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Spenser's Question
Spenser’s Question

The Lady Elgin, a steamer ship, in 1860 was on her way to Chicago carrying 400 passengers.  The Lady Elgin collided with a schooner and 297 passengers lost their lives in Lake Michigan.  Edwin Spenser tied a rope around his waist and plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan time and again and swam to rescue passengers from the wreckage.  Edwin finally collapsed in sheer exhaustion after rescuing his seventeenth passenger.  In delirium he was heard to ask over and over, “Did I do my best?”  Edwin Spenser would spend the rest of his life as an invalid as a result of his heroic deeds that tragic evening.  Almost 75 years later, musician E. D. Young heard this story and penned the prying words to the hymn, Have I Done My Best for Jesus.

         I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
         Who died upon the cruel tree?
         To think of His great sacrifice at Calvary!
         I know my Lord expects the best from me.

         The hours that I have wasted are so many
         The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
         Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
         I wonder if His heart is breaking too.

         How many are the lost that I have lifted?
         How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
         I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
         When He has done so much for me?

Spenser’s question is a great one for us to probe our hearts with.  As a steward of many gifts from God, have you used them wisely?  As a parent, leader, or employee, have you done your best at your duties?  As a recipient of God’s free salvation have you shared the good news of the Gospel as passionately as you ought?  As one hurt or offended by another have you genuinely forgiven?  As a student of God’s word have you done your best?  If you are like me, you can't say you've yet done your best in all of these.

The third verse of Young’s hymn provides a penetrating question we should answer.

         I wonder have I cared enough for others,
         Or have I let them die alone?
         I might have helped a wand’rer to the Saviour,
         The seed of precious Life I might have sown.

Speak to someone this week about their need of Jesus the Savior. Tell a friend where to find BBN radio (

Written By:   Shannon Dyess    Date Posted:  9/9/2016 3:09 PM
Number of Views:  2855

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