Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

O TO BE LIKE THEE


          Traditionally, when January 1 rolls around, many people make resolutions for the coming year.  Quite often they are about health goals, financial goals, work goals, recreational goals or even family goals.  But what about spiritual goals?  I think that this hymn would make a tremendous goal or prayer for each of us for the coming year.  The Bible teaches us that God's goal for His people is that they "become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"  (Ephesians 4:13).  Christlikeness is much more than a religious profession or visits to church.  It is a total way of life, a total commitment.  The words for this hymn/prayer were written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960).  Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Kentucky.  He educated himself and became a school teacher at the age of 16.  By the age of 21 he was an associate editor of his local newspaper. After he was born again, as a believer at age 27, after hearing his mentor, Dr. Henry Clay Morrison, at a revival service, he penned the words of "Oh, To Be Like Thee".  He knew, as a new believer, how his life compared to God's, and so he called out to Him. Chisholm's words show the zeal of this new Christian, as he sought the character traits of Jesus, not merely to admire them, but to shape himself. Later the words were put to music by William James Kirpatrick.  Thomas' physical condition would be a challenge in the period following the hymn's publication in 1897, as he pursued being editor of the Pentecostal Herald in Louisville and then ordained ministry. Both of these efforts were suspended because of poor health. He must have wondered how his desire to serve and be like Jesus would be accomplished, as he was forced to abandon editing and preaching in pretty short order.  But throughout his life he kept writing poetry, ultimately authoring some 1,200 poems, including 800 that were eventually in print.  Probably his most famous hymn is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" which he wrote when he was fifty-seven.  The words of these two hymns might be his personal diary.  He started his spiritual journey with the stated desire to be like Jesus.  And as he neared the end of his journey on this earth he proclaimed God's greatness and faithfulness.  What a testimony.  May this be our experience and testimony as well.  Why not begin 2015 by making it your prayer to be like Jesus in all that you do. "O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!  Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;  Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart".

1.  O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer;
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

2.   O to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand'ring sinners to find.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

3.   O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

4.   O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming,
Now to receive the' anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing;
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

5.   O to be like Thee! While I am pleading
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love.
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit for a life which Thou wouldst approve.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

You can listen to it here.   LISTEN

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