"WHEN MY WORK ON EARTH IS DONE"
"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love…" (Heb. 6:10)
INTRO.: A song which reminds us that the work that we do in this life for God will not be forgotten is "When My Work on Earth Is Done." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Austin Taylor, who was born on Oct. 14, 1881, in Morgantown, KY, and died in 1973 at Uvalde, TX, where he had lived for many years. Robert Welch wrote of Taylor and the song "When My Work on Earth is Done," saying, "He was teaching the singing school at Sabinal every day during the summer months while I was there. But when we had a meeting he was there every night to lead the singing if he was asked to do so. I recall one which we had in the northern section of town in the open air. He was there all the time to encourage and to lead the singing. At any time, all I had to do was to say, ‘Would you like to go with me?’ to some surrounding town, and he was right there. He wanted to be the man of his word in his song." I have not been able to find a date for this song. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today it may be found in the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song emphasizes the eternal blessings of doing the work that God wants us to do.
I. Stanza 1 says that we shall hear our Savior’s welcome
"I want to hear my Savior’s welcome When my work on earth is done;
I want to meet His kind approval When my work on earth is done."
A. Jesus Christ is our Savior: Eph. 5:23
B. If we are faithful to Him, He will welcome us at judgment into His eternal kingdom: Matt. 25:34
C. By this we shall know that we have His approval: Matt. 25:21
II. Stanza 2 says that we shall praise the Savior for His mercy
"I’ll praise my Savior for His mercy When my work on earth is done;
I know He’ll take me home to heaven When my work on earth is done."
A. This Savior is certainly worthy of our praise: Rev. 5:8-10
B. One reason why we praise Him is for His mercy: Jude v. 21
C. Because of His mercy, we can know that He will take the faithful to heaven because He has gone to prepare a place for them there: Jn. 14.1-3
III. Stanza 3 says that we shall be at home
"My soul will reach its glad fruition When my work on earth is done;
At home I’ll live in peace forever When my work on earth is done."
A. The soul is the most important possession that any of us have: Matt. 16.26
B. The fruition or ultimate end that God has planned for the souls of His people is salvation: 1 Pet. 1:9
C. Then we shall be at home because we shall be in the very presence of God Himself: Rev. 21:1-3
IV. Stanza 4 says that we shall have life eternal
"O blessed hope of life eternal When my work on earth is done!
There’ll be no sin my soul to trouble When my work on earth is done."
A. God offers those who work for Him a blessed hope in heaven: 1 Pet. 1.3-5
B. This hope involves the promise of eternal life: 1 Jn. 2:25
C. There, nothing will be able to trouble our souls any longer: Rev. 21:27
V. Stanza 5 that we shall be comforted by the Lord’s love
"The Lord of love will be my comfort When my work on earth is done;
He’ll safely lead me through the valley When my work on earth is done."
A. Jesus is not only the Savior but also the Lord of love: 1 Jn. 3:16
B. By working for Him, we can go to a place where we shall be comforted: Lk. 16:22-25
C. Also, He has promised to lead us through the valley that we must travel to go there: Ps. 23:4-6
CONCL.: The chorus reiterates the importance of doing the Lord’s work to receive His reward.
"When my work on earth is done, When the Lord shall claim His own,
I want to be among that number, When my work on earth is done."
Unless the Lord comes first, everyone must die. The longer I live, the sooner death will come. Either I can ignore the fact that death is coming, live as I please, and be unprepared for eternity, or I can prepare by doing the will of the Lord here on earth so that I can be ready to meet Him "When My Work on Earth Is Done."