GIVE OF YOUR BEST TO THE MASTER                                   written in 1902

The Story

            Howard B. Grose (1851-1939) lived a life giving his best to God.

He attended the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1883, and served at the Poughkeepsie (NY) First Baptist Church for 4 years, and the Pittsburgh (PA) First Baptist Church for 2 years. He then served as president of the University of South Dakota for 2 years, taught history at the University of Chicago for 4 years, was assistant editor of a newspaper in Boston for 4 years, and became the editorial secretary for the American Baptist Home Mission Society for 6 years. He edited the Missions journal for 23 years. He lived his later years in Mount Vernon, NY.

It would not be said that Howard gave God second-best, or leftover parts of his life; he gave his best to his Master.

Charlotte Barnard (1830-1869), who wrote the music for this hymn, never heard this hymn. In fact, it was written more than 30 years after her death! She had written the tune these words were put to for a secular song, “Take Back the Heart That Thou Gavest”. When Howard’s words were written, they fit the tune and timing of that old secular song… and found a new, better life by becoming a hymn.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – give of your best to the Master.

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.

Refrain:
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.  (Refrain)

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.  (Refrain)

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