Posted by: rcottrill | June 9, 2017

How You Will Love Him!

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Words: Eben Eugene Rexford (b. July 16, 1848; d. Oct. 18, 1916)
Music: Bentley DeForest Ackley (b. Sept. 27, 1872; d. Sept. 3, 1958)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Bentley Ackley)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Eben Rexford wrote hundreds of hymns, but he is best known today for his secular ballad, Silver Threads Among the Gold (“Darling, I am growing old, / Silver threads among the gold.”) Actually, it relates to the present theme, expressing the endurance of married love into old age. But the hymn we will look at came about in another way, and it speaks of our love for the Lord being awakened.

Below, I’ve used Dr. E. V. Hill and his wife to illustrate marital love and devotional. On one occasion I had an opportunity to hear him preach in person, at Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago. He had us on the edge of our seats as he spoke on “When Was God at His Best?”

The word “love” has been so misused that, at least for some, its true meaning and intent have been lost. They’ve adopted a kind of “I’ll love you if…” idea that misses the mark considerably. I’ll love you if you do as I want? I’ll love you if you please me, I’ll love you if you make me feel good, and so on. But that’s about getting, not about giving–which is the essence of true love.

Love is a commitment to give to others, sacrificially, for their good and blessing. At its summit it should be an “I’ll love you whatever…” kind of love, not diverted by obstacles. In marriage, that’s to be both a mutual and a lifelong commitment. As the traditional vows express it: “I take thee…to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” (To cherish means: to treat as dear, and care for tenderly.)

To see how that worked out in one couple’s life, consider the experience of Dr. E. V. Hill (1934-2003) and his wife. An evangelical pastor, and a great orator in the pulpit, Hill served a large church in Los Angeles for more than four decades, and was a friend and supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King. During the struggle for civil rights, he faced many dangers, as did other black leaders.

One day, Hill awoke to find his wife missing from the house. He was puzzled and concerned until, shortly afterward, she returned, saying she’d been out for an early morning drive. Rather unusual. But listen to why she’d done that. She was afraid that one of her husband’s enemies had planted a bomb in their car, and she didn’t want him to be the one to be killed. That is an example of true love!

Years later, Dr. Hill preached at his wife’s funeral service. He spoke of his beloved as “a gift that only God could give,” and spoke on Job 1:21, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The love of Christ provides the supreme example of a love that does not waver with our own weakness and waywardness. Just before He went to the cross, we read, “Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1). And it was that love that sent Him to Calvary. “Son of God…loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). The Bible declares that “[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39). And “We love Him because He first loved us” (I Jn. 4:19).

Evangelist Billy Sunday, the converted pro ball player, had a wide impact in the days between Dwight Moody’s ministry and that of Billy Graham. On one occasion in 1909, as he was preaching, he made this statement about the Lord Jesus Christ: “How you will love Him when you know Him!” His pianist at the meeting, B. D. Ackley, was struck by the phrase, and asked Eben Rexford to write a gospel song with that theme. When the text was finished, Ackley provided a tune.

CH-1) Ye who wander, of sin grown weary,
Lonely and far from the safe home-fold,
Come and learn what the love of Christ is,
Love whose gladness can ne’er be told.

O, how you’ll love Him when you know Him!
Know the Christ who died to set you free;
On Calv’ry’s cross His heart was broken,
Broken there for you, for me!

CH-2) Come, and coming, find peace and pardon
Waiting for you at the place of prayer;
Kneel and ask for a soul forgiven,
Christ is yearning to meet you there.

Questions:
1) How will loving Jesus be evident in your life day by day?

2) Do you find it true that the more you know Him (and know about Him) the more you love Him?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Bentley Ackley)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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