Only Remembered by What We Have Done

I was at a town in Ekiti State (South West Nigeria) for the funeral of a woman of virtue who lived for 103 years recently. She was succeeded by a son who is already a retiree but still active as a pastor and missionary. Great preachers preached, orchestra performance was great in the town. I read all tributes including those written by great-grandchildren. After coming back to Lagos, I found out that it’s been impossible to forget one thing. One of the songs sang during the burial would just not leave me as it’s been hovering my mind for the last five days. As a musician of more than three decades, I know that songs that won’t let you go are anointed either by God or satan. The hand of God is on this one.

My findings revealed that the words were written by Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) who wrote over 600 hymns and was called “the prince of Scottish hymn writers”, a pastor with distinction. The words were set to music by Ira D. Sankey, (the great musician who compiled the Sacred Songs & Solos hymn book often called SSS). I know Sankey was the great minstrel who sang before ministrations of D.L. Moody from 1871 onward just as Pastor Kunle Ajayi plays sax before Pastor E.A. Adeboye ministers in our days.

It amazes me that Sankey (known as The Sweet Singer of Methodism) sang this song in 1891 at the funeral of Charles Spurgeon, the great London preacher who though dead, still speaks through his fiery messages that are still moving souls nearer God! The truth of the song should inspire you to think deep and consider your ways. Yes, you may have always tried to be good. It is however important to know like I do, that you would not be remembered for the good thoughts never expressed nor good expression that never metamorphosed into action! Dear, you’ll remember this day for good if you can meditate on this timeless hymn.

Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun—
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.


Only remembered, only remembered,
Only remembered by what we have done;
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.

Shall we be missed though by others succeeded,
Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown?
No, for the sowers may pass from their labours,
Only remembered by what they have done.

Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done.

Can you imagine how sweet your profession, vocation, place of worship, nation, world and to bring it near, your FAMILY would be, only if everyone remembers every time that we only would be remembered for what we have done! We may not know much about Horatius, Sankey, Spurgeon, Moody etc. They will always be remembered for what they did!

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad 2 Cor 5:10.

While we all pray to live long, you need to always ask yourself, if you are called home today, what would you be remembered for? Is it the promises made that end where it was made like politicians’ deceptive manifestos never intended to be executed? Would it be for words that inflicted pains and agony on others? Would it be by the ways you’ve guided the blind into peril by your speech / action?

If you want to be remembered for good and for good, it means you have to be like Christ. Simply do the following:

Accept that you have wronged God. Ask for His forgiveness. Believe His word that He would not reject / cast away whoever comes to Him in penitence away. John 6:37. Since it is only God’s Spirit that can produce good fruit in man, and God is willing to give you, ask the Holy Spirit to come into you and take control.

Have you just done these? Congratulations.

I have done something to be remembered for by letting you read this. What are you going to do with it? You can print it as a tract, email it, send it and you may even minister to others with the song BUT DO NOT TRASH IT! If you do, please remember, you would be remembered by…

1 thought on “Only Remembered by What We Have Done”

  1. The song is a good food for thought for all of us that is expecting the christ return, we all need to do good that will last even after our death.
    Like your story about the song I came across it some years back,but I didn’t take note of the words until some months back this year, I thank God I got the words from youtube.
    It’s difficult to detached myself from it since
    Help me in prayer that I will make heaven.

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