O GOD, IT IS YOU
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8)
INTRO.: A hymn which reminds us that God is love is “O God, It Is You.” The text of stanzas 1-3 was written and the tune was composed both by Jay Conner, who was born near the Atlantic Ocean in the small Eastern North Carolina town of Newport. In addition to making his living as the owner of Conner and Wood Insurance and as a real estate investor in Morehead City, NC, he is a composer and pianist of popular music which is designed to soothe tired spirits, return forgotten joys, refresh troubled hearts, and heal ancient wounds. His first album, Grand Escapes, was released in 1997, followed by a second, Suspended in Time, in 1998, and a third, Romancing the Memories, in 2006, all available from his record label, Encore Music. Some of his music accompanies the Carolina Seascapes footage which airs on local cable access and is available on DVD.
Conner’s work has travelled far and wide, both here and in a number of foreign countries–from a TV music channel, on many radio stations, to a Hollywood movie soundtrack when his “Fill Me With Your Love” was used on the motion picture soundtrack for the Allan Smithee film Burn Hollywood Burn. In addition, Conner has written several hymns and in 2000 put together a collection of spiritual songs which he has composed entitled Songs from the Heart and Soul. Conner is a member of the Church of Christ in Morehead City. I had the opportunity of meeting him when I preached one weekend several years ago for the Morehead City congregation. If I recall correctly, he led the singing for at least one of the services when we were there.
“O God, It Is You” was copyrighted in 2000 and appeared with three stanzas by Jay and Stanza 4 by Carol Conner, who I might assume is his wife, in Songs from the Heart and Soul. Another hymn for which Conner provided the music is “Praise the Lord, I’m Coming Home” with words by Gilbert and Joe Gann, originally copyrighted in 1994. It is found in Hymns for Worship Revised. In addition Conner has composed a melody for “I Close My Eyes,” based on Psalm 143 with stanzas compiled from Clarence Johnson’s Psalms to Sing. It also appeared in Songs from the Heart and Soul and has achieved some popularity since its inclusion in the 2007 Hymns for Worship Supplement.
“O God, It Is You” emphasizes the love that the Lord has shown for sinful mankind.
I. Stanza 1 is about the Father’s love
O God, it is You who has loved me so dearly;
You sent Your only Son to die for me.
O God, take my hand, lead me to Your promised land;
Oh yes, God, it is You who has loved me so.
- The Bible teaches that God loves us: Tit. 3:4
- The extent of His love is seen by His sending His Son to die for us: Jn. 3:16
- His purpose in doing this is to bring us to glory: Heb. 2:9-10
II. Stanza 2 is about Jesus’ love
Jesus, it is You who has loved me so dearly;
You came and You died on the tree.
Jesus, take my hand, lead me to Your promised land;
Oh Jesus, it is You who has loved me so.
- The Bible also teaches that Jesus loves us: Eph. 5:2
- The extent of this love is seen in that He died on the tree: 1 Jn. 3:16
- His purpose in this sacrifice is to take us home to be with Him: Jn. 14:1-3
III. Stanza 3 is about the Holy Spirit’s love
Spirit, it is You who has loved me so dearly;
You wrote on my heart every word.
Spirit, take my hand, guide me to His promised land;
Oh Spirit, it is You who has loved me so.
- Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say that the Spirit loves us, we know that He does because He plays a role in our salvation: Jn. 16:7-13
- His purpose was to reveal the word that God wants written on our hearts: Eph. 3:3-5
- And the ultimate goal of all this is to make it possible for us to go to heaven: 1 Pet. 1:3-5
IV. Stanza 4 is about the entire Godhead’s love
O God, it is You who has loved me completely;
You set forth a plan to make me free.
O God, take my hand, help me reach the promised land;
Oh yes, God, it is You who has loved me so.
- There can be no doubt that the Lord has loved us: Rom. 5:8
- This is why He set forth an eternal plan to make us free: 2 Tim. 1:9-10
- His purpose is to give us eternal life in His promised land: 1 Jn. 2:25
CONCL.: This is a good song to sing at any time. But since the purpose of the Lord’s supper is to remember the sacrifice of Christ and show forth His death, the song, with its statements that God sent His only Son to die for us and that Jesus came and died upon the tree, could be useful as a communion hymn. And whenever we sing with grace in our hearts about the love of God, we should tell Him, “O God, It Is You.”