Sunday, August 22

A Sunday To Love Jesus

O How I Love Jesus
There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.


O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior's love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner's perfect plea.

It tells me of a Father's smile
Beaming upon His child;
It cheers me through this little while,
Through desert, waste, and wild.

It tells me what my Father hath
In store for every day,
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.

It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears
A part that none can bear below.

It bids my trembling heart rejoice.
It dries each rising tear.
It tells me, in a "still small voice,"
To trust and never fear.

Jesus, the Name I love so well,
The Name I love to hear:
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.

This Name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads me up to God.

And there with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I'll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus' love for me.
Words by Frederick Whitfield, from the Cyber Hymnal.

Today's featured sermon is one by John Broadus, one of the Southern Baptist founders, and a chaplain in Lee's army during the American Civil War. It's a sermon on Loving Jesus Christ. The text is from John 21:15:

Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him: Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him: Feed my lambs.

From the concusion of the sermon:
How should we show our love to him so well as by doing good to his people? Prove your love to the Saviour by doing good to your fellow Christians. Judge them kindly, O ye Christian people, by all your own conscious weaknesses and all your stumblings, judge them kindly, and when they are weak, help them along. Doing this in love for the Lord you shall learn to love him more. That also is illustrated in the experience of ordinary life. Why, I could find you in this great city of yours a thousand examples. I could show you tomorrow evening as the day draws to its close some humble home where if you and I should go and stand and look in through the open window as the dusk came down, we should see a quiet woman approaching middle age busy with household tasks. Her cheeks are shrunken from their youthful beauty, and her complexion is faded a little. She lives in poverty and knows full well what is meant by the hard times of which we are all now speaking. But as we look in through the window she seems not sad, she seems to enjoy what she is doing. She is preparing the evening meal with toil-worn hands for the husband that is coming, and the thought of him, how it sweetens her labor--to be doing this for him, how tender it makes her heart. Presently she begins to sing and breaks off in the middle of a line, and there comes to her faded cheek a new freshness and there is a new light in her woman's eye. They used to sing that song together, when the world and they were young. Ah! love's service is pleasant service, and what we do out of love makes us love them more. This is one of the sweetest conditions of our earthly life, and it applies with all its fullness and richness to the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are doing something out of love for him we love him better. Sacrifice, self-denial, act powerfully upon the love that prompts them. That is true not only of great things but also of little things. If you stir yourself from sloth and go to the Sunday school to teach for love of the Redeemer, it will always make you love him better. If you turn away from the social gathering that is not necessary, or from some place of amusement, to go to the evening prayer meeting, it will make you love him more. If you seek out the poor and try to do them good because they are Jesus Christ's poor, you will love Jesus Christ more. If in these trying days you deny your-self gratification's though they are within your means and you would have a right to indulge in them, that you may have more to give to the thousand Christian enterprises that are struggling for existence, then your sacrifice and your self-denial will intensify your love for Christ. Whatever you do, whatever you deny yourself, out of love, it will strengthen the love that prompts it.

But let me close as the Lord himself closed the conversation. After telling Simon Peter what he must do out of love for him, he said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee; When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." Dimly, and yet plainly, it meant that he should be crucified. And was that all that the loving Lord had to promise as a reward for a man who professed that he did love him? Thou lovest me, then serve me faithfully, and for so doing, When thou art old thou shalt be crucified. It looks strange. "This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God." Ah! that sheds light on it; a man that loves the Lord Jesus Christ is a man that means to live so as to glorify God. He promised Simon Peter a death of suffering and outward shame, but in that death he should glorify God.

My brethren, we live in a world of failures. How many businessmen in this city fail sometime or other. We live in a time of failures. Everything in this world is in danger of failing except one thing: a man who is really living to glorify God-that man will not fail, that end will be accomplished. It may not be in the way you had fancied or preferred, but in the way which he sees to be more for your good and more for his glory. You wanted to glorify him in a long life crowded with useful deeds; he may appoint that you shall glorify him by an early death. You wanted to glorify him with ample means, which you would scatter far abroad with holy love; he may want you to bear poverty with dignity. You thought you would glorify him in a life of health and strength, doing good in the world; and he may have thought to try you amid the sufferings of a sickbed. It is not for a laborer in the vineyard to choose himself where he will work, but only to work where he is placed. We know not what awaits us, but if in simplicity and godly sincerity, in such calling and circumstances as providence assigns us, we do make it our aim to glorify God, then whatever crashes and falls around us, life will not be failure, but will show our love and glorify our Saviour!