SCRIPTURE TEXT: We love because He first loved us” –1 John 4:19

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

Refrain: 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 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 of one whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below

Fredrick Whitefield wrote this hymn in 1855 while he was still a student at Trinity College. He was born and brought up in England. He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin. He studied ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. In less than ten years after its printing, the hymn began to appear in hymnals in America. The refrain is not part of Whitfield’s original hymn, but was later added by some unknown person. The tune used here is typically of camp meetings songs that emerged in America in the early 19th century.

The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as a practice of freedom.

There is no discrimination in His love. This gift of love is available to every single person, including those in the world who are most despicable. The love and forgiveness of God is open and available to anyone who will freely accept the gift of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). That makes this gift so utterly great and astounding. We don’t deserve it. Neither the best among us or the worst among us deserve the love that God has freely given to us.

But God has given us that love anyway. It is given freely to all. We also have been instructed to love one another in the same way Christ loves the church.

Prayer point: We must seek God’s help in identifying our talents at early stages in life like the author of this hymn, Fredrick Whitfield.


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