Reno Church of Christ

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Reflections Blog

A Picture Of God's Love

Posted by Matt Hayes on February 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

At church we often deal with families who are hurting and are looking for genuine love. It’s hard to find real genuine love if we are only exposed to twisted versions of love. Through God’s word we see many beautiful pictures of love to imitate. One of my favorite verses about love comes from Romans 8:35-37.

35 Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can troubles or problems or sufferings or hunger or nakedness or danger or violent death? 36 As it is written in the Scriptures:

“For you we are in danger of death all the time.

People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.”

37 But in all these things we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us.


As I read those verses from God’s word I was reminded of a great song written in the late 1800’s by George Matheson. Matheson was totally blind and he described this song as the “fruit of much mental suffering.” Here’s how he said it came to be:


"My hymn was composed in the manse of Innelan on the evening of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of the family were staying overnight in Glasgow. Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high."


A popular account for the writing of this hymn claims that it was the result of the reminder at his sister’s wedding of the great disappointment that Matheson had experienced just before he was to have been married to his college fiancée. When told of his impending total blindness, she said, “I do not wish to be the wife of a blind preacher.” It is very possible that the lingering memory of this rejection from an earthly lover prompted George Matheson to write this beautiful expression of an eternal love that will never be broken:


O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul on Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.

O Light that follow’st all my way, I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee; my heart restores its borrowed ray, that in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me thru pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow thru the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee; I lay in dust life’s glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red life that shall endless be.


This song has motivated me this week and make me focus more on God's Love. I hope it does the same for you. This month we’re going to focus on Love. Please join us.

If you are interested in seeing a great rendition of this song please check out this link or watch it here: 

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Categories: Minister's Corner

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Reply Lherota
11:53 PM on February 7, 2013 
I really enjoyed your lesson and the song! I can't wait to hear next week's!
Reply Liz DeWitt
1:02 PM on February 7, 2013 
What an awesome lesson! Without love we are bankrupt! Liz
Reply nadew
1:43 PM on February 4, 2013 
Its great to know that Gods love for us is without stipulation...I
Reply kirxander
3:40 PM on February 1, 2013 
I like the story and thought the song was great. Thanks for sharing!

I look forward to hearing your sermon this Sunday.