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Generation Hymn StoriesSample

Generation Hymn Stories

DAY 1 OF 7

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

According to P. P. Job, the lyrics of this hymn are based on the last words of a newly converted Christian, Nokseng, a Garo tribesman from India. Here is how it came to be.

In 1904, there was a great revival in Wales. As a result, many missionaries traveled to northeast India to spread the Gospel. It was a dangerous mission field in a region known for its primitive and aggressive head-hunting tribes. While there, one missionary’s faith proved contagious, and several villagers began accepting Christ.

Angered by these conversions, the village chief summoned all the villagers together. When they had gathered, the chief singled out a family who had been among the first to convert. He ordered them to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the family’s father, Nokseng, answered the chief, saying, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Enraged at Nokseng’s refusal, the chief ordered his archers to execute the family’s two children. As both boys lay dead on the ground, the chief asked the grieving father, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both of your children. You will lose your wife as well.” But Nokseng answered, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”

Overcome with fury, the chief immediately ordered his archers to kill Nokseng’s wife. Moments later, the woman joined her two children in death.

Now the chief challenged Nokseng one last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.” Faced with death, Nokseng uttered the final memorable lines. “The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back.”

Like his family, Nokseng was cut down by a flurry of arrows. But with the family’s deaths, a miracle took place. The chief found himself moved by the murdered man’s faith. He wondered why a man, his wife, and his children would die for a man who lived in a far-off land on another continent some 2,000 years in the past. “There must be some remarkable power behind the family’s faith,” the chief thought to himself. “And I, too, want to know that faith.” In a spontaneous confession of faith, the chief declared, “I, too, belong to Jesus Christ.”

When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the entire village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

When I read this story, the first thought came to me: "I don’t think I would have the courage to respond the way Nokseng did.” Would I or wouldn’t I? That question is actually before most of us in less dangerous ways today. Will I follow Jesus by forgiving that person who has offended me? Will I make that choice to turn my eyes away from lust or greed? Will I cherish and worship Jesus above selfish ambition and a love of this world? By God’s grace and the inspiration of this story, let’s choose to follow Him afresh today, and yes, with no turning back.

As you read the following Bible verses, I would like to encourage you to read them slowly and prayerfully and choose one to meditate on throughout your day today.

– Tommy Walker

Source: "Why, God, Why?" by Dr. P. P. Job.

Day 2

About this Plan

Generation Hymn Stories

The hymns have always been the great generational worship connectors, and worshiping with them is one of the best ways to grow and pass on our faith. It is my prayer that the brief stories behind these hymns, the lyrics ...


We would like to thank Tommy Walker Ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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