by Pastor Jack Hyles

(Chapter 6 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Kisses of Calvary)

(Preached at Bob Jones University, December 3, 1964)

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:34)

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Many years ago, it is said, there was a Salvation Army Convention in a large city--I think it was London, England. It was during the later years of the famous founder of the Salvation Army, General Booth. General Booth was in ill health, aged, and nearly blind. So the convention was conducted for the first time without the presence of the founder and leader. Someone suggested that General Booth perhaps could send a telegram or a wire to greet the messengers.

Sure enough, when the thousands of delegates were seated, a message came from General Booth. The moderator of the convention opened the telegram and began to read. And here is the message:

“Dear delegates: ‘Others.´ (Signed) General Booth.”


Lord, help me to live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way,
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for others.

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

-Charles D. Meigs

One thing that characterized the life of our Lord as much as any other single thing was that He lived and died for others. His motto was others. His activities were built around others. His desire was to help others. This was found in no other place as vividly as on the cross of Calvary.

It is interesting to note that in the seven saying of Christ on the cross, before Jesus ever used a personal pronoun He used the second and third person. Before He ever said “I” or “Me,” He spoke of “them” and “you.” He did not say, “I thirst,” until He had said, “Father, forgive them.” He did not say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” until He said, “Woman behold thy son,” and “Son, behold thy mother.” Even in His death Jesus was thinking not of Himself, but of others.

There can be and there will be no successful ministry or successful life for Christ until a person has adopted the philosophy that it does not matter a great deal what happens to me, but I will bathe my life and bathe my ministry in the service of others and in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to call you attention briefly to three statements that our Lord made before He spoke of Himself. Each of these first three sayings that He made on the cross were of others. In the first place, Jesus died loving others. In the second place, He died caring for the physical needs of others. In the third place, He died saving others.

I. Jesus Died Loving Others

He said, “Father, forgive them.” Before He ever spoke of His own physical needs, before He ever said, “Into they hands I commend my spirit”; before He ever said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” before He ever spoke about the first person, He spoke about others. He died loving others.

There are millions of people in this world today to whom no on has ever said, “I love you.”

In 1861, on the Senate floor, Charles Sumner was nearly killed in a fight. Senator Sumner was asked, after he had recovered, what was the thing that he thought about most while he was on what he thought was his deathbed. Mr. Sumner said, “The thing that I thought about most was I had lived and I was dying, and I had never heard anyone say, ‘I love you, Charles.´”

A man sat in my office just a few months ago. He said, “Pastor, I am twenty-six years old. But until I walked in the doors of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, nobody in twenty-six years had ever said, ‘I love you.´” Oh, there are thousands of people today whom no one loves and who have never heard the blessed words, “I love you.”

I have never lived twenty-four hours without somebody saying, “I love you.” Often at night before we go to bed, after we have our Bible study, spend about ten minutes on some character development for our children, and have our prayer time, I say, “Everybody that wants to kiss me, line up here.” (The line is usually a little scarce when I stand!) My little girl, Cindy, who is five, is always the first. Then my little girl, Linda, is next and David, who is ten, reluctantly stands in line. Then Becky, who is thirteen, stands in line. They kiss me, and as each child kisses me, he says, “I love you, Daddy.” And I say, “I love you, Cindy.” Then the next one says, “I love you, Daddy.” And I say, “I love you, Linda.” “I love you, Daddy.” “I love you, David.” “I love you, Daddy.” “I love you, Becky.” Then Mrs. Hyles says, “Good night, honey!”

The little Cindy will stand up and say, “Anybody that wants to kiss me, line up here.” (It takes us fifteen minutes for our devotions and two hours to kiss good night.)

But many, many times a day I have the blessed privilege of hearing those words--”I love you.”

I am saying this: I believe in exchange of tender affection and I believe in expressing love. And yet there are people walking the streets of your town and mine for whom no one cares. Churches don´t care. Preachers don´t care. If we are going to be successful, we must have the spirit of Jesus Christ, and we must live and we must die loving others.

Our church in Hammond operates seventeen bus routes. Weekly, over five hundred people come to Sunday School and church on buses. Our buses cover the entire Calumet area. On Sunday morning men and women, boys and girls come on these buses. Many of them are not well-to-do people; many of them are poor. Their little coats are hand-me-downs. The boys have hair so long you don´t know whether to call them she or he or it. They come because we love them. They know there is one church in town that loves them. They know there is one church in town that is glad to have them. They know there is one church in town that welcomes the poor just like she welcomes the rich. They know there is one church in town that is happy to welcome little boys and girls, men and women for whom nobody cares and whom nobody loves.

