“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
The touching stanzas of the old hymn, Jesus, Lover of My Soul, reveal Charles Wesley’s response of love to Christ’s gracious love. One can discern a progression in the verses mirroring a Christian’s growth in Christ. Verse three seems to reflect the walk of a maturing believer who desires a full and fruitful oneness with Christ.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want; more than all in thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick, and lead the blind
Just and holy is Thy name; I am all unrighteousness,
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.
Paul’s prayer for his growing converts was, “that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19). He stated his own testimony thus: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
In His earthly ministry, Christ lovingly came to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). He didn’t just do this for those who followed Him, but for those who needed it, whether or not they responded in love, and indeed before long, those whom He had befriended turned on Him and demanded He die a sinner’s execution. But He was sinless—“The word was made flesh . . . full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Even though He had the power to avoid Calvary, His love was so great that He willingly accepted a sacrificial death for those who sent Him there. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Peter 3:18). Truly, He is the lover of the soul. JDM