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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Monday, April 3, 2017
I woke up a few days ago humming a tune, thinking of a hymn I heard the Back to the Bible Quartet sing on a radio program long ago. This is one of those songs you have to sing in 4-part harmony to get the full effect.

More love to Thee, O Christ,
More love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make
On bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee.

Modern songs will many times focus more on "how much I love Jesus." Songs of old did the same—think of "Oh, how I love Jesus." But this hymn is not focusing on the depth of my love and how great it is, it instead is a prayer to God to stoke the fires of love in my heart so that I can truly show love to God.

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek,
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

Searching for peace and rest is not a bad thing, unless you search for it in a place where it can never be found. God is the only one who can give this and you're looking for love in the wrong place if you wander. The single focus of the hymn writer and the longing of her heart was to truly find God and receive what is "best." Oh that this would be the cry of my heart today.

Then shall my latest breath
Whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry
My heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

There is a sense of the temporal in the last verse. The grass withers and the flower fades, and so will my life, my heart, my voice. But when I have but one whisper left, let my heart raise this prayer that I will be found faithful in loving the One who loved me first.

So how do I show more love to Christ? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 1 John 3:18 says, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth." The hymn writer is calling us not to correct speech or lofty prayers but an earnest, authentic faith that puts love into action.

How can you love God more fully today?


Anonymous said...

I cannot even count how many times,the words and tunes from hymns will run through my heart and mind. When I was sick with asthma 6 years ago, I asked my husband to bring in my hymnal. Even though I had no voice, just the tunes running through my mind and the lyrics in my heart helped me immensely.

Unknown said...

The doctrine of hymns, (along with singing "Sacred Words through Sacred Song" at First Presbyterian in Orange , CA with Dr. Ball) lead me to accept Christ as my Savior. I had already hidden His Wird in my heart before I knew Him as Lord. When I finally accepted Him, the scales fell from my eyes and my heart believed, as Paul and the 2 on the road to Emmaus.

I'm so grateful for the great doctrinal hymns - the words are so powerful. Updating the rhythms, tempo, and arrangements is ok....but sing all of the verses. They tell a complete story.

Sharon said...

My childhood memories are surrounded with these hymns. The Back to the Bible Hour aired on our radio daily. When the radio wasn't on Mom was playing on the piano these songs of faith. Then albums made their way into our home and were played repeatedly. Living in the parsonage gave us ample opportunities to every service my dad opened the church doors for his little congregation to sing out of our hymnals. Mom led the choir, played the piano and organ, and joined dad in duets.
Now in my 60's my heart resounds with blessing upon hearing the old hymns. Tears trail my face during worship when one creeps into use. I agree all the verses tell the story.
My soul desires to love Him more as wasted years lay in my past. I pray to love others more with His love in the remaining years.
Thank you for reminding me of "More Love to Thee, O Christ" and the solid foundation of these marvelous hymns.
In the last few days I have read three of your books and have been spellbound. Thank you for your gift of writing and using it to His glory!

pius m said...

Good information on christian hymns, thank you