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I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

Sometimes when you sing a favourite song, you may not be aware of the reason that hymn was composed.  I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS, is one of those hymns that when you hear the story behind the words…the hymn takes on a whole new meaning and the message becomes so much more profound.  The way you sing it forever changes.

 

After the revival in Wales some 150 years ago, Missionaries came to a group of hostile and aggressive villages in an area called Assam, India.  They came to spread the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus Christ.  Not being welcome, of course many rejected the gospel.  Yet some responded to this truth they were hearing for the first time.  Nokseng, a man from the Garo tribe, his wife and two young sons converted to faith in God.  Angry about this, the village Chief summoned all the villagers and brought this young family before them. The Chief demanded that they renounce this new faith publicly or face execution.

 

The young Father and husband assured the Chief and all the villagers that they had “decided to follow Jesus”.  As each family member was ordered to be put to death before his eyes, Nokseng looked at the villagers and said “Though no one joins me, still I will follow”.  Finally, he was left standing there alone and the furious Chief offered him one last opportunity.  Nokseng said, “The cross before me, the world behind me.  No turning back.”  His life was taken too.  Yet what happened next was astonishing.  No one including the Chief could believe that this young family were so steadfast and unmovable in their belief in Jesus.  They all began to search for and desire the same.  The Chief and the whole village actually came to faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Sadhu Sundar Singh, took these words and wrote the song text.  Music was composed by William Reynolds and the hymn was published in 1959.  This Hymn has become words of resolution still sung by many today.

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