As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. (Psalm 17:15)

The phrase “death-bed exercise” sounds exceedingly gloomy and rather funereal. However, quite the opposite is true. It was the hope and plan of many of our Christian forbears to give a strong, joyous testimony to family and friends as they crossed from this life into the next.
Such was the case of the 17th century Scottish preacher Samuel Rutherford. His last words included one of his final sermons based on the glorious text of Revelation 22:4. “They shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads.”

Over 200 years later, Scottish poet and writer Anne Ross Cousin compiled many of Rutherford’s thoughts and penned this great hymn. It is filled with breathtaking imagery, but more so, it is filled with Christ. In “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” we uncover the expressions of a dying saint. Yet there is no fear, trepidation, or alarm.

Samuel Rutherford, likened his life to an hour-glass, the sands of which were running out as he took his last breath here on earth. Yet, there was a reality which held him spellbound. His enraptured utterances were those of one who saw his eternal home not far away as faith gave way to sight. It was Immanuel’s land. Yet, outshining the glory of his heavenly dwelling is Immanuel Himself, “God with us.”

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes.
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day-spring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love!
The streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.”
I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand,
Not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace,
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand:
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

Today’s big idea: this life will fade, but we will one day see Christ face to face.

What to pray: ask God to help us serve Him while we are still in this life.

About the Biblical Authority Devotional

Serving as a supplement to the insightful book by Steve Ham, In God We Trust, the Biblical Authority Devotional series focuses on teaching God’s Word as the authority in every area of our lives. Having reached the end of this series, we are excited offer 366 devotionals, one for every day of the year—plus one for leap years. We encourage you to check out our other devotionals.

In God We Trust

In God We Trust takes a deeper look at living a truly God-focused life. You’ll learn not only to defend your faith according to the authority of God’s Word, but also to live it out in every part of life.

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