“More Like Jesus”

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2.5)


     INTRO.: A song which encourages us to have the mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus is “More Like Jesus” (#135 in Hymns for Worship Revised). The text was written and the tune was composed both by Jarius Maxson Stillman, who was born Feb. 20, 1834, at Alfred in Allegany Co., N.Y., the third in order of birth of the six children of Maxson and Lydia Chapman Stillman.  His father, a tenor singer of talent, had not only led a large choir for many years but also taught singing schools in many places surrounding his home.  The son also had a great aptitude for music and at the age of ten years could read plain music at sight.  Accompanying his father to singing schools, he made rapid progress in the mastery of the principles of music. He attended the singing classes in Alfred Academy and after receiving a Mus. Doc. became Professor of Music at Milton College.

      The hymn is dated 1878 and was first published in Good Will, a songbook which Stillman compiled with Thomas Martin Towne that year. Another song found in many of our hymnbooks that first appeared in that same songbook is “Seeking for Me” beginning “Jesus, my Savior, to Bethlehem came,” with music by Emerson E. Hasty.   Other books edited by Stillman include The Cluster and Anthem Treasures.   He also composed a large number of pieces for other Gospel hymn books and had a number of songs published in sheet music form. At Chicago he acted as one of the judges, with Prof. Towne and others, in selecting from 700 original pieces of music those which should be published in the work called International Lesson Hymnal No. 1, published by David C. Cook.  In 1884 an excellent article on “Church Music and How to Sustain it,” written by Dr. Stillman, appeared in the “Seventh-day Baptist Quarterly.”  He died in 1917.

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “More Like Jesus” appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1944 Gospel Songs and Hymns, the 1952 Hymns of Praise and Devotion, and the 1959 Gospel Service Hymnal all edited by Will W. Slater; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it may be found in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship.

     The song suggests what our lives will be like if we strive to be more like Jesus.

I. Stanza 1 says that we will follow Him day by day
“I want to be more like Jesus, And follow Him day by day;
I want to be true and faithful, And every command obey.”
 A. Jesus wants us to follow Him, just as He called the apostles to follow Him: Matt. 4.19
 B. To follow Him, we must be true and faithful in everything that we do: Rev. 2.10
 C. And we must obey His every command: Jn. 14.15

II. Stanza 2 says that we will be kind and gentle
“I want to be kind an gentle To those who are in distress;
To comfort the broken hearted With sweet words of tenderness.”
 A. We should especially be kind and gentle to those who are in distress: Gal. 6.1
 B. Our aim in this should be to comfort the broken-hearted: 1 Thess. 5.14
 C. And to do this, we must use sweet words of tenderness: Col. 4.6

III. Stanza 3 says that we will be meek and lowly
“I want to be meek and lowly, Like Jesus, our Friend and King;
I want to be strong and earnest, And souls to the Savior bring.”
 A. Jesus, our Friend and King, is our example of meekness: Matt. 11.28-30
 B. But meekness is not weakness; we must also be strong: Eph. 6.10
 C. And with this combination of meekness and strength, we can bring souls to the Savior: Prov. 11.30

IV. Stanza 4 says that we will be pure and holy
“I want to be pure and holy, As pure as the crystal snow;
I want to love Jesus truly, For Jesus loves me, I know.”
 A. We can be pure as the crystal snow because through the blood of Jesus, our sins can be washed and made white as snow: Isa. 1.18, 1 Jn. 1.7-9
 B. But we should strive to remain pure and holy if we truly love Jesus: 1 Tim. 5.22, 1 Jn. 5.3
 C. The motivation for us to do this is the fact that Jesus loves us: 1 Jn. 4.19 (KJV)

CONCL. The chorus repeats the desire expressed throughout the song and mentions the basic reason for it:
“More and more like Jesus, I would ever be;
More and more like Jesus, My Savior who died for me.”
Because Jesus loves us, died for us, and left us an example that we should follow in His steps, it should always be our desire to be “More Like Jesus.”


One thought on ““More Like Jesus”

  1. Thanks, Wayne I was having trouble finding the lyrics to this. I woke up the other morning about five with this song in my head. I had not thought of it for some time. It is funny how that happens. I was looking for the lyrics and found them here. Thanks again


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