See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(I John 3. 1a).
This hymn has, since the very first time I heard it, jumped into my mind/heart as a message that will forever be a part of me. Why? Because the message reaches deep into my faith-field where it will forever remind me of what wondrous Love God has for all of His creation, but even more for everyone of us. The basic core message of this simple hymn reminds us of what is truly a message to you and to me from Christ; how Jesus could love us enough to die on the cross for us. The preacher in me wants to take this wondrous thought and run with it, but this is not a sermon; it is a meditation on the love of Jesus. A love that comes to us through the Saviour, that cleanses us of the sin we no longer want hanging on us as an old withered flower. We now have a bright shining light showing us the Way especially in the darkness that is found in the world.
The third verse gives us the wonderful message that not only will our voices sing, but also our hearts will sing with the good news, “To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing; to God and to the Lamb, I will sing.” The message is that though we do not like to think of death, it is a part of life itself. This hymn reminds us that Christ frees us from death itself! Oh, if only we could believe! It would free us from the stress and strain that life without Jesus places upon us. If you haven’t taken the time before, take it right now to accept the Good News that because of Jesus’ wondrous love we are set free. We are set free to love and enjoy life even more because we now know that the Life to come is going to be much, much better.
“And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.” Once we are freed from the toils and stress of this world, we will be able to sing on and on. Years ago I came across this illustration telling what heaven will be like. The story is told; when a new group gets to heaven the first question they all asked, ‘what will heaven be like?’ Gabriel joyfully gives the answer; you will be free from the things that have taken up all your time. Like going to work, picking up the kids, washing the dog, cutting the grass and so on. A golfer in the crowd lifts his hand and asks, will we be able to play golf? Then another who likes to fish asks, are there lakes and rivers? Everybody who has ‘things’ they just love to do ask if what they love to do will be found in heaven. Finally, the angel Gabriel says, “No my friends. You will all be in the cathedral worshipping God our Father and singing hymns, listening to the great choir sing to the glory of God all day until evening comes. Then when morning comes we gather once again.”
This little story points out that we may have our priorities mixed up. Come to church every Sunday to help your singing voice get in good condition. Think about it!
Heavenly Father, forgive us for allowing our priorities to get all mixed up. Help us to put You and Your glory first in our lives today that we may be able to spend eternity in Your heavenly kingdom with only one thought in mind, singing to You and Your blessedness. Amen.