit to do my devotions. If I were to adopt this as my daily song, I dare say I would not be so quick to look away but would keep my eyes fixed on the Lord’s return. When I read through the words this morning, my thoughts were fixed on my work for the Lord. What I have done for Jesus that would answer me – Well done! (Mat 25:23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
We cannot earn our way to Heaven by the work that we do here on earth. That is clear in (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (8 ) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (9) The Lord made sure to put these two verses in the Word so that man would not able to boast of his accomplishments. He would not be able to say, “Look at me! Look at all I have done or money I have given so that I can enter those pearly gates!”
However, after we are saved, the born-again believer’s actions and works should be such that an unbeliever sees Christ through our works. Our good works and our actions should draw the unbeliever and should attract him. These works should speak volumes without a word uttered! (Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Before I was saved, my works were impeccable. I taught catechism – I helped the poor – I volunteered for good causes. However, none of these brought me assurance that I would go to Heaven when I died. You can purchase a gift to give to someone. However, you cannot purchase a gift that is given to you. The Word is clear about the Father’s gift to us. It cannot be purchased – it cannot be earned. If it could be, it would not be a gift at all. Along with Eph. 2:8-9, the Lord has given to us three more verses which teach us this fact:
(Joh 4:10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
(Act 8:20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
(Rom 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Where are your works today? Are you working for God because you believe that you will be rewarded by entering Heaven? Or are you working for God because you are a born-again child of the King and you want to please Him? The believer has peace knowing that he is a child of God and does not have to question his place in God’s family. However, the unbeliever does not have such peace. They do good works so that they can obtain this peace but this peace evades them. In the end, they are not convinced that they are going to enter Heaven. They wonder and hope that they will go to Heaven.(Oba 1:15) For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
Don’t be counted among the saved who will be ashamed at the Lord’s return. Do something about your laziness today. Work for the Lord for the day is fast approaching. (1 Jn 2:28 ) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. Take delight in boldly approaching the Lord knowing that you have done a good work today for the Master! I believe Fannie can be counted among these brethren. I have never read one negative comment about her service for the Lord. What a great day it must have been for her to enter Heaven!