From Connections: The Gift of Life Is Free!
Dr. Mauck is the oldest living graduate of Ambassador College. Having graduated in 1958 at age 39, he was one of the first married students to enter AC. He was the first student to attend who had teenage daughters and the only student ever to have his whole family attending AC at the same time.
In 1958 Dr. Mauck's wife at the time, Fay (now deceased), and his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, were freshmen; his oldest daughter, Helen, was a junior; he was a senior; and his mother attended Bible classes as a special student. The following year, while he continued as a graduated student, his wife was a sophomore.
In February, 40 years later, Dr. Mauck turned 80. He is retired from serving in the ministry of the Worldwide Church of God's Las Vegas, Nev., congregation.
By Hugh M. Mauck
The Gift of Life is really free, This time of living for you and mme. It cost us nothing to be born thisway And cost us naught for life today.
A priceless gift that came to us We never earned any way. Nothing we did could grant this life That brought us here the way we are.
A decision not our own nor ever could be,
This gift of life is truly free. Without our works nor mighty deeds This endowment of life is free indeed.
Yet it's costly as it can be.
It must be valued and cared for much Preserved by us both day and night, More often than not with all our might To stay alive both you and me.
Regardless of cost and in spite of hurt, Not a gift to be neglected Nor diminished therefrom, Tho' it can be destroyed or taken at will.
This gift of life will have an end In a single moment of time, An hour we know not when; It is not a permanent gift, you see.
It must return back to its earth From whence it came. Such is the gift it's designed to be, Temporary for both you and me.
There is another gift of life that's free That is offered both to you and me, Unlike this one we have right now. This life includes eternity.
It cost us nothing to have this gift, No works for which to qualify Nor mighty deeds of all our own Will earn this gift for you and me.
It comes to us completely free.
By many names this gift is known: Eternity is one of which it's named, Living forever for you and me, Passing from death we're now assigned.
It's not to perish but be transformed From this physical we now do live To the spiritual we hope to be, The way of salvation for you and me.
It's immortality and life everlasting, It's the water of life and tree of choice, It is righteousness in its purest form, It's fullness not ours till we're reborn.
This priceless gift has strings attached, As indeed all gifts of value do. Though it's free as the one we now have, It has conditions we know for sure.
For it's not true-a gift that's free Will have no commands nor way to live, For what is love if it's not that: To live His commands and walk His way?
This comes from Christ and God alone, By choice it's ours as it's made known: A way of life which Christ has shown, The path of life we must choose.
To walk with Him and do His will Eternal life we can now have, To change our ways through all our days When we choose to walk His way.
Though we have it now we do by faith, It is our hope for what's yet to be: Now a trust that leads to life But can be lost along the way.
Beware, therefore, neglect it not Nor quench its power by deeds undone. It reigns through righteousness With holy deeds and acts of love.
For those who say there are no works, A gift that is free requires no acts, No self-control nor moral restraint, Nor serve the Lord in faith and love:
To this I say to them:
Without these works our faith is dead. Without the fruit there is no faith. Can one be saved who does no work Or be justified who has no deeds?
This question was once asked before by a first follower of Jesus Himself: If a man has no works, can faith save him? If he has no deeds, will the gift be his?
One must be worthy to receive this gift. Obey the gospel; it's good news. Work out our own salvation, So the Scriptures say . . .
With the Spirit's help And the mind of Christ. Chosen to be the bride of Christ, We all must endure all trials that come. Overcome them each till the end of time.
The gift of life will then be full.
But after all-one thing we must know: The gift of life is not our goal. The purpose of life, physical and spirit, Is to gain the perfection Of Jesus the Christ, our Lord and King.
Without that fullness life means . . . Nothing!
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God