Sunday, June 27, 2010

Give Of Your Best to the Master

“Songs My Father Sang”

Give Of Your Best to the Master

I sat thumbing through an old hymnal entitled Assembly Songs published by The Gospel Publishing House. There is no publishing date but we used this when I was growing up… it is kind of old! You could purchase a single cloth bound copy (my copy is blue) for 85 cents. 25 or more for 75 cents. This was “Printed in Round Notes Only.” That is, as opposed to “shaped notes.”

On page 197 you will find the song Give Of Your Best to the Master.  This was one song I remember dad using in services on a number of occasions.

This was a fascinating song to me. Well, I liked the words….and you repeated the chorus using the melody as the first two lines of the verse. But, then when we got to the third line, the whole feel of the music changes. What I didn’t know in my earlier years was that it moved to the relative minor. Then on the last phrase of the verse it modulated back to the Eb major.

The words at that point really caught my attention. I think it was partly due to the change in mode. “Jesus has set the example; dauntless was He, young and brave; give Him your loyal devotion, give Him the best that you have.”

I identified with the “young” part. I knew I was not dauntless or brave!

This is a great text.  Perhaps someone can write a more comtemporary melody to the song.  It has a message for today. 

For a great devotional or study, take each line and find scriptures that exemplify the lines. Below the text I have done a couple:

Give Of Your Best to the Master

Text: Howard B. Grose (1851-1939) Published in The Endeavor Hymnal, 1902.

Music: Charlotte A. Barnard (1830-1869) 1864, to accompoany the secular lyrics: “Take Back the Heart That Thou Gavest”

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.


Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart.
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave.
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Naught else is worthy His love.
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin’s ruin to save.
Give Him your heart’s adoration;
Give Him the best that you have.

Do a scripture study of the text:

For example, from the Refrain:

Give of your best to the Master;

  • When we bring something to God, it must be our best! Study Malachi 4:6-14 in which the people are told to bring” unblemished” sacrifices.
  •  Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,”
Give of the strength of your youth.

  • Ecclesiastes 12: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"-
From Verse 1: Jesus has set the example,

  • Luke 2:49 “Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"

  • I Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps”

  • 1 Timothy 4:21 “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Information about Howard B. Grose (1851-1939)

He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1883, and served Poughkeepsie, New York (1883-1887) and the  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1888-1890). He also served as president of the University of South Dakota(1890-92), taught history at the University of Chicago (1892-96), was assistant editor of The Watchman in Boston (1896-1900), and editorial secretary for the American Baptist Home Mission Society (1904-1910), and edited the Missions journal for 23 years.(

The following is from the December 29, 1906 edition of the The New York Times which reviewed two of Grose’s books on the studies of immigration. “Aliens or Americans?” “The Incoming Millions:"

“Mr. Grose’s two volumes may properly be grouped together, as they both deal with the same general subject, and are both designed to be textbooks for the benefit of home mission workers. To that end they are supplied with questions for review, and with useful statistical charts illustrating the more important facts about immigration.”

He edited and compiled along with George B. Graff “The Praise Book for Young People’s Societies, Church Prayer Meetings, Sunday Schools” published the United Society of Christian Endeavor in 1906. He had also edited The Endeavor Hymn¬al (New York: 1902), as well as writing several other books.


robert said...

Thanks for posting Howard Grose's fine gospel song. (Today is the 159th anniversary of his birth.) I appreciated your comments as well. Informative and perceptive. But I wouldn't relegate the song to a previous generation. Speaking for our church: it's still in the hymn book, and we still sing it.

If the history of our hymns and their authors interests you, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns. God bless.

Music2theWorld said...

Hi, Robert, You are welcome. Thanks for the note that it was on the anniversary of his birth. It was good to hear from you. I have visited your website in the past and have appreciated what you are doing. Keep it up! It is important.
And, I continue to sing these hymns, as does our church. What a rich heritage we have.