“Give Me Thy Heart”

"…Give Me thine heart…" (Prov. 23:26)

     INTRO.: A song which exhorts us to give our hearts to the Lord is "Give Me Thy Heart" (#270 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #579 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Eliza Edmunds Stites Hewitt (1851-1920). Other hymns by her include "A Blessing in Prayer," "For Christ and the Church," "More About Jesus," "Stepping in the Light," "There Is Sunshine in My Soul," "When We All Get to Heaven," "Who Will Follow Jesus?", and "Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown?"  The tune (Zeruiah or Bourne) for "Give Me Thy Heart" was composed, under the penname of Anna (Annie) F. Bourne by William James Kirkpatrick (1838-1921). The song was copyrighted in 1898 by Kirkpatrick and first published in the 1900 Pentecostal Praises by Hall-Mack of Philadelphia, PA. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1917 Selected Revival Hymns published by F. L. Rowe; and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie.  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; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections.

     This is one of the few gospel songs following a "trinitarian" formula, and it tells us what each person in the Godhead might say to encourage us to come for salvation. I.

Stanza 1 expresses the call from the Father
"’Give Me thy heart,’ says the Father above:
No gift so precious to Him as our love.
Softly He whispers wherever thou art,
‘Gratefully trust me, and give Me thy heart.’"
 A. The Father is Jehovah God who dwells in heaven: Matt. 6:9
 B. No gift is so precious to Him as our love, so He wants us to love Him with all our heart: Matt. 22:37
 C. When we do that, it shows that we gratefully trust Him: Ps. 37:3-5

II. Stanza 2 expresses the call from the Savior
"’Give Me thy heart,’ says the Savior of men,
Calling in mercy again and again;
‘Turn now from sin, and from evil depart.
Have I not died for thee? Give Me thy heart.’"
 A. The Savior of men is Jesus Christ, who came to save His people from their sin: Matt. 1:21
 B. He calls us that we might receive the mercy of God for our salvation: Tit. 3:5
 C. To make this possible, He died for us: Rom. 5:8

III. Stanza 3 expresses the call from the Spirit
"’Give Me thy heart,’ says the Spirit divine;
‘All that thou hast, to my keeping resign.
Grace more abounding is mine to impart;
Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.’"
 A. The Spirit divine is the Comforter who came to make known all truth through the apostles: Jn. 16:7-13
 B. He wants us to resign all that we have to His keeping, not laying up treasures on earth but in heaven, knowing that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also: Matt. 6:19-21
 C. We make this full surrender to Him by obeying the word which is His sword to accomplish His work: Eph. 6:17

     CONCL.: The chorus repeats the basic thought of each stanza, that the Lord wants us to dedicate our lives unto Him
and be separate from this world.
"’Give Me thy heart, Give me thy heart;’
Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art.
From this dark world, He would draw thee apart,
Speaking so tenderly, ‘Give Me thy heart.’"
This song is useful to help faithful Christians understand their need to love the Lord with all their heart, but it is often used as an invitation hymn to remind all people that if they are lost in sin or have wandered away from the Lord, our gracious God continues to call them as long as they have life and breath, saying, "Give Me Thy Heart."


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