“Make Me a Channel of Blessing”

"Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work" (2 Tim. 2.21).

     INTRO.: A song which encourages us to be vessels of honor, fit for the Master and prepared for every good work is "Make Me A Channel Of Blessing" (#96 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Euclid) was composed both by Harper G. Smyth, who was born on Mar. 16, 1873, in New York City, NY. After receiving his musical training at the Institute of Musical Art in that city, for two years he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company. After working briefly in Atlanta, GA, and Indianapolis, IN, he served as song leader on tours with Maud Ballington Booth of the Salvation Army and evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman. Through the years, he was credited with about 25 songs.

     His best known song, "Make Me A Channel of Blessing," was produced in 1903. The earliest collection in which it has been found is Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs, compiled in 1904 by James McGranahan. In 1913 Smyth settled in Cleveland, OH, where he maintained a vocal studio and was song director of the Euclid Ave. Baptist Church. During World War I, he began writing and directing pageants, an activity which he continued for many years. Active in the musical life of the city, he served as the official songleader for the National Republican Convention which was held at Cleveland in 1924 and occupied a similar position with the Rotary International conventions. In 1941, he published a book Let’s Adventure in Personality, and gave frequent lectures on this subject. In April of 1945 he suffered a stroke while leading singing for a group of recruits at the Army Induction Center in Cleveland and died there four months later, on Aug. 25, 1945.

     Among hymnbooks published by member of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) and the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 both edited by L. O. Sanderson. Today, it may be found in the the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Sacred Selections.

     This song tells us how we can be channels of blessing for God

I. Stanza 1 says that we must tell the lost of the Savior
"Is your life a channel of blessing? Is the love of God flowing through you?
Are you telling the lost of the Savior? Are you ready His service to do?"
 A. The love of God for mankind is wonderful, but if we have received it, He wants it to flow through us to others: 1 John 4.9-11
 B. And the way we let this happen is to tell others of what He has done for us, as Jesus asked the healed demoniac to do: Mk. 5.1 19
 C. In this way, we will be ready His service to do: Isaiah 6.8

II. Stanza 2 says that we must urge upon those who are straying the message of the cross
"Is your life a channel of blessing? Are you burdened for those that are lost?
Have you urged upon those who are straying The Savior who died on the cross?"
 A. Paul was certainly burdened for those who were lost: Rom. 10.1-3
 B. And he urged upon those who were straying by preaching the gospel of Christ that they might be reconciled to God: 2 Cor. 5.18-20
 C. The message of the Savior who died on the cross may seem as foolishness to the world, but it is the only way of salvation: 1 Cor. 1.18-24

III. Stanza 3 says that we must speak the word of salvation to those in sin
"Is your life a channel of blessing? Are you daily telling for Him?"
Have you spoken the word of salvation To those who are dying in sin?"
 A. Speaking for Jesus should be something that is a part of our lives every day: Lk. 9.23, Acts 2.46, Heb. 3.13
 B. And what we should be speaking every day is the gospel of Christ which is God’s power to salvation: Rom. 1.16
 C. Why? Because there is a whole wide world out there who is dying in sin: 2 Cor. 5.10-15

IV. Stanza 4 says that we must have lives that are free from all sin so that we will not be barriers and hindrances to others
"We cannot be channels of blessing If our lives are not free from all sin;
We will barriers be and a hindrance To those we are trying to win."
 A. Obviously, the Bible teaches that no one, even Christians, are perfectly free from all sin, but we cannot continue to live in sin and be channels of blessing: 1 Jn. 3.4-9
 B. If those who are supposed to be Christians do continue in sin, they will become barriers and hindrances to others: 1 Tim. 5.14, Tit. 2.7-8
 C. Therefore, we need to keep our lives pure and holy that we might have an influence for good on those we are trying to win: 1 Pet. 1.15, 2.11-12

     CONCL.: The chorus asks God to help us in achieving these goals:
"Make me a channel of blessing today, Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My live possessing, my service blessing; Make me a channel of blessing today."
As a Christian, it should be my daily aim and prayer to God that He would help to "Make Me A Channel Of Blessing."


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