Posted by: rcottrill | December 12, 2012

Love Found a Way

Words: Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen (b. Oct. 11, 1895; d. Jan. 14, 1985)
Music: Harry Dixon Loes (b. Oct. 20, 1892; d. Feb. 9, 1965)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The story of how this 1915 gospel song came to be written can be found on the Wordwise Hymns link. As noted there, there, the hippity-hop rhythm of the tune can be distracting. This can be de-emphasized a little, with the help of a smoother accompaniment.

Also, I don’t think the song should be sung too quickly. It’s important not to trivialize sobering lines such as: “guilty and vile as I could be” (CH-1); “such a sinful wretch as I” (CH-2); and “depths of woe” (CH-3)–all of which took our wonderful Saviour to a “cross of shame” (refrain). I’m not suggesting the song should creep along, dolefully. But it should be taken slower than many are singing it.

Love! What a wonderful word! And the Bible tells us that “God is love” (I Jn. 4:8, 16). This is not intended, of course, as a reversible equation. It is not correct to say that love is God. Rather, the intended meaning of the Apostle John seems to be that divine love is such a core quality of the character of God that every other springs from it, or is somehow rooted in it.

But, on the other hand, if you know what inspired the writing of the song you’ll also realize that “Love” in the phrase “love found a way” is virtually synonymous with saying “God found a way.” In love, God the Father sent His beloved Son to pay the price for human sin, so that through faith in Christ we might be cleansed and forgiven, and receive the gift of eternal life (Jn. 3:16).

No other way will do. We are not saved by being good, or doing good works. Nor are we saved by joining a church or by some kind of ritual. These things, though they may be good in themselves, are not sufficient to save. Used that way, they simply represent man’s attempts to make himself acceptable to God. But salvation is not achieved by man reaching up, but by God reaching down.

It was God alone who “found” or provided the way to be saved, through Christ, the only way (Jn. 14:6). Its significant that half a dozen times in Acts Christians are identified as people of “the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4, 14; 24:22). The only way is God’s way, and it was opened to us through His love.

There is so much in the Scriptures about the love of God that it would take many studies to explore all aspects of it, but here are just a few thoughts.

¤ God’s love for us is a “great love” (Eph. 2:4), infinite and unmeasurable in its reach and depth.
¤ God’s love is a gracious love; He loved us while we were still in our sins (Rom. 5:8).
¤ God’s love prompted Him to send His Son to die for us (I Jn. 4:9).
¤ God’s love, received by us through faith in Christ, unites us to His forever family as “children of God” (I Jn. 3:1).
¤ God’s love for the saints is enduring; nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35-39).
¤ God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
¤ Our Spirit-inspired love is a response to His great love (I Jn. 4:19).

Harry Dixon Loes also wrote the words and music of a little children’s chorus about the latter point. It says:

Everybody ought to love Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus;
He died on the cross to save us from sin,
Everybody ought to love Jesus.

Other writers later added stanzas such as: “Everybody ought to go to Sunday School” and (of less merit I think), “Everybody ought to keep smiling.” But the original thought of Mr. Loes was that we ought to respond in love to the love that sent Christ to the cross.

CH-1) Wonderful love that rescued me, sunk deep in sin,
Guilty and vile as I could be—no hope within;
When every ray of light had fled, O glorious day!
Raising my soul from out the dead, love found a way.

Love found a way, to redeem my soul,
Love found a way, that could make me whole.
Love sent my Lord to the cross of shame,
Love found a way, O praise His holy name!

CH-2) Love brought my Saviour here to die on Calvary,
For such a sinful wretch as I, how can it be?
Love bridged the gulf ’twixt me and heav’n, taught me to pray,
I am redeemed, set free, forgiv’n, love found a way.

Questions:
1) If God is so loving, how is it that not all will be saved?

2) What are some of the provisions of God’s love presently enjoyed by His children?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


Responses

  1. Many will not be saved because “they would not”. I do not believe that anyone, if faced with the necessity of trusting the Lord for their salvation, who would choose to receive that free gift, will be lost. Jesus said that anyone that came to Him He would in nowise cast out. That is the true love of God. It is not by one’s own merit or I would not be saved!

    I have learned by experience with Him that when loved ones are lost, He really does give the peace that passes all understanding and real comfort that I can feel and depend on daily. I have also found that if I really trust Him for provision, no matter how impossible that provision seems to be, He is faithful every time. He is truly a husband to the widow and never fails to provide for His children’s needs.

    • I think I understand the meaning of your comment. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that not all will be saved. In fact the path to destruction is broad, and it’s traveled by “many,” while the path of life is narrow, and traveled by a relative “few” (Matt. 7:13-14). Those outside of Christ, and without faith in His saving work on the cross, are “condemned already,” and “the wrath of God abides on [them]” (Jn. 3:18, 36).

      However, it is also true that abundant grace is extended to the sinner, through the proclamation of the gospel, and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Out of love for us in our need, God sent His own Son to pay the penalty for our sin, so that through faith in Him we could be saved eternally (Jn. 3:16). “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). And Jesus says, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means [not under any circumstances] cast out” (Jn. 6:37). Praise the Lord!


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