“He Is So Precious to Me”

"HE IS SO PRECIOUS TO ME"
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone…chosen of God, and precious" (1 Pet. 2:4)

     INTRO.: A gospel song which looks to Jesus as the precious living stone chosen by God is "He Is So Precious to Me." The text was written and the tune (Precious to Me) was composed both by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932). Gabriel produced such well know gospel songs as "I Stand Amazed," "I Will Not Forget Thee," "Send the Light," and "O That Will Be Glory for Me," and the tunes for "Higher Ground," "Since Jesus Came into My Heart," and "The Way of the Cross Leads Home." The song "He Is So Precious to Me" was copyrighted by Gabriel in 1902 and first appeared that year in his Joyful Praise published in Chicago, IL, by Jennings and Pye. The first stanza originally read:
"I’m happy in Jesus, my Savior and King,
And all the day long of His goodness I sing;
To Him in my weakness I lovingly cling,
For He is so precious to me."
Apparently the alterations were made by Edwin Othello Excell (1851-1921).  He purchased the song from Gabriel and filed a new copyright registration under the title "He Is So Precious to Me" in 1907. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 edited by L. O. Sanderson. Today it may be found in the 1977 Special Sacred Selections edited by Ellis J. Crum; and the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard.

     The song mentions several reasons why Jesus is so precious to His people.

I. Stanza 1 says that He is our Savior and King
"So precious is Jesus, my Savior and King;
His praise all the day long with rapture I sing.
To Him in my weakness for strength I can cling,
For He is so precious to me."
 A. Jesus Christ came to be the Savior of mankind: Lk. 2:11
 B. Therefore, those who are saved should with rapture sing His praise all day long: Rev. 5:9-10
 C. Also, because He is our Savior, when we are weak and need strength, we can come boldly before the throne of grace to find help in time of need: Heb. 4:14-16

II. Stanza 2 says that He waited so long to gain an entrance into our hearts
"He stood at my heart’s door ‘mid sunshine and rain,
And patiently waited an entrance to gain;
What shame that so long He entreated in vain,
For He is so precious to me."
 A. Jesus stands at the door of each heart and knocks to gain entrance: Rev. 3:20
 B. And he patiently waits because God is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish: 2 Pet. 2:9
 C. It is a shame to make Him entreat so long in vain, so we should remember that now is the day of salvation: 2 Cor. 6:2

III. Stanza 3 says that He allows us to stand on the mountain of blessing
"I stand on the mountain of blessing at last,
No cloud in the heavens a shadow to cast;
His smile is upon me, the valley is past,
For He is so precious to me."
 A. We can stand on the mountain of blessing because all spiritual blessings are available in Christ: Eph. 1:3
 B. To say there are no clouds to cast a shadow does not mean that there will be no times of sorrow and sadness in the Christian’s life, but it means that we have nothing to fear because the Lord has promised to be with us: Heb. 13:5-6
 C. Because His smile is upon me, the darkness of the valley is past and we can rejoice always in the Lord: Phil. 4:4

IV. Stanza 4 says that He has appointed a place for us in heaven
"I praise Him because He appointed a place
Where, someday, through faith in His wonderful grace,
I know I shall see Him–shall look on His face,
For He is so precious to me."
 A. Jesus has appointed a place for us in heaven and is now preparing it: Jn. 14:1-3
 B. He has made it possible for us to go there in that He offers salvation by grace through faith: Eph. 2:8-9
 C. Therefore, we look forward to that time when we shall look on His face and see Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3:1-3

     CONCL.: The chorus extols the preciousness of Jesus to those who know Him as their Redeemer.
"For He is so precious to me,
For He is so precious to me;
‘Tis heaven below my Redeemer to know,
For He is so precious to me."
Obviously, not every hymnbook published can contain every hymn or gospel song ever published, even those which are truly good. Some of our books have included this one, but relatively few, and not those among the most popular. I am surprised that it was not used in more of them because of its joyful exuberance. It is good to be reminded on a regular basis about what Jesus has done on my behalf and that "He Is So Precious to Me."

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