"JESUS, THY NAME I LOVE"
"Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name" (Phil. 2.9)
INTRO.: A hymn which places great emphasis on the name of Jesus and what it means is "Jesus, Thy Name I Love." The text was written by James George Deck, who was born on Nov. 1, 1807, at Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England, the oldest son of John Deck. Educated for the army, he became an officer in the Indian service. After retiring from the army, he joined the Plymouth Brethren and began producing hymns. His first collection was Hymns for the Poor of the Flock in 1838, and the next was Psalms and Hymns in 1842, which Julian says contained this hymn. In 1843 Deck undertook work as minister with a congregation at Wellington in Somerset. In 1851 he went abroad and in 1852 settled in New Zealand. Sometimes the date of 1853 is given for this hymn’s origin. That may be the year that major alterations were made in the hymn which were then published in the 1855 Psalms and Hymns for Public and Social Worship. Deck’s later collections include Wellington Hymn Book of 1857, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of 1860, and Hymns and Sacred Poems of 1876, and he is credited with over 37 hymns. He died at Moteuka, New Zealand, on Aug. 14, 1884.
The tune (Lyte) was composed by Joseph Perry Holbrook (1821-1888). It is dated 1865 and was likely first published that year in Charles S. Robinson’s Songs of the Sanctuary, of which Holbrook was the music editor. Holbrook was also editor of the 1878 Methodist Hymnal, but the tune does not occur there or in any other Methodist hymnal. Holbrook is best known for a tune (Refuge) which is often used as an alternate melody for Charles Wesley’s "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Jesus, Thy Name I Love" appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand.
The song identifies several concepts that are related to the name of Jesus.
I. Stanza 1 says that the name of Jesus is above all other names
"Jesus, Thy name I love, All other names above, Jesus, my Lord!
O Thou art all to me; Nothing to please I see, Nothing apart from Thee, Jesus, my Lord!"
A. Jesus has been given a name that is far above all principality, power, dominion, and every name that is named: Eph. 1.20-21
B. Therefore, He should be all to us: Col. 3.11
C. There is nothing to see apart from Him because He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can come to the Father except by Him: Jn. 14.6
II. Stanza 2 ways that the name of Jesus shows His love
"Thou, blessed Son of God, Hast bought me with Thy blood, Jesus, my Lord!
How mighty is Thy love, All other names above, Love that I daily prove, Jesus, my Lord!"
A. Jesus Christ is the blessed Son of God: Matt. 16.16
B. As the blessed Son of God He has bought us with His blood: Rev. 5.9
C. The reason that He did this is because of His mighty love for us: 1 Jn. 3.16
III. Stanza 3 says that the name of Jesus is our refuge
"When unto Thee I flee, Thou wilt my refuge be, Jesus, my Lord!
What need I now to fear, What earthly grief or care, Since Thou art ever near? Jesus, my Lord!"
A. We can flee to Jesus for refuge: Heb. 6.18
B. With Him as our refuge, we have nothing to fear: Heb. 13.5-6
C. He has promised to be ever near so that we can cast all our cares upon Him: 1 Pet. 5.7
IV. Stanza 4 says that the name of Jesus will bring happiness when He comes
"Soon Thou wilt come again; I shall be happy then, Jesus, my Lord!
Then Thine own face I’ll see, Then I shall like Thee be, Then evermore with Thee, Jesus, my Lord!"
A. Someday Jesus will come again: Acts 1.11
B. Then we shall be happy because we shall see His face and be like Him: 1 Jn. 3.2
C. Then we shall also be with Him evermore because He will give us eternal life in the world to come: Mk. 10.29-30
CONCL.: It has been said that the majority of Deck’s hymns are about the second coming of Christ in some way or another. From a personal standpoint, I have a little trouble with songs which say things like, "Soon Thou wilt come again," because statements like that seem to imply that we have some knowledge as to when Jesus will come again, whereas the Bible says, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mk. 13.32). When I have copied this song to teach it, I have just taken some correction fluid and marked out the "on" in "Soon" and left just "So." Be that as it may, certainly as I think of all the Jesus has done for me and thus means to me, I should have no difficulty telling Him, "Jesus, Thy Name I Love."