Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

The Love of God

Earlier today I was thinking about my favorite hymn lyrics (not hymns overall-just particular lyrics). I think my all-time favorite is and remains the final stanza of “And Can it Be?” The last two lines just grip my soul every time I sing them:

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

I’ve often reflected on the concept of boldness and this song reminds me of what a privilege it is to be able to approach God’s throne with confidence and boldness.

Running a close second is a hymn we sang just this afternoon during our Lord’s Supper service. Again, it is the final stanza of a hymn, this one “The Love of God.” I’ll provide all of the lyrics but would point you to that last verse.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

I just love that picture, that metaphor, of trying to measure or quantify the love of God and finding that even the vastness of creation, reduced to letters and words, would barely even begin to show just how great and how wide and how deep is God’s love. It’s amazingly powerful.

What are your favorite hymn lyrics?