“Where Livest Thou?”

"So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14.12)

     INTRO.: A song that reminds us that we should live in such a way as to remember that we shall give account of ourselves to God is "Where Livest Thou?" (#318 in Hymns for Worship Revised). The text was written, under the pseudonym of Vana R. Raye, and the tune (Vana) was composed, both by Lloyd Otis Sanderson (1910-1992). Sanderson edited three hymnbooks, Christian Hymns (No 1) in 1935, Christian Hymns No. 2 in 1948, and Christian Hymns No. 3 in 1966, for the Gospel Advocate Co., all of which were very popular in their day.

     Sanderson has produced several songs, tunes, and arrangements which are still fairly well known among us. He did both words and music for "The Lord Has Been Mindful Of Me." He provided tunes for Thomas Obadiah Chisholm’s lyrics "A New Creature," the perennial favorite "Be With Me Lord," and "Bring Christ Your Broken Life." And he did the arrangement that we often use of "He Loves Me" ("Why did the Savior heaven leave, And come to earth below?"). "Where Livest Thou?" was copyrighted in 1948 and was first published in Christian Hymns No. 2.

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in in Christian Hymns No. 2 and Christian Hymns No. 3, both edited by Sanderson. Today it can be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard, the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand, in addition to Hymns for Worship. Most books give the copyright date of 1948, but my copy of Praise for the Lord omits the copyright notice.

     This song has often been used effectively for the invitation.

I. Stanza 1 suggests that we live with the sons of God
"Where livest thou? In pleasures of the world?
Or in that realm whence Satan’s darts are hurled?
Choose now to follow with the sons of God;
Far better this than where the great have trod."
 A. Some people choose to live in pleasures of the world: 1 Tim. 5.6, 2 Tim. 3.4
 B. However, God wants us to live in the realm where Satan’s darts are hurled: Eph. 6.16. Since Satan already has those who live in pleasures of the world, he does not need to waste his darts on them; rather, he casts them at those who are in Christ
 C. Therefore, we should choose to follow with the sons of God: Jn. 1.12, Rom. 8.14, Phil. 2.15, 1 Jn. 3.1-2

II. Stanza 2 suggests that we live as sacrifices to the Lord
"Where livest thou? In malice and in strife?
Where darkness veils and mars the righteous life?
Choose now to make a living sacrifice–
‘Tis better thus; for we belong to Christ."
 A. Some people choose to live in malice and in strife: Tit. 3.3, Jas. 3.14-16
 B. Those who so live are in darkness that veils and marks the righteous life: Jn. 3.19-20, 1 Jn. 1.6
 C. However, God wants us to choose to make a living sacrifice: Rom. 12.1-2

III. Stanza 3 suggests that we live in Christ
"Where livest thou? There is a a place to stay–
‘Tis in the Christ, the true and living way!
Within His kingdom labor while you may;
Hear what He says, in loyal trust obey."
 A. God wants us to be in Christ, where all spiritual blessings are found: Eph. 1.3-7
 B. This is because Christ alone is the true and living way: Jn. 14.6
 C. And to be in Christ is to be in His kingdom where we labor for Him and obey His will: Col. 1.13

     CONCL. Those who are not yet Christians should ask themselves if they want to stay in malice and strife and the pleasure of this world or if it would be better to follow with the sons of God and be living sacrifices to the Lord by coming to Christ. Those who are already Christians should examine themselves and make sure that they are truly being faithful to the Lord. God is continually asking us and will ask us at the judgment, "Where Livest Thou?"


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