Posted by: rcottrill | September 19, 2018

Heaven in My Heart

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Words: Ida Augusta Guirey (b. Mar, 20, 1874; d. July 16, 1957)
Music: Robert Parsons (no information)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ida Guirey)
Hymnary.org

Note: Published in 1943, the present song was written by Ida Guirey. Miss Guirey (who never married) was a pastor’s daughter. She wrote several hymns. The theme here reminds me of a song by Charles Butler, Where Jesus Is, ‘Tis Heaven There.

When we talk together, there are some subjects that are painful or unpleasant to discuss–though we may have to deal with them at times. But heaven is a much more positive theme, and the prospect is pleasant to anticipate and reflect upon.

The more troubling and difficult our struggles, the more we might identify with a character in Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, who says, “Comfort’s in heaven, and we are on earth, where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.” That’s one reason the Lord wants believers to find encouragement and comfort in contemplating our future heavenly home. “Let not your heart be troubled…” (Jn. 14:1-3); “Comfort one another with these words.” (I Thess. 4:16-18).

The Bible uses words such as heaven and heavenly nearly seven hundred times. And, not surprisingly, hundreds of hymns have been written on the subject. Those Bible references, however, should be divided into three categories–identifying three different “heavens.”

¤ Earth’s atmosphere, where birds fly and clouds form, is called heaven (Gen. 1:20).

¤ A second “heaven” is outer space, where planets and stars are found (Gen. 15:5).

¤ What the Bible calls “the third heaven,” or Paradise (II Cor. 12:2-4) is where God’s throne is, and the holy angels dwell, with the saints who’ve departed this life (Rev. 4:1-2).

There is, however, a fourth way we could use the word heaven. Though the Bible doesn’t do so, the concept is certainly there. When we contemplate the blessings of God (of which a future in heaven is one), heavenly thoughts and feelings of joy and bliss fill our hearts. A century after Shakespeare wrote the play quoted above, Puritan clergyman Peter Drelincourt wrote:

“God comes to us before we go to Him; and heaven enters into our souls before we can enter into heaven.”

The Bible declares that Christians are, already, citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). It’s appropriate then that we think about the affairs of our heavenly home, and rejoice in things related to it. There are three questions to consider:

¤ How does one get on the road to heaven?
¤ What are the heavenly blessings of the journey there?
¤ And what do we anticipate our heavenly home will be like?

That’s the subject of a gospel song called Heaven in My Heart, which deals with the three questions just mentioned in three successive stanzas.

How does an individual get started on the heavenly way? Through faith in Christ, believing that “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). A familiar verse of Scripture says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

1) It was heaven in my heart when Jesus found me,
Heaven in my heart, heaven in my heart;
All my sins He took away, a new life gave me.
I can never tell the joy that filled my heart.

Stanza two of Guirey’s song talks about the Christian life, with the Lord’s presence and leading. The main way the Lord guides us is by His Word. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).

2) It is heaven ev’ry day with Him abiding,
Heaven ev’ry day, heaven ev’ry day;
There is light upon my way with Jesus guiding,
Shining more and more unto the perfect day.

The final stanza is about our eternal destiny. As Christ promised:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:2-3).

3) ‘Twill be heaven by and by His face beholding,
Heaven by and by, heaven by and by;
O the glory through eternity unfolding,
When we dwell with Him at home beyond the sky.

Heaven in my heart, heaven in my heart,
This the life He gave me when He saved me.
Heaven in my heart, heaven in my heart,
O the joy of knowing Jesus saved me.

Questions:
1) If heaven is in our hearts, how will that be seen in our lives?

2) Why do you think fewer hymns about heaven are being written today, compared to a century or more ago?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ida Guirey)
Hymnary.org


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