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Ian Konopinski
April 1, 2020
This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series Hymns by James G. Deck
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“Jesus, That Name is Love”
by James G. Deck
Songs and Hymns of Life, #40

Please sing through the hymn before reading through the devotional. Click here for audio of the tune.

Verse 1
Jesus! that name is love,
Jesus, our Lord!
Jesus, all names above,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou, Lord, our all must be;
Nothing that’s good have we,
Nothing apart from Thee,
Jesus, our Lord!

What a sweet and precious hymn! One of the outstanding features of the poem is the repeated lines, ‘Jesus, our Lord’ and ‘Jesus, the Lord’. You will sing these lines at least 12 times if you sing through the whole hymn. How sweetly is this hymn filled with the sweet name of our sweet Lord and Savior! As you sing these lines, do you not feel a longing deep within to shout and declare this glorious fact—that not only is Jesus THE Lord, but He is also OUR Lord! Such a confession is something that only can be uttered by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3) and something that brings glory to our God and Father (Phil. 2:11). So precious and enjoyable!

The touching second half of verse one may be related to an experience that the writer had early in life. Deck was raised in a Christian home in England with a mother who regularly prayed for her children and was converted at an early age. As a young man in the military stationed far away from home in India, he had a deep conviction of sin which led him to write a list of good resolutions which was even “signed in his own blood”. But even such zeal and intensity did not last long, and Deck eventually failed to keep it. At some point in his life, the writer had a realization like King David that he had nothing good in himself, and that the Lord was all his goodness: “I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good besides You’” (Psalms 16:2, NASB).

Here are two valuable realizations: firstly, that I have no goodness of my own, in fact, I am pretty wretched and terrible; the second realization is related and will cause us to rejoice in hope instead of sinking in despair, because the Lord is all the goodness that we have, and even all the goodness that we need! Instead of being stuck in trying to drum up some goodness within myself or will myself to think positively, I can look away from myself and look to Jesus Christ, who alone is good! Paul also has a similar thought in Philippians 3:9: “…not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (NASB). Praise the Lord! Jesus is all our goodness and righteousness! Nothing is from us, we have all in Christ!

Verse 2
As Son of Man it was,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou gav’st Thy life for us,
Jesus, our Lord!
Great was indeed Thy love,
All other loves above,
Love Thou didst dearly prove,
Jesus, our Lord!

What a sweet verse of poetry that brings us back to the wonderful love of God that was demonstrated in Christ’s life on earth and His death on the Cross. Truly, His love is so great, so big, so vast! That He would give His life for us, as helpless and sinful as we were! This truly is the highest love, far above all our earthly human conceptions of what love could be! What a love so amazing! So divine! More than just stating that He loved us with such a wonderful love, our precious Lord proved it so dearly on that Cross of humiliation. Our God had a marvelous love that motivated Him to action that resulted in our salvation and redemption! Have you tasted this love? Is there not a response in your heart, longing to praise the Lord with all you are and have for this precious love?

Verse 3
Righteous alone in Thee,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou all our boast shalt be,
Jesus, our Lord!
Now unto God brought near,
His love dispels all fear,
Thy voice with joy we hear,
Jesus, our Lord!

Verse 3 goes on to talk about the sufficiency we have in Christ right now. We already mentioned that Jesus Christ is all our goodness and righteousness, and that we have no righteousness of our own. Because nothing is coming from us, we must also say that Jesus, our Lord who has accomplished all for us, is our only boast! I have nothing else to boast of—Christ has done all and is all! I do not count anything as coming from myself, all my sufficency is from God (2 Cor. 3:5) in Christ. Have you tasted that love which dispels all fear? Have you had sweet experiences where the Lord speaks to you, “Peace be to you”, “Do not be afraid, it is I”? Isn’t it so good that we have been brought near to God? We can boast in our Lord who has done all this for us!

Verse 4
Soon Thou wilt come again,
Jesus, the Lord!
Full joy our portion then,
Jesus, our Lord!
When Thine own face we see,
Then shall we like Thee be,
Then evermore with Thee,
Jesus, our Lord!

The last verse of this poem looks forward to the Day when our Lord will come again. It is so true that the Jesus our Lord is so good and enjoyable now, oh, but do not let us forget that there will be so much more! Higher enjoyment! Closer fellowship! We will see Jesus our Lord face to face! “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12, NASB). The small part of the love and joy of Christ that I know now is so wonderful and unspeakable, but how much more so when I know it fully! What a wonderful reminder of the expectation we have! We will see Jesus’ face! We will be made like Him because we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:3), and we will be with Him forever and ever! Precious Lord! I am so happy that I can enjoy You now! With what longing do I look forward to the full portion of joy that I will share with You for all eternity! Praise You, Lord!

Have you had such a sweet enjoyment of Christ in all that He is and has done? Have you tasted that joy and expectation of seeing the Lord face to face in that Day? How has the Lord’s love inspired you today?

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