They often line up outside the baptistry door to get my autograph. (We baptize every Sunday morning and every Sunday night.) I will kiss the little ones and give them autographs. (The other day a boy asked me for my autograph. I checked, and it was the fifty-third time I had written my name in his Bible.)

One little girl came not long ago and she said, “Would you sign my Bible?” I said, “Yes.” She was about six or seven, wore tennis shoes, and her hair was straight. Nobody curled her hair on Saturday night. Nobody polished her shoes. Nobody would greet her at home when she returned and say, “Honey, did you learn anything in Sunday School?” Her father was a drunkard; her mother was a prostitute. But this little girl heard me say one time that I loved her. I said, “I love you, honey.” And every time she would pass me, she would say to her friend, “He loves me. He said he did.” She called me, “Mr. Brother Hyles.” She would say, “Mr. Brother Hyles, you are my best friend. You are my best friend.” She would pronounce it “fran.” “You are my best fran.” Every Sunday she would come.

(I'll usually get one child on this side and one on the other side, put my hands behind their neck, you know, and I´ll say, “When I say three, you kiss this cheek and you kiss this cheek.” Then I say, “One, two, three--” then move back and they smack each other!)

So this little girl said, “You are my best friend.” I would hug her and kiss her. (I kiss nay lady in my church under six or over sixty. That's my rule.) One morning she came and said, “Mr. Brother Hyles, you are my best friend, and I am moving out of town.”

I said, “Honey, I am sorry you are moving.”

She said, “I said, you are my best friend, and I won't be coming here any more.”

I said, “Honey, I am sorry you are moving.”

She said, “Did you hear what I said? You're not going to get to see me any more. And you're my best friend!”

I said, “Well, honey, I am so sorry, and I wish I could see you, and I hate to see you move.”

The little girl, poor little thing, put her hands on her hips and looked up at me and she said, “Well, ain't you gonna cry?”

And I said, “Yes, I am.” And I did. We wept together and I kissed her good-by. No one to love her; no one cares for her.

Oh, listen, my young friend, did you ever get the taste one time of the heavenly manna of living for others and saying with the writer:

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.

One taste of that and you never will be satisfied any more as long as you live with the taste of selfishness and covetousness and the self-life.

II. Jesus Died Caring for the Physical Needs of Others

The second thing that Jesus died doing, He died caring for the physical needs of others. Before He ever said, “I thirst,” He said, “Woman, behold they son.” Before He ever said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He said, “Son, behold they mother.” He died caring for their physical needs. he said to the beloved one, “Take care of My mother.” He said to His mother, “Here is one to take care of you.” Even at His death on the cross, Jesus died caring for the physical needs of others.

With all of my heart I believe that the church of Jesus Christ and the people of God ought to spend fifty-two weeks a year supplying the physical needs of people who are destitute and in need. In our church in Hammond we don't give out Thanksgiving baskets, and we don't give out Christmas baskets--we give out 365 days-a-year baskets for those who are in need. We have a room, almost as big as this platform, full constantly of food and clothing. We have a rescue mission that is operated 365 days a year. It is owned, operated, and sponsored by our church. We feed three meals a day, every day of the year, and have two services a day. We give out food baskets constantly, for we believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ does have some social applications, and these are in helping and the caring for the needs of others.

Not only that, but did you know that when you start living the “others life” you will be happier yourself? The Master said it when He said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

One of our dear members, a sweet lady who is very cultured and refined, came to me about a year ago and said, “Pastor, I am about to have a nervous breakdown.” (Now, every lady I know has either just gotten over a nervous breakdown, is having one right now, or is planning one real soon!)

I said, “I´m sorry.”

She said, “Can you help me?”

I said, “Lady, here is what you do. If you will do something for others every day, you won't have a nervous breakdown. Tomorrow take a dozen roses and go to the hospital. Find the rooms where no one is visiting during visiting hours. Walk in and give a rose to each person who is lonely. The next day go down to the home for the blind, take some candy, and pass it out to the dear blind people. Visit with them awhile. Then the next day bake a cake for one of the dear deaf members of our church. If you will do something every day of your life for somebody else, you will not have a nervous breakdown.”

She went out to do so. A few months later she said, “Pastor, I have called off the nervous breakdown.”

She found the answer. In the service of others, she had found the happiest life in the world.

It is said that Elizabeth Barrett Browning, when she was an invalid, was made well because someone loved her and cared for her. When Robert Browning came to Elizabeth Barrett Browing's bedside, she was bedfast. She could not even sit up. It is said that on his first visit, she lifted her head. On his second visit, she sat up in bed. On the third visit, she eloped with him.

Don't you see what I mean? Thousands of people can be reached if somebody cares.

