Posted by: rcottrill | September 30, 2011

Saviour, Thy Dying Love

Words: Sylvanus Dryden Phelps (b. May 15, 1816; d. Nov. 23, 1895)
Music: Robert Lowry (b. Mar. 12, 1826; d. Nov. 25, 1899)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This hymn is sometimes entitled Something for Thee.

This hymn is about doing things for the Lord, in the light of all He’s done for us. But that requires an important caution. We can never repay the Lord for His grace–or it wouldn’t be grace (Rom. 4:4-5). But we should be motivated by the love of the Lord to serve Him, with all we have. The remembrance of Calvary ought to prompt us to live for Him, and seek to please Him.

CH-1) Saviour, Thy dying love Thou gavest me.
Nor should I aught withhold, dear Lord, from Thee.
In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfill its vow,
Some offering bring Thee now, something for Thee.

Nor is Christ’s work on our behalf all in the past. There is more to contemplate than His “dying love.” He is presently our great High Priest, in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father. There, “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). Since He fully understands and sympathizes with us in our struggles, we are invited to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).

CH-2) At the blest mercy seat, pleading for me,
My feeble faith looks up, Jesus, to Thee.
Help me the cross to bear, Thy wondrous love declare,
Some song to raise, or prayer, something for Thee.

There is also His example to follow. While He was on earth, Christ demonstrated, as Man, how to live in perfect obedience to His heavenly Father. In His humanity, the Lord Jesus set us the supreme model of godly character. We are to emulate Him (Jn. 13:15; I Pet. 2:21; cf. I Cor. 11:1). God’s desire is that we “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29), and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to reproduce the character of Christ in us (Gal. 5:22-23).

CH-3) Give me a faithful heart, likeness to Thee.
That each departing day henceforth may see
Some work of love begun, some deed of kindness done,
Some wanderer sought and won, something for Thee.

What good gift can we give the great God of all the universe that He does not already have? (Or cannot simply create, any time He wants it?) What gift is worthy of His love?

In a sense, as Mr. Phelps expresses it in his final stanza, we ourselves are the greatest gift of all that we can give to God. As Paul says of the Macedonian Christians, “They first gave themselves to the Lord” (II Cor. 8:5). We are to present ourselves as “living sacrifices” to Him (Rom. 12:1), and the Bible speaks of “the glory of His inheritance [i.e. His glorious inheritance] in the saints” (Eph. 1:18). “The Lord’s portion is His people” (Deut. 32:9).

CH-4) All that I am and have, Thy gifts so free,
In joy, in grief, through life, O Lord, for Thee!
And when Thy face I see, my ransomed soul shall be
Through all eternity, something for Thee.

1) How have you responded to the love of the Lord in the past few days?

2) How have you perhaps slighted His love recently?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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