Helping Yourself to Grace (7)
But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5.20, 21
More about Jesus
Eliza Edmunds Hewitt, 1887
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
More about Jesus, in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.
More about Jesus on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.
This way to more grace
Jesus Christ is God’s grace incarnate. The more of Him we know, the more grace will be ours. It’s just that simple. It will do us little good to beseech the Father for grace to help in all our times of need if we are not growing in Jesus at the same time. While He will always sustain and care for us, He does not entrust the new vintage of His abounding grace to the old skins of our sinful, selfish lives. He prefers His abounding grace to enrich the world, not to be wasted and spilled by unreliable vessels.
But let us be increasingly transformed into the new wineskin of Jesus, and the new wine of grace will be ours to enjoy and share abundantly.
Grace will reign in us unto righteousness as Jesus increases in us. We must “learn Jesus”, as Paul puts it (Eph. 4.17-24), for in learning Him, we become more like Him, with more of His grace to share with the people around us. Grace abounds to us and through us in proportion to the effort and progress we make in learning and knowing Jesus Christ.
Eliza Edmunds Hewitt understood this, and in what is my favorite of all hymns, she gives us words to guide us, and to encourage ourselves and one another, for knowing God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent (Jn. 17.3). When our heart’s constant cry is “More, more about Jesus!” then our life’s issue will be grace upon grace, showing Jesus, proclaiming His Kingdom, and advancing His rule of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit on earth as it is in heaven.
To learn Jesus
What does learning Jesus entail? First, we must nurture the desire and commitment to learn more about Jesus. Knowing Jesus must become the driving force of our soul. We must be renewed in this every day, until delighting in the Lord and setting Him always before us is the defining motif and orientation of our lives. We cannot be lackadaisical about this; and we cannot segment learning Jesus to our weekly gatherings for worship. We must daily seek the Lord, daily pledge our love for Him anew, daily let our heart’s cry be “More, more about Jesus!”
We seek the knowledge of Jesus in His Word, where the Holy Spirit guides us, line upon line, precept upon precept, to discern the will of our Lord, and to embrace that will as our own. Jesus is the theme of all Scripture (Jn. 5.39), every line, every faithful saying, every story, every book, every doctrine, and every text. He is like the autostereoscopic image hidden in a Magic EyeTM painting, which only presents itself to those who look long enough, deeply enough, and with conviction and faith. As we daily read and study the Bible, let it be our prayer that we will not let go of our meditations until the Spirit blesses us with some deeper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Learning Jesus is also seeing Him as He is today, exalted in glory, ruling over the nations and cosmos, upholding all things by the Word of His power, putting His enemies under His feet, and preparing an eternal place of glory and bliss for all who believe in Him. With the apostle Paul, we must learn Jesus by setting our minds on the things that are above, where Christ is seated in the heavenly places (Col. 3.1-3), using the eye of the heart to flesh out a growing vision of the landscape of unseen things. Scripture offers us many glimpses of and insights to this glorious realm, and we must work hard to assemble them all into an increasingly clear and compelling vision of our exalted Savior and King.
Learning Jesus means seeking Him in His Word, meditating in His presence, communing with Him by His Spirit, and hearing His voice in every line of Scripture. Do this, and you will surely grow in Jesus, and increase in His grace.
Proof of learning
How can we know when we are truly learning the Lord Jesus? We must not mistake true learning with mere head knowledge. Nor does true learning consist in being excited or pleased by something we’ve read or heard. Such insights and affections are fleeting and unreliable indicators that we are learning Jesus.
We are learning Jesus when we are becoming more like Him (2 Cor. 3.12-18), so that the grace Jesus is becomes the grace that flows through us to others. “More of His saving fullness see”: This is where the grace begins to flow more abundantly to us, as we seek Jesus in His Word and glory. “More of His grace to others show”: This is the proof that the wonderful, marvelous, amazing grace of Jesus is transforming us into His image, as the love He bears for us issues in love for all the people to whom God sends us each day.
“More, more about Jesus!” I can think of no better refrain to sing throughout the day, no greater desire to fix our hearts on, no more expansive vision to thrill our minds, no more powerful prayer to help us grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, and no surer way to have the grace to help in all our times of need, for being, showing, and proclaiming Jesus to our world.
1. What does it mean to know Jesus? How do we know when we know Him?
2. What can you do to improve your efforts to learn Jesus?
3. How could singing this hymn throughout the day help you to increase in Jesus and His grace?
Next Steps – Transformation: Set aside time to sing the four stanzas of this great hymn today. As you do, think of how the grace of God has found and reached you, and give Him abundant thanks and praise.
This study is Part 5 of a series entitled “Grace for Your Time of Need.” You can download the seven lessons in this study, and all the studies in this series, by clicking here.
More songs of praise await you in The Ailbe Psalter, in which we have arranged all the psalms for singing according to familiar hymn tunes. You can order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.