Listen, a successful pastor is one who lives his life for others. The successful church is one who lives for others. The happy life is the life that is built around service for others. Jesus died caring for others.

I recall when I was a kid preacher. (I started preaching when I was nineteen.) I surrendered not to be a little preacher, but a big one. I surrendered to pastor the First Baptist Church in Dallas. (That was the largest church in the world at one time, and that, I knew, was the one that I ought to have.) Dr. Tom Malone says a preacher is like a wasp. He is bigger right after he is hatched than any other time in his life. So I said, “Lord, here I am, and I surrendered to become pastor of a large church.”

But do you know where I started out? The Marris Chapel Baptist Church in Bogota, Texas, Red River Country--nineteen members and a salary of $7.50 a week. Not a single man owned a suit of clothes or a tie. There was only one car in the church family and only one telephone.

I got down in East Texas and I looked up to God many a day and said, “Lord, remember me? I´m the incumbent, the pastor that You called to pastor First Baptist Church, Dallas.” Well, it seemed the Lord didn´t even listen to me. Day after day I said, “Lord, this is not what I had in mind.”

One day, ah glad day, I looked out at my little nineteen people. There was Charlie Smith and Wood Armstrong and others, and I said to myself, “These are precious people. How sweet and how precious are these people.” I went out between two rows in a cotton patch on Sunday afternoon and I looked up to God and I said, “Dear Lord, I never realized how wonderful my people are. Would it be all right with You, dear Lord, if I spent my life here at the Marris Chapel Baptist Church?”

The dear Lord put His arms around me and he seemed to say, “My child, this is the place I have been trying to get you in now for a long time. I have something bigger for you now.” In a few days he moved me on.

Dear friend, until we know what it is to live and die for others, we will never know what it is to have happiness and success for ourselves.

Lord, help me to live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way,
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for others.

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me live for others
That I might live like Thee.

III. Jesus Died Saving Others

Jesus died not only loving others and caring for the physical needs of others, but Jesus died saving others. Even in His death, His life meant the salvation of others. There was one Zacchaeus up a tree, one Bartimaeus beside the Jericho Road, one lady at noonday, one Nicodemus at midnight--witnessing, winning souls to Himself, performing miracles. But even at His death, Jesus died saving others. Let me say this: No one can have the kind of ministry that God wants him to have unless he spends his life reaching others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus died saving others.

The other day I was in the hospital making a visit. One of our good men was very ill. I walked past the other bed in the room to get to his which was near the window. I did not stop and talk to the man in the first bed. Normally I do, but I was in a hurry to go to our daily morning broadcast. I walked in and had a prayer with my man and when I started to leave, I heard a voice, the voice of an old man. It was a voice that was quivering. The old man said, “Reverend, Reverend?”

I turned and I saw him, tears rolling down his cheeks. He must have been eighty. He said, “Reverend, would you pray that prayer for me, too? Would you pray that prayer for me, too?” I held his old hand and prayed for him. As I turned to walk out of the room, the old man looked at me with his lips quivering and said, “Reverend, nobody ever prayed for me before. Nobody ever prayed for me before.”

Friends, this is a sick world. It is a world of heartache and heartbreak and broken dreams and broken lives and broken aspirations. It is a world that is in need, it is a world that is hungry, it is a world that is miserable, it is a world that is neurotic, it is a world that is brokenhearted. It is a weeping world, it is a needy world--and we have to face it. The only hope we have to be successful in our work is to live our lives in the service of others.

When I went to the city of Hammond nearly five and a half years ago, I did not want to leave my church that I has seen grow from forty-four members to 4,128 members in six and a half years. They were my people. I did not want to leave. The Lord said, “I want you to go to Hammond.” I said, “No, no. I don´t want to go.”

The Choice

I said, “Let me walk in the fields”;
he said, “Nay, walk in the town”;
I said, “There are no flowers there”;
He said, “No flowers, but a crown.”

I said, “But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din.”
But He wept as He led me back;
“There is more,” He said, “There is sin.”

I said, “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.”
He answered, “Yet hearts are sick,
And souls in the dark undone.”

I said, “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.”
He answered me, “Choose tonight
If I am to miss you, or they.”

I pleaded for time to be given;
he said, “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the field,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”

Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He,
And I walk in a light divine
The path I had feared to see!

-George McDonald

Whether it is in Hammond, Indiana; in the apartment building of Chicago; in the plains of Texas; in the deep South; in the mountains of Colorado; in the hills of the East; or on the beaches of the Coast--wherever it is, there is joy, there is peace, there is victory in the life that is lived and, yea, that is given loving others, serving others, and saving others.

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.


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