John E. Bode served in the parish of Castle Camps, near Cambridge, England. During this time he had the privilege to officiate the confirmation ceremony of his daughter and two sons. This hymn “O Jesus, I Have Promised” was written for this occasion. The original version of the hymn said at the first stanza, “O Jesus, We Have Promised” as a reference of the three children of Bode.
This hymn is a powerful prayer that we can say to our Lord that we will be faithful to Him. We are not perfect but He is, and He will help us to remain faithful to His kingdom. Paul said, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
1. O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.
2. Oh, let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
I dare not trust my judgment: Thy way shall be my will;
Oh, speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
Oh, speak, and help me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.
3. O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end--
Oh, give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.
4. Oh, let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone;
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heav’n receive me, my Savior and my Friend.
In His